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Feb 06, 2014 - 06:06 AM
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Legendary 1969 '500' Winner Andretti To Be Honored May 24 At IMS
Posted by: newsla on Feb 06, 2014 - 06:04 AM
IndyCar News
Legendary 1969 '500' Winner Andretti To Be Honored May 24 At IMS


The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will honor racing icon Mario Andretti in celebration of the 45th anniversary of his Indianapolis 500 victory during "Legends Day Honoring Mario Andretti" on Saturday, May 24.

 

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Andretti, the 1965 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, will participate in a question-and-answer session with fans May 24 on the IMS Pagoda Plaza Stage. Andretti will also sign autographs for fans.

"I am so honored to be part of Legends Day this year, at a place I truly love, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said Andretti, who drove the STP Oil Treatment Hawk III/Ford to victory from the second-place starting position in the 53rd Indianapolis 500.

"I just can't explain how it feels to be treated so well by the people in Indianapolis even long after retiring from the sport. They certainly love tradition. And I'm proud to have had a part in the Speedway tradition for as long as I have and feel spoiled that the fans treat me and the other drivers like kings. I just can't thank them enough. I'm looking forward to May and to being part of Legends Day."

Andretti is renowned as one the most versatile racers of all time and was named "Driver of the Century" by the Associated Press in 2000. He won everything from the Pikes Peak Hill Climb to the Daytona 500 to the Formula 1 World Championship.

Andretti won the pole at Indianapolis in 1966, 1967 and 1987, and finished as the runner-up in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" in 1981 and 1985. He finished in the top 10 11 times in 29 "500" starts, and led 556 laps, which is still third among all-time lap leaders.

"The name Mario Andretti is synonymous with speed and winning worldwide, and his accomplishments span every discipline of motorsport and every continent around the globe," said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. "But nowhere is Mario Andretti more revered or his racing talent more celebrated than at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His legendary career includes three poles and one victory in the Indianapolis 500 and history will remember him as one of the greatest to ever compete in the 500. Maybe most importantly, in true champion style, Mario Andretti continues as one of racing's greatest ambassadors and we are all looking forward to thanking and honoring him during Legends Day."

Other featured events on Legends Day include the annual Public Drivers' Meeting on pit road adjacent to the Tower Terrace grandstand, autograph sessions with the Indianapolis 500 starting field of 33 drivers and former Indy 500 drivers, and a huge Indianapolis 500 memorabilia show.

Admission to IMS on "Legends Day Honoring Mario Andretti" will be $10 for adults, with children 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult.

The 98th Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 25.

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