Biography of Auto Racing Athlete Mario Andretti
About the biography of auto racer Mario Andretti, history and information about the athlete.
Mario Andretti, one of the world's most versatile racing drivers, has been successful as a driver with sprint cars, modified stocks, Formula One cars, and the Indianapolis-type cars on racing surfaces ranging from dirt tracks to paved ovals.
His record of achievements since joining USAC in 1964 includes 34 victories--17 on paved ovals, 9 on paved-road courses, and 7 on dirt tracks and the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. He won the Indianapolis 500-mi. race in 1969.
Born in Italy, Andretti resides in Nazareth, Pa. He drove his 1st race in 1953, only 13 years after he was born. It was a Formula Junior at Ancona, Italy. He began racing modified stock cars when he was 18, later moving to sprint cars and midgets.
He was named Rookie of the Year at Indianapolis in 1965, finishing 3rd in the race. The same year he captured the national driving championship.
Andretti set qualifying speed records at Indianapolis in 1966, but went out of the race early due to engine trouble. He again won the national driving title. He finished 2nd among USAC drivers in 1967 and 1968, but regained the driving championship in 1969.
His victories include the Daytona 500 (the biggest stock car race), a couple of Formula One Grand Prix races, and 3 international endurance races (including the Sebring 12-Hour sports car). He held the world's closed-course speed record of 214.158 mph until broken by A. J. Foyt in 1974.
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