Mario Andretti

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Mario Andretti
Mario Andretti speaking at the Barber Legends of Motorsport 2010 crop.jpg
Andretti at Barber Motorsports Park in 2010
Born (1940-02-28) February 28, 1940 (age 74) Montona, Kingdom of Italy, today Croatia
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg Italian 1940–1964
United States American (naturalized 1964)
Active years 19681972, 19741982
Teams Lotus, March, Ferrari, Parnelli, Alfa Romeo, Williams
Races 131 (128 starts)
Championships 1 (1978)
Wins 12
Podiums 19
Career points 180
Pole positions 18
Fastest laps 10
First race 1968 United States Grand Prix
First win 1971 South African Grand Prix
Last win 1978 Dutch Grand Prix
Last race 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 19661967, 19821983, 1988, 19951997, 2000
Teams Holman Moody
Grand Touring Cars Inc.
Porsche Kremer Racing
Porsche AG
Courage Compétition
Panoz Motorsports
Best finish 2nd (1995)
Class wins 1 (1995)

Mario Gabriele Andretti (born February 28, 1940) is a retired Italian American world champion racing driver, one of the most successful Americans in the history of the sport. He is one of only two drivers to win races in Formula One, IndyCar, World Sportscar Championship and NASCAR (the other being Dan Gurney). He also won races in midget cars, and sprint cars. During his career, Andretti won the 1978 Formula One World Championship, four IndyCar titles (three under USAC-sanctioning, one under CART), and IROC VI. To date, he remains the only driver ever to win the Indianapolis 500 (1969), Daytona 500 (1967) and the Formula One World Championship, and, along with Juan Pablo Montoya, the only driver to have won a race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Formula One, and an Indianapolis 500. No American has won a Formula One race since Andretti's victory at the 1978 Dutch Grand Prix.[1] Andretti had 109 career wins on major circuits.[2]

Andretti had a long career in racing. He was the only person to be named United States Driver of the Year in three decades (1967, 1978, and 1984).[3] He was also one of only three drivers to win races on road courses, paved ovals, and dirt tracks in one season, a feat that he accomplished four times.[3] With his final IndyCar win in April 1993, Andretti became the first driver to win IndyCar races in four different decades[4] and the first to win automobile races of any kind in five.[3]

In American popular culture, his name has become synonymous with speed, similar to Barney Oldfield in the early twentieth century and Stirling Moss in the United Kingdom.[5]

Early life[edit]

Mario Andretti and his twin brother Aldo were born into an Italian family in Montona (now Motovun, Croatia), Istria. Their parents were Luigi Andretti, a farm administrator, and his wife Rina.[6] Istria was then part of Italy, but became part of Yugoslavia at the end of World War II as confirmed by the Treaty of Paris. In 1948, the Andretti family left Montona during the Istrian exodus, ending up in a refugee camp in Lucca, Italy.[7] They emigrated to the United States of America in 1955, settling in Nazareth in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley with just $125 to their name.[3] Andretti became a naturalized United States citizen in 1964.

Racing career[edit]

Childhood involvement in motorsports[edit]

The twins' mother Rina said that when they were two years old, they would take pot lids out of the cupboards and run around the kitchen, going "Vroom, vroom," like they were driving cars – this before they had seen a car.[3] In 1945, at the age of five, he and Aldo were racing their hand-crafted wooden cars through the steep streets of their hometown.[8] Later, the brothers were hired by a garage to park cars, Andretti described the experience in his book What's It Like Out There: "The first time I fired up a car, felt the engine shudder and the wheel come to life in my hands, I was hooked. It was a feeling I can't describe. I still get it every time I get into a race car."[9] Andretti's first racing experience was in a new youth racing league called Formula Junior in Ancona, Italy when he was thirteen years old.[6][10] He had a fond childhood memory of watching a stretch of the Mille Miglia race in 1954 which caused him to become captivated by Italian two-time Formula One world champion Alberto Ascari, who won the race.[10][11]

Stock car racing[edit]

Start in racing[edit]

Andretti in 1991

Mario and Aldo were surprised to find a half-mile dirt racing track when they moved to Nazareth.[3] The twins worked on a 1948 Hudson Hornet Sportsman modified funded by money that they earned in their uncle's garage in 1959.[3] They took turns racing the old Hudson on oval dirt tracks near Nazareth in 1959. They did not tell their parents that they were racing.[6] The twins each had two wins after their first four races.[12] Aldo was seriously hurt near the end of the season, and their parents were unhappy to find out that the twins were racing.[6] Mario had 21 modified stockcar wins in 46 races in 1960 and 1961.[3]

USAC stock car[edit]

Andretti occasionally competed in United States Automobile Club (USAC) stock car events. He competed in USAC stock cars in 1965, and finished twelfth in the season points.[6] He won a USAC Stock Car race in 1967, and finished seventh in the season points.[6] He won three 1974 USAC stock car races on road courses, and won four road course races in 1975.[6]

NASCAR[edit]

Mario Andretti
Awards

Named the "Driver of the Century" by the Associated Press and RACER magazine

2000 International Motorsports Hall of Fame Inductee

1996 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Inductee (U.S.)

named Driver of the Quarter Century in 1992

1990 Motorsports Hall of Fame of America inductee

1978–1979 (IROC VI) International Race of Champions series champion

1978 Formula One World Championship

1974 USAC national dirt track champion (U.S.)

1972 6 Hours of Daytona

1969 Indianapolis 500 winner

1967 Daytona 500 winner

Three time 12 Hours of Sebring winner (1967, 1970, 1972)

Four time IndyCar champion (1965, 1966, 1969, 1984)

1969 ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
14 race(s) run over 4 year(s)
Best finish unranked
First race 1967 Motor Trend 500 (Riverside)
Last race 1969 Motor Trend 500 (Riverside)
First win 1967 Daytona 500 (Daytona)
Last win 1967 Daytona 500 (Daytona)
Wins Top tens Poles
1 3

Andretti competed in fourteen NASCAR Grand National/Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) events in his career. He competed in Holman Moody cars for his final ten events. Holman Moody was one of NASCAR's most successful teams at that time, as the team won NASCAR championships in 1968 and 1969 with driver David Pearson.[13] Andretti won the 1967 Daytona 500 for Holman Moody.[14]

International Race of Champions[edit]

Andretti was invited to race in six International Race of Champions (IROC) series in his career. His best years were his first three years. He finished second in the final points standings in IROC III (1975–1976) and IROC V (1977–1978). He won the IROC VI (1978–1979) points championship with finishes of third, first, and second. He won three races in twenty events.[14]

Open wheel racing[edit]

Early open wheel racing[edit]

Andretti's goal was to race in single-seater open wheel cars. Andretti said "Aldo and I were winning in the modifieds. But my objective was to get into open-wheelers."[6]

Andretti raced midget cars from 1961 to 1963. He started racing 3/4 (sized) midget cars in the American Three Quarter Midget Racing Association in the winter to be seen by full-sized midget car owners.[6] He raced in over one hundred events in 1963.[15] Andretti won three feature races at two different tracks on Labor Day in 1963.[6] He won an afternoon feature at Flemington, New Jersey, and swept twin features at Hatfield, Pennsylvania.[6]

The next rung on the racing ladder on the East Coast of the United States was to race in sprint cars in the United Racing Club (URC).[6] Andretti was able to get a ride for individual races in the URC sprint car racing series, but was unable to secure a full-time ride.[6] He once drove from Canada to Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania hoping to find a ride in an event, but he went empty-handed. He bypassed the series when he was offered a full-time ride in a United States Automobile Club sprint car for 1964.[6]

USAC sprint cars[edit]

Andretti won the 1964 Joe James-Pat O'Connor Memorial USAC sprint car race at Salem Speedway in Salem, Indiana. Andretti continued to race in USAC sprint cars after moving into champ cars. In 1965 he won once at Ascot Park, and finished tenth in the season points.[6] In 1966 he won five times (Cumberland, Maryland, Oswego, New York, Rossburg, Ohio, Phoenix, Arizona, and his second win at the Joe James-Pat O'Connor Memorial at Salem Speedway), but finished behind Roger McCluskey in the season championship.[6] In 1967 he won two of the three events that he entered.[6]

IndyCar career (1964-1974)[edit]

From 1956 to 1979, the top open wheel racing series in North America was the USAC National Championship. It was often referred to as Champ car racing, or Indycar racing, referring to the famous Indianapolis 500 race which was the centerpiece of the championship. The races were run on a mixture of paved and dirt ovals, and in later years also included some road courses.

Andretti made his Champ Car debut on April 19, 1964 at the New Jersey State fairgrounds in Trenton, New Jersey.[6] He started sixteenth and finishing eleventh. Andretti was introduced by his USAC sprint car owner, Rufus Gray, to veteran mechanic Clint Brawner. Brawner was not impressed since sprint car drivers Stan Bowman and Donnie Davis had recently died, and Brawner's current driver, Chuck Hulse, had been critically injured.[6] Chris Economaki recommended Andretti to Brawner, so Brawner watched Andretti race at Terre Haute, Indiana.[6] Brawner was convinced that he had found the new driver for his team.[6] The two stayed together for six years.[6] Andretti finished eleventh in the USAC National Championship that season.[6] Andretti won his first championship car race at the Hoosier Grand Prix on a road course at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1965.[6] His third place finish at the 1965 Indianapolis 500 in the Brawner Hawk (a mechanical copy of the current Brabham Formula 1 design) earned him the race's Rookie of the Year award, and contributed towards Andretti winning the series championship. He was the youngest national champion in series history at age 25.[15] He repeated as series champion in 1966,[10] winning eight of fifteen events.[6] He also won the pole at the 1966 Indianapolis 500.[6] Andretti finished second in the IndyCars in 1967 and 1968. He also won a single non-championship drag race in 1967 in a Ford Mustang. In both 1967 and 1968, Andretti lost the season USAC championship to A.J. Foyt and Bobby Unser, respectively, in the waning laps of the last race of the season at Riverside, California—each by the smallest points margin in history.

A replica of the Brawner Hawk in which Andretti won the 1969 Indy 500 resides in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.

Andretti won nine races in 1969, the 1969 Indianapolis 500, and the season championship. He also won the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which was part of the USAC National Championship.[12] He was named ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year. Between 1966 and 1969 he won 29 of 85 USAC championship races.[3]

In 1973, USAC split its National Championship into dirt and pavement championships.[6] Andretti had one win on the pavement and finished fifth in the season points, and finished second in the dirt championship.[6] He competed in USAC's dirt track division in 1974, and won the dirt track championship while competing in both series.[3] Andretti also competed in the North American Formula 5000 series in 1973 and 1974, and finished second in the championship in both seasons.[3]

Formula One career[edit]

Part-time status (1968-1972, 1974)[edit]
Andretti drove his Lotus Type 63 at the 1969 German Grand Prix.
Andretti's Lotus 77 racecar

Formula One is the highest form of open wheel racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), motorsport's international governing body. Although originating in Europe, by the 1960s it included races worldwide. At Andretti's first Indianapolis 500, in 1965, he met Colin Chapman, owner of the Lotus Formula One team, who was running eventual race winner Jim Clark's car.[16] Andretti told Chapman of his ambition to compete in Formula One and was told "When you're ready, call me."[17] By 1968 Andretti felt he was ready. Chapman gave him a car, and the young American took the pole position on his debut at the 1968 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen in his Lotus 49.[16][18]

Andretti drove sporadically in Formula One over the next four years for Lotus, March, and Ferrari, while continuing to focus on his racing career in America.[16] At the 1971 South African Grand Prix, on his debut for Ferrari, he won his first Grand Prix.[16] Three weeks later, at the non-championship Questor Grand Prix in the U.S., he brought the Italian team a second victory.[19]

Full-time status (1975-1981)[edit]

It wasn't until 1975 that Andretti drove a full Formula One season, for the American Parnelli team. The team was new to Formula One, although it had been successful in both Formula 5000 and IndyCar racing in America with Andretti driving. The team had run Andretti in the two North American end-of-season races in 1974 with promising results. Andretti qualified fourth and led the 1975 Spanish Grand Prix for nine laps before his suspension failed. He scored five championship points in the season. Andretti continued to compete in IndyCar, missing two Formula One races in the middle of the season to do so.[20]

When the Parnelli team pulled out of Formula One after two races of the 1976 season, Andretti returned to Chapman's Lotus team, for whom he had already driven at the season-opening Brazilian Grand Prix. Lotus was then at a low point, having failed to produce a competitive car to replace 1970's Lotus 72. Andretti's ability at developing a racing car contributed to Lotus' return to the front of the Formula One grid, culminating in lapping the field in his victory at the season ending race at the Mount Fuji circuit in Japan.[16] Since mid-1975 Lotus had been developing the use of ground effect, shaping the underside of the car to generate downforce with little penalizing drag. For his part, Andretti worked at setting up his cars for the races, exploiting subtle differences in tire size ('stagger') and suspension set up ('cross weighting') on each side of the car to optimize it for each track, an approach imported from his extensive oval racing experience in the United States.[21] In 1977, at Long Beach, he became the only American to win the United States Grand Prix West, and the last American as of 2012 to win any US Grand Prix.[22] The Lotus 78 "wing car" proved to be the most competitive car of 1977,[23] but despite winning four races, more than any other driver, reliability problems and collisions with other drivers meant Andretti finished only third in the championship.[23] The following year, the Lotus 79 exploited ground effect even further and Andretti took the title with six wins.[23] He clinched the championship at the Italian Grand Prix.[3] There was no championship celebration because his teammate and close friend Ronnie Peterson crashed heavily at the start of the race; he was hospitalised and died that night from complications resulting from his injuries.[3]

Andretti would find little success after 1978 in Formula One – he failed to win another grand prix. He had a difficult year in 1979, as the new Lotus 80 was not competitive, and the team had to rely on the Lotus 79 which had been overtaken by the second generation of ground effect cars.[24] In 1980, he was paired with the young Italian Elio de Angelis, and briefly with test driver Nigel Mansell, but the team was again unsuccessful.[25]

Andretti driving the Alfa Romeo 179C at the Dutch Grand Prix in 1981

Andretti had an unsuccessful 1981 with the Alfa Romeo team. Like other drivers of the period he did not like the ground effect cars of the time: "the cars were getting absurd, really crude, with no suspension movement whatever. It was toggle switch driving with no need for any kind of delicacy...it made leaving Formula One a lot easier than it would have been."[26]

Brief returns with Williams and Ferrari (1982)[edit]

The next year Andretti raced once for the Williams team, after their driver Carlos Reutemann suddenly quit, before replacing the seriously injured Didier Pironi at Ferrari for the last two races of the year. Suspension failure dropped him out of the last race of the season, but at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza he took the pole position and finished third in the race.[16][27]

In a 2012 interview, 1980 World Champion Alan Jones stated that Ferrari, looking for a proven top class driver, had actually contacted him to drive for the team in late 1982. Jones however was enjoying his time back in Australia and took too long to give Ferrari an answer (a move Jones regrets) so instead they contacted Andretti who had no such hesitations. Ironically, Jones later decided to make a comeback to F1 in 1983 (unlike Andretti) and had he taken the seat at Ferrari its likely they would have kept the former World Champion for that year which would have seen him drive a very competitive car (Ferrari won the Constructors' Championship in 1983).

There was almost a return to F1 for Andretti at the 1984 Detroit Grand Prix when he was put on stand by the Renault team to replace regular driver Patrick Tambay if the Frenchman had been unable to race, as was the case at the previous race in Canada. However, in the event, Tambay was able to take part in the race.[28]

Andretti was also considered as a replacement, again for Tambay who had been injured in Canada, at the 1986 Detroit Grand Prix, this time for the Carl Haas owned Haas Lola team. Mario declined however, but recommended his son Michael Andretti for the drive. Unfortunately for Michael he was unable to obtain the FIA Superlicense required to allow him to race in Formula One. Instead the drive went to Eddie Cheever.

Return to IndyCar racing (1982-1994)[edit]

Andretti driving at Laguna Seca Raceway in 1991.

Andretti had continued to race, and occasionally win, in the USAC National Championship during his time in the Formula One world championship. In 1979 a new organization, Championship Auto Racing Teams, had set up the Indycar world series as a rival to the USAC National Championships that Andretti had won three times in the 1960s. The new series had rapidly become the top open wheel racing series in North America.[29]

It was to this arena that Andretti returned full-time in 1982, driving for Patrick Racing. In 1983 he joined the new Newman/Haas Racing team, set up by Carl Haas and actor Paul Newman using cars built by British company Lola. Andretti took the team's first win at Elkhart Lake in 1983.[30] He won the pole for nine of sixteen events in 1984, and claimed his fourth Champ Car title at the age of 44. He edged out Tom Sneva by 13 points. It was the first series title for the second year team.

Andretti in 1984

Mario's son Michael joined Newman/Haas in 1989. Together, they made history as the first father/son team to compete in both IMSA GT and Champ Car racing,[10] as for the former, it was their fourth time in an endurance race together as co-drivers. Mario finished seventh in points for the 1991 season, the year that Michael won the championship. Mario's last victory in IndyCar racing came in 1993 at Phoenix International Raceway,[4] the year that Michael left Newman/Haas to race in Formula One. The win made Mario the oldest recorded winner in an IndyCar event (53 years, 34 days old).[4][31] Andretti qualified on the pole at the Michigan 500 later that year with a speed of 234.275 miles per hour (377.029 km/h). The speed was a new closed course world record.[15] Andretti's final season, in 1994, was dubbed "The Arrivederci Tour." He raced in the last of his 407 Indy car races that September.

Indianapolis 500[edit]

Mario (left) and his brother Aldo (right) at pole day for the 2007 Indianapolis 500

Andretti won once at the Indianapolis 500 in 29 attempts. Andretti has had so many incidents and near victories at the track that critics have dubbed the family's performance after Mario's 1969 Indianapolis 500 victory the "Andretti Curse".[32][33]

Mario finished all 500 miles (800 km) just five times, including his 1969 Indianapolis 500 victory. Andretti was the first driver to exceed 200 miles per hour (320 km/h) while practicing for the 1977 Indianapolis 500.[34]

Andretti finished second in the 1981 Indianapolis 500 by eight seconds behind Bobby Unser. The following day Unser was penalized one lap for passing cars under a caution flag, and Andretti was declared the winner. Unser and his car owner Roger Penske appealed the race stewards' decision. USAC overturned the one lap penalty four months later, and penalized Unser with a $40,000 fine.

In the 1985 Indianapolis 500, he was passed by Danny Sullivan in Turn One. A moment later, Sullivan spun in front of Andretti, pitted on his own caution to replace his flat-spotted tires, and then passed Mario again—this time without incident—to go on for the win. Andretti dominated the 1987 Indianapolis 500 testing, led for 170 of the first 177 laps of the race, he had such a big lead that he backed off, but the reduced revs created a harmonic imbalance in his Ilmor/Chevrolet engine that led to a broken valve spring with 20 laps to go.[35] Andretti suffered broken ankles in the 1992 Indianapolis 500 when he crashed hard in turn four during the race. The 1993 Indianapolis 500 was Andretti's last notable run, and he had just come off a victory at Phoenix. On pole day, Andretti was the first car to complete a qualifying run, and sat on the provisional pole position. Mario's speed held up all afternoon, but with less than an hour to go, Arie Luyendyk topped his speed, and took the pole. On race day, Mario was a factor most of the afternoon, leading the most laps (72). While leading on lap 134, Mario was penalized for entering the pits while they were closed. A stop-and-go penalty dropped him only down to second place. In the final 50 laps, he began developing handling problems because of his tires, and slid down the standings to finish 5th. Andretti's last race at Indy was the 1994 Indianapolis 500.[32]

Sports cars[edit]

1989 Porsche 962 co-driven with son Michael

Andretti won three 12 Hours of Sebring endurance races (1967, 1970, 1972),[3] and the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1972. In early sportscar races he competed for the Holman Moody team, but later often drove for Ferrari. He signed with Ferrari in 1971, and won several races with co-driver Jacky Ickx.[16] In 1972 he shared wins in the three North American rounds of the championship and at Brands Hatch in the UK, contributing to Ferrari's dominant victory in that year's World Championship for Makes. He also competed in the popular North American Can-Am series in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Le Mans[edit]

Andretti competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in four decades. In 1966 he shared a Holman Moody Ford MKII with Lucien Bianchi. They retired after their car dropped a valve at 10:30 pm[36] In 1967, during a 3:30 am pit stop, a mechanic inadvertently installed a front brake pad backward on his Ford MkIV. As Andretti passed under the Dunlop Bridge before the Esses, he touched his brake pedal for the first time since leaving the pits. The front wheel instantly locked, turning the car hard into the dirt embankment at 150 mph (240 km/h). The wreckage slid to a stop with Andretti badly shaken, the car sideways to oncoming traffic and the track nearly blocked. His teammates, Jo Schlesser and Roger McCluskey, crashed trying to avoid Andretti's car. McCluskey pulled Andretti to safety, and Andretti was taken to hospital for X-rays.[37][38]

Andretti did not return to Le Mans until his full-time Formula One career was over. In 1982, he partnered with son Michael in a Mirage M12 Ford. They qualified in ninth place, but the pair found their car being removed from the starting grid 80 minutes before the start of the race,[39] as an official discovered an oil cooler that was mounted behind the gearbox, which was against the rules. The car had passed initial inspection four days before the race.[39] Despite protests and complaints, the Andretti's entry was removed altogether, replaced by a Porsche 924 Carrera GTR. Their return in the following year was more successful as they finished third. The father/son team returned in 1988 with Mario's nephew John. They finished sixth in a factory Porsche 962. Following Mario's retirement from full-time racing, he decided on a return to the circuit to add a Le Mans victory to his achievements. He returned in 1995 with a second place finish. He said in a 2006 interview that he feels that the Courage Compétition team "lost [the 1995] race five times over" through poor organization. He had unsuccessful efforts in the following years with a thirteenth place in 1996, and then a DNF (Did Not Finish) for 1997. Andretti's final appearance at Le Mans was at the 2000 race, six years after his retirement from full-time racing, when he drove the Panoz LMP-1 Roadster-S at the age of 60, finishing 16th.[40]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2000, the Associated Press and RACER magazine named him Driver of the Century.[41] He was the Driver of the Year (in the United States) for three years (1967, 1978, and 1984),[42] and is the only driver to be Driver of the Year in three decades.[12] Andretti was named the U.S. Driver of the Quarter Century in 1992.[2] He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2001,[2] the United States National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1996,[6] the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1990,[11] and the Hoosier Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1970.[6]

On October 23, 2006, Andretti was awarded the highest civilian honor given by the Italian government, the Commendatore dell'Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (known as the Commendatore), in honor of his racing career, public service, and enduring commitment to his Italian heritage.[41] Enzo Ferrari is the only other recipient of the Commendatore from the world of automobile racing.

From 2007 Mario Andretti is the "Mayor" (Sindaco) of the "Free Commune of Motovun in Exile" (Libero Comune di Montona in esilio), an association of Italian exiles from Motovun.[43][44]

Mario Andretti Grand Prix of Road America[edit]

Mario was instrumental in keeping championship car racing at Road America. CART severed its ties with the track as a legal resolution of payment issues from the 2002 and 2003 series events at the track. Andretti was the middle man between CART President Chris Pook and Road America President George Bruggenthies. After six weeks both sides came to terms and signed a two-year contract. The event was renamed the "Mario Andretti Grand Prix of Road America".[8]

Elder of Andretti racing family[edit]

Mario (left) with nephew John (right) at the 2007 Indianapolis 500

Both of Mario Andretti's sons, Michael and Jeff, were auto racers. Michael followed in his father's footsteps by winning the IndyCar title, with Mario's nephew John Andretti joining the series in 1988. This meant that the Andrettis became the first family to have four relatives compete in the same series.[12] With Mario sharing driving duties with sons Michael and Jeff at the 1991 Rolex 24 at Daytona, driving a Porsche 962, the Andretti clan finished 5th.[45] Mario's grandson Marco completed his first full season in the Indy Racing League (IRL) in 2006, driving for his father Michael's Andretti Green Racing team. Marco finished second in the 2006 Indianapolis 500 and so became the first third-generation recipient of the race's Rookie of the Year Award.

Later life[edit]

Mario and his wife Dee Ann live near their grandson Marco in mansions in Bushkill Township, Pennsylvania. Dee Ann is a native of Nazareth who taught English to Andretti in 1961.[34] Dee Ann and Mario were married on November 25, 1961.[46]

Andretti has kept active after his retirement from full-time racing. He makes numerous speaking engagements before corporate audiences and is a spokesman for longtime sponsors Texaco/Havoline, Firestone and Magnaflow performance exhaust. He was occasionally a spokesman for the defunct Champ Car World Series, though he frequently attended IRL races to watch Marco compete. Andretti is vice chairman of a winery named Andretti Winery in Napa Valley, California. He owns a chain of gasoline stations, a Toyota dealership in Moon Township, Pennsylvania (just outside of Pittsburgh), car washes, car-care products, go-kart tracks, a clothing line, video games and replica cars. He also test drives cars for Road & Track and Car and Driver magazines.[5]

In July 2006 Mario took part in the Bullrun race across America.[5] The first pitstop was at the Pocono Raceway (in Andretti's state of Pennsylvania), with Gate No. 5 aptly named Andretti Road.

Media appearances[edit]

Andretti played himself on three episodes of the United States television show Home Improvement.[47] and also appears in films such as the IMAX movie Super Speedway about the making of Newman/Haas Racing cars as well as being about Mario Andretti and Michael Andretti.[47] Mario is also in the Pixar Animation Studios film Cars,[47] where his voice is used for a cameo in which he plays the 1967 Ford Fairlane in which he won the Daytona 500, a parody of his own success in that race. Mario appeared in the off-road racing documentary Dust to Glory as the race Grand Marshall, where the movie documents the 2004 Baja 1000 race.[48] Mario also wrote a racing column for the Indianapolis Star where he wrote about other drivers, equipment and cars.[46] Mario Andretti was featured in the 2007 documentary A State of Vine, where he commented on his winemaking activities. He has a voice part in the movie Turbo.

Racing career results[edit]

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Class No Tyres Car Team Co-Drivers Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1966 P
+5.0
6 G Ford GT40 Mk.II
Ford 7.0L V8
United States Holman & Moody Belgium Lucien Bianchi 97 DNF DNF
1967 P
+5.0
3 F Ford GT40 Mk.IV
Ford 7.0L V8
United States Holman & Moody Belgium Lucien Bianchi 188 DNF DNF
1983 C 21 G Porsche 956
Porsche Type-935 2.6L Turbo Flat-6
Germany Porsche Kremer Racing United States Michael Andretti
France Philippe Alliot
364 3rd 3rd
1988 C1 19 D Porsche 962C
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
Germany Porsche AG United States Michael Andretti
United States John Andretti
375 6th 6th
1995 WSC 13 M Courage C34
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
France Courage Compétition France Bob Wollek
France Eric Hélary
297 2nd 1st
1996 LMP1 4 M Courage C36
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
France Courage Compétition Netherlands Jan Lammers
United Kingdom Derek Warwick
315 13th 3rd
1997 LMP 9 M Courage C36
Porsche Type-935 3.0L Turbo Flat-6
France Courage Compétition United States Michael Andretti
France Olivier Grouillard
197 DNF DNF
2000 LMP900 11 M Panoz LMP-1 Roadster-S
Élan 6L8 6.0L V8
United States Panoz Motorsports Australia David Brabham
Denmark Jan Magnussen
315 15th 8th

Formula One World Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 WDC Pts.
1968 Gold Leaf Team Lotus Lotus 49B Ford V8 RSA ESP MON BEL NED FRA GBR GER ITA
DNS
CAN USA
Ret
MEX NC 0
1969 Gold Leaf Team Lotus Lotus 49B Ford V8 RSA
Ret
ESP MON NED FRA GBR NC 0
Lotus 63 Ford V8 GER
Ret
ITA CAN USA
Ret
MEX
1970 STP Corporation March 701 Ford V8 RSA
Ret
ESP
3
MON BEL NED FRA GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
AUT
Ret
ITA CAN USA MEX 16th 4
1971 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 312B Ferrari F12 RSA
1
ESP
Ret
MON
DNQ
NED
Ret
FRA GBR 8th 12
Ferrari 312B2 Ferrari F12 GER
4
AUT ITA CAN
13
USA
DNS
1972 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 312B2 Ferrari F12 ARG
Ret
RSA
4
ESP
Ret
MON BEL FRA GBR GER AUT ITA
7
CAN USA
6
12th 4
1974 Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing Parnelli VPJ4 Ford V8 ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA CAN
7
USA
DSQ
NC 0
1975 Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing Parnelli VPJ4 Ford V8 ARG
Ret
BRA
7
RSA
17
ESP
Ret
MON
Ret
BEL SWE
4
NED FRA
5
GBR
12
GER
10
AUT
Ret
ITA
Ret
USA
Ret
14th 5
1976 John Player Team Lotus Lotus 77 Ford V8 BRA
Ret
ESP
Ret
BEL
Ret
MON SWE
Ret
FRA
5
GBR
Ret
GER
12
AUT
5
NED
3
ITA
Ret
CAN
3
USA
Ret
JPN
1
6th 22
Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing Parnelli VPJ4B Ford V8 RSA
6
USW
Ret
1977 John Player Team Lotus Lotus 78 Ford V8 ARG
5
BRA
Ret
RSA
Ret
USW
1
ESP
1
MON
5
BEL
Ret
SWE
6
FRA
1
GBR
14
GER
Ret
AUT
Ret
NED
Ret
ITA
1
USA
2
CAN
9
JPN
Ret
3rd 47
1978 John Player Team Lotus Lotus 78 Ford V8 ARG
1
BRA
4
RSA
7
USW
2
MON
11
1st 64
Lotus 79 Ford V8 BEL
1
ESP
1
SWE
Ret
FRA
1
GBR
Ret
GER
1
AUT
Ret
NED
1
ITA
6
USA
Ret
CAN
10
1979 Martini Racing Team Lotus Lotus 79 Ford V8 ARG
5
BRA
Ret
RSA
4
USW
4
BEL
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
Ret
AUT
Ret
NED
Ret
ITA
5
CAN
10
USA
Ret
12th 14
Lotus 80 Ford V8 ESP
3
MON
Ret
FRA
Ret
1980 Team Essex Lotus Lotus 81 Ford V8 ARG
Ret
BRA
Ret
RSA
12
USW
Ret
BEL
Ret
MON
7
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
7
AUT
Ret
NED
8
ITA
Ret
CAN
Ret
USA
6
20th 1
1981 Marlboro Team Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo 179C Alfa Romeo V12 USW
4
BRA
Ret
ARG
8
SMR
Ret
BEL
10
MON
Ret
ESP
8
FRA
8
GBR
Ret
GER
9
AUT
Ret
NED
Ret
ITA
Ret
CAN
7
CPL
Ret
17th 3
1982 TAG Williams Team Williams FW07D Ford V8 RSA BRA USW
Ret
SMR BEL MON DET CAN NED GBR FRA GER AUT SUI 19th 4
Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 126C2 Ferrari V6 T ITA
3
CPL
Ret

American Open-Wheel racing results[edit]

CART[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Rank Points
1979 Team Penske Penske PC-6 Ford Cosworth TC United States
PHX
United States
ATL1
United States
ATL2
United States
IND
United States
TRE1
United States
TRE2
United States
MIS1
United States
MIS2
United States
WGL
United States
TRE3
United States
ONT
3
United States
MIS3
DNS
United States
ATL3
United States
PHX2
      11th 700
1980 Team Penske Penske PC-9 Ford Cosworth United States
ONT
United States
IND
20
United States
MIL
United States
POC
17
United States
MDO
United States
MIS1
United States
WGL
United States
MIL
United States
ONT2
United States
MIS2
1
Mexico
MEX
United States
PHX
2
          16th 580
1981 Patrick Racing Wildcat Ford Cosworth TC United States
PHX1
11
United States
MIL1
3
United States
ATL1
3
United States
ATL2
2
United States
MIS
United States
RIV
United States
MIL2
United States
MIS2
2
United States
WGL
16
Mexico
MEX
United States
PHX2
4
            11th 81
1982 Patrick Racing Wildcat 8B Ford Cosworth United States
PHX1
2
United States
ATL
11
United States
MIL1
9
United States
CLE
2
United States
MIS1
2
United States
MIL2
3
United States
POC
14
United States
RIV
23
United States
ROA
14
United States
MIS2
2
United States
PHX2
3
            3rd 188
1983 Newman/Haas Lola T-700 Ford Cosworth TC United States
ATL
5
United States
IND
23
United States
MIL
18
United States
CLE
14
United States
MIS1
3
United States
ROA
1
United States
POC
7
United States
RIV
16
United States
MDO
2
United States
MIS2
4
United States
CEA
1
United States
LAG
2
United States
PHX
2
        3rd 133
1984 Newman/Haas Lola T800 Ford Cosworth United States
LGB
1
United States
PHX1
20
United States
IND
17
United States
MIL
8
United States
POR
26
United States
MEA
1
United States
CLE
21
United States
MIS1
1
United States
ROA
1
United States
POC
19
United States
MDO
1
Canada
SAN
7
United States
MIS2
1
United States
PHX
12
United States
LAG
2
United States
CEA
2
  1st 176
1985 Newman/Haas Lola T900 Ford Cosworth United States
LGB
1
United States
IND
2
United States
MIL
1
United States
POR
1
United States
MEA
26
United States
CLE
14
United States
MIS1
10
United States
ROA
United States
POC
7
United States
MDO
7
Canada
SAN
15
United States
MIS2
21
United States
LAG
11
United States
PHX
3
United States
MIA
27
    5th 114
1986 Newman/Haas Lola T8600 Ford Cosworth TC United States
PHX1
7
United States
LGB
5
United States
IND
32
United States
MIL
5
United States
POR
1
United States
MEA
24
United States
CLE
3
Canada
TOR
3
United States
MIS1
21
United States
POC
1
United States
MDO
24
Canada
SAN
8
United States
MIS2
10
United States
ROA
9
United States
LAG
4
United States
PHX2
4
United States
MIA
11
5th 136
1987 Newman/Haas Lola T8700 Chevy A United States
LGB
1
United States
PHX
5
United States
IND
9
United States
MIL
17
United States
POR
10
United States
MEA
2
United States
CLE
10
Canada
TOR
15
United States
MIS
19
United States
POC
19
United States
ROA
1
United States
MDO
17
United States
NAZ
19
United States
LAG
17
United States
MIA
4
    6th 100
1988 Newman/Haas Lola T8800 Chevy A United States
PHX
1
United States
LGB
15
United States
IND
20
United States
MIL
17
United States
POR
5
United States
CLE
1
Canada
TOR
25
United States
MEA
2
United States
MIS
12
United States
POC
17
United States
MDO
2
United States
ROA
3
United States
NAZ
3
United States
LAG
3
United States
MIA
15
    5th 126
1989 Newman/Haas Lola T8900 Chevy A United States
PHX
8
United States
LGB
18
United States
IND
4
United States
MIL
7
United States
DET
3
United States
POR
25
United States
CLE
2
United States
MEA
20
Canada
TOR
26
United States
MIS
3
United States
POC
5
United States
MDO
7
United States
ROA
7
United States
NAZ
8
United States
LAG
2
    6th 110
1990 Newman/Haas Lola T9000 Chevy A United States
PHX
4
United States
LGB
5
United States
IND
27
United States
MIL
21
United States
DET
25
United States
POR
2
United States
CLE
4
United States
MEA
24
Canada
TOR
6
United States
MIS
3
United States
DEN
4
Canada
VAN
3
United States
MDO
2
United States
ROA
5
United States
NAZ
4
United States
LAG
26
  7th 136
1991 Newman/Haas Lola T9100 Chevy A Australia
SUR
17
United States
LGB
19
United States
PHX
9
United States
IND
7
United States
MIL
3
United States
DET
7
United States
POR
5
United States
CLE
6
United States
MEA
15
Canada
TOR
2
United States
MIS
4
United States
DEN
15
Canada
VAN
4
United States
MDO
7
United States
ROA
3
United States
NAZ
5
United States
LAG
3
7th 132
1992 Newman/Haas Lola T9200 Ford XB Australia
SUR
7
United States
PHX
17
United States
LGB
23
United States
IND
23
United States
DET
United States
POR
6
United States
MIL
6
United States
NHA
7
Canada
TOR
4
United States
MIS
15
United States
CLE
5
United States
ROA
5
Canada
VAN
6
United States
MDO
5
United States
NAZ
5
United States
LAG
2
  6th 105
1993 Newman/Haas Lola T9300 Ford XB Australia
SUR
4
United States
PHX
1
United States
LGB
18
United States
IND
5
United States
MIL
18
United States
DET
3
United States
POR
6
United States
CLE
5
Canada
TOR
8
United States
MIS
2
United States
NHA
20
United States
ROA
15
Canada
VAN
5
United States
MDO
7
United States
NAZ
13
United States
LAG
9
  6th 117
1994 Newman/Haas Lola T9400 Ford XB Australia
SUR
3
United States
PHX
21
United States
LGB
5
United States
IND
32
United States
MIL
14
United States
DET
18
United States
POR
9
United States
CLE
27
Canada
TOR
4
United States
MIS
18
United States
MDO
10
United States
NHA
19
Canada
VAN
11
United States
ROA
16
United States
NAZ
25
United States
LAG
19
  14th 45

Total: 1 championship, 19 victories

Indianapolis 500 results[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish
1965 Brawner Hawk Ford 4th 3rd
1966 Brawner Hawk Ford 1st 18th
1967 Brawner Hawk Ford 1st 30th
1968 Brawner Hawk Ford 4th 33rd
1969 Brawner Hawk Ford 2nd 1st
1970 McNamara Ford 8th 6th
1971 McNamara Ford 9th 30th
1972 Parnelli Offy 5th 8th
1973 Parnelli Offy 6th 30th
1974 Eagle Offy 5th 31st
1975 Eagle Offy 27th 28th
1976 McLaren Offy 19th 8th
1977 McLaren Cosworth 6th 26th
1978 Penske Cosworth 33rd 12th
1979 Did not enter
1980 Penske Cosworth 2nd 20th
1981 Wildcat Cosworth 32nd 2nd
1982 Wildcat Cosworth 4th 31st
1983 Lola Cosworth 11th 23rd
1984 Lola Cosworth 6th 17th
1985 Lola Cosworth 4th 2nd
1986 Lola Cosworth 30th 32nd
1987 Lola Chevrolet 1st 9th
1988 Lola Chevrolet 4th 20th
1989 Lola Chevrolet 5th 4th
1990 Lola Chevrolet 6th 27th
1991 Lola Chevrolet 3rd 7th
1992 Lola Ford-Cosworth 3rd 23rd
1993 Lola Ford-Cosworth 2nd 5th
1994 Lola Ford-Cosworth 9th 32nd

Daytona 500 results[edit]

Year Manufacturer Start Finish Team
1966 Chevrolet 39 37 Yunick
1967 Ford 12 1 Holman Moody
1968 Mercury 20 29

Tribute[edit]

At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, turn two is named the Andretti Hairpin.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ DAVE KALLMANN (June 18, 2005). "U.S. GRAND PRIX; Feel the need for Speed; Formula One racer tops". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2007-06-12. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c "Biography". International Motorsports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Larry Schwartz. "Super Mario had speed to burn". ESPN. Retrieved 2007-06-14. 
  4. ^ a b c "Andretti Races to Victory". New York Times. April 5, 1993. Retrieved 2007-09-26. 
  5. ^ a b c "Mario Andretti: Living Legend (an interview)". C16 Magazine. May 22, 2007. Archived from the original on September 14, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-14. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad "National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Inductees". [1]. Archived from the original on July 3, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-10. 
  7. ^ "Montona Napa Valley Estate Wines". Andretti Winery. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  8. ^ a b Garu D'Amato (August 2, 2003). "Appreciating Andretti". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2007-04-12. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Mario Andretti – Began Racing In Italy". sports.jrank.org. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Texaco/Havoline CART History Mario Andretti". Texaco/Havoline. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  11. ^ a b "Biography". Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  12. ^ a b c d Schwartz, Larry. "Mario Andretti synonymous with racing". ESPN. Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  13. ^ "Holman Moody owner's statistics". racing-reference.info. Retrieved 2007-07-12. 
  14. ^ a b "NASCAR and IROC driving statistics". racing-reference.info. Retrieved 2007-03-10. 
  15. ^ a b c Mattijs Diepraam, Rainer Nyberg. "THE CHAMPIONS / Mario Andretti". 8W. Retrieved 2007-06-14. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Gerald Donaldson. "Mario Andretti". Formula One. Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  17. ^ Taylor, Simon (March 2007). "Lunch with ... Mario Andretti". Motorsport. LXXXIII: 36. 
  18. ^ Taylor, Simon (March 2007). "Lunch with ... Mario Andretti". Motorsport. LXXXIII: 33–42. 
  19. ^ Tom Prankerd. "The Questor Grand Prix". forix.com. Retrieved 2007-04-15. 
  20. ^ Gill, Barrie (ed.) (1976). The World Championship 1975 – John Player Motorsport yearbook 1976. Queen Anne Press Ltd. pp. 37 & 120. ISBN 0-362-00254-1. 
  21. ^ Nye, Doug (1986). Autocourse History of the Grand Prix car 1966 – 1985. Hazleton Publishing. pp. 95–97. ISBN 0-905138-37-6. 
  22. ^ "United States Grand Prix history". Formula One. Retrieved 2007-07-12. 
  23. ^ a b c "Lotus – Ford 79". Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  24. ^ Nye (1986) p.100
  25. ^ Nye (1986) p.196
  26. ^ Roebuck, Nigel (1986). Grand Prix Greats. Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 24. ISBN 0-85059-792-7. 
  27. ^ Roebuck (1986) pp.21–22
  28. ^ "STATS F1 • Mario ANDRETTI - Involvement". Statsf1.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  29. ^ Hamilton (ed.), Maurice (1983). Autocourse 1983 – 1984. Hazleton Publishing. p. 219. ISBN 0-905138-25-2. 
  30. ^ Hamilton (ed.) (1983) p.226
  31. ^ "The Andrettis". www.superspeedway.com. Archived from the original on February 25, 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-28. 
  32. ^ a b Steve Crowe. "What curse? Andretti is back at Indy". Knight Ridder. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  33. ^ "'I didn't miss this': Andretti survives difficult weekend to get in field". CNN/Sports Illustrated. May 14, 2001. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  34. ^ a b "Andretti's only Indy 500 win came in 1969". ESPN classic. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  35. ^ "Greatest 33 Profile: Mario Andretti". 
  36. ^ "Le Mans 1966". GT40.org. Retrieved 2007-06-15. 
  37. ^ Gregor Grant (1967). "Ford Again at Le Mans". Autosport. Retrieved 2007-06-15. 
  38. ^ "Le Mans 1967". GT40.org. Retrieved 2007-06-15. 
  39. ^ a b Briggs, Ian (1991). Endurance Racing 1981–1991. Osprey Automotive. ISBN 1-85532-228-5. 
  40. ^ Watkins, Gary (June 2006). "The dream isn't over". Motorsport. LXXXII (6): 39–42. 
  41. ^ a b "Legendary race car driver Mario Andretti received commendatore honor from the Republic of Italy". Champ Car World Series. October 24, 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-11. [dead link]
  42. ^ "Greg Anderson named 2004 SPEED Channel driver of the year". Red Line Synthetic Oil. January 25, 2005. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  43. ^ "Mario Andretti, sindaco del Libero Comune di Montona in esilio" [Mario Andretti, mayor of the "Free Commune of Motovun in Exile]. La Voce del Popolo (in Italian). 2008. 
  44. ^ "''Arcipelago Adriatico'', Mario Andretti, il ''"nuovo Sindaco del Libero Comune di Montona in esilio'' (Mario Andretti, the new Mayor of the Free Commune of Motovun in Exile)". Arcipelagoadriatico.it. October 28, 2008. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  45. ^ "IMSA 1991: 24 h Daytona". ClassicCars. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  46. ^ a b "Mario Andretti". Istria on the Internet. Archived from the original on May 29, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  47. ^ a b c "Mario Andretti". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-07-10. 
  48. ^ Krefting, Kevin. "Mario Andretti, the Racer’s Racer". SPEED TV. Retrieved December 8, 2011. 

Autobiographies[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Johnny White
Indianapolis 500
Rookie of the Year

1965
Succeeded by
Jackie Stewart
Preceded by
Richard Petty
Daytona 500
Winner

1967
Succeeded by
Cale Yarborough
Preceded by
Bobby Unser
Indianapolis 500
Winner

1969
Succeeded by
Al Unser
Preceded by
Niki Lauda
Formula One World Champion
1978
Succeeded by
Jody Scheckter
Preceded by
Al Unser
International Race of Champions
Champion

IROC VI (1979)
Succeeded by
Bobby Allison
Preceded by
Al Unser
CART Series
Champion

1984
Succeeded by
Al Unser