INDIANAPOLIS – A seventeenth Indianapolis 500 awaits Marco Andretti this month.

“I’m ecstatic to be back,” the driver of the No. 98 car smiles. “I’m as excited as ever. I think when it’s a continuation of a season, it can be pretty grinding on you.”

Now, instead of a full season, Marco’s grind is focused entirely on the Indy 500.

“What I was putting into it, I felt like I wasn’t getting it out of it from a lot of different areas,” Andretti explains. “This is the one I live my life around anyway, and this is the one I think we can contend every time.”

In stepping back from a full-time IndyCar schedule, Andretti found less is more – both professionally and personally.

“I’m definitely happier, in overall life, but also at the racetrack,” he continues. “I’m here, I’m looking forward to it. I’m molding my career the way I want it now. I’m here because I want to be.”

And the one thing Andretti wants most — is to cross that yard of bricks an Indy 500 champion.

“We have to be lucky and good,” Marco says. “A lot of it’s risk versus reward. Two-thirds of it is being smart. At the end, it’s just go for it.”