Marco Andretti saw the tweets that feigned surprise at the two-year contract extension he signed with his father's race team.
He figured that was going to be the reaction when he agreed to return to Andretti Autosport for a ninth season. When you drive for your dad, everybody thinks you've got it pretty easy.
But Andretti insisted he has to earn his place in the lineup and he can't stay with the organization if his car isn't sponsored. And before signing this latest extension, he looked around the IndyCar paddock to see what else might be out there. In the end, the No. 25 team with sponsorship from Dr Pepper Snapple Group was the best opportunity.
''Most of the comments were, `Big surprise, he stayed there,''' Andretti said. ''But it's one of the best teams. Why wouldn't I? I'm honored they want me back as well. I wouldn't be here if I didn't earn it.''
Andretti earned it this year, completing a total turnaround from the worst season of his career to put together the best since ...