by Erica Love
Mario Andretti was honored for a lifetime of achievement by the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame. As a teen, Andretti came to America from post-World War II Italy, and went on to reach the pinnacle of auto racing, garnering worldwide fame.
During a career that has spanned four decades, Andretti was a Formula One, Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 winner. He also won 33 times in IndyCar, and 19 in CART. Andretti remains the only driver to capture the Indy 500, Daytona 500 and the Formula One championships, and is one of only two drivers to win in Formula One, Indy car racing, NASCAR and the World Sports Car Championship.
|Mario Andretti with His Daytona 500 Trophy||Mario Andretti Celebrates His Victory|
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73 and still one of the most recognizable names in sports, Andretti said being voted into the NMPA Hall of Fame was one of the highlights of his career. “You get that beautiful call and then it gives you a chance to pause and look back at everything that has happened to you, to count your blessings,” he said. “The greatest compliment is your work has been acknowledged, and this is what it’s all about.”
Andretti was awarded the traditional plaque and grey NMPA jacket. “Quite honestly, when some of these invitations still appear, it’s the ultimate compliment that can be paid to you,” said Andretti. “It’s because somehow they still are looking at your career after all the years.”
“I count my blessings every day because I’ve been so, so fortunate to have a long career and be able to meet so many incredible people along the way – and some of them are in this room,” he said. “I look back with no regrets whatsoever.… to be able to have a long career like I have… it allowed me to retire on my own terms.”
|Mario Andretti Wearing a Gevril 5150|