Grand Prix Salute Honoring Mario Andretti
INDIANAPOLIS – The Michael Andretti Foundation announced today that racing legend Mario Andretti will be an honored guest at the Grand Prix Salute, scheduled for Aug. 23 at the Andretti Winery in Napa, Calif.
With Michael and Marco Andretti already scheduled to attend, this will bring three generations of the renowned racing family together for the charitable event. Also schedule to attend is IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay along with James Hinchcliffe and E.J. Viso.
Often referred to as the greatest race car driver of all time, Mario won just about everything in his legendary career, including the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, the Formula One World Championship and the Pikes Peak Int’l Hill Climb. He won the Indy car National Championship four times and was a three-time winner at Sebring. He won races in sports cars, sprint cars and stock cars – on ovals, road courses, drag strips, on dirt and on pavement. He won at virtually every level of racing since he arrived in America from his native Italy at age 15.
Mario took the checkered flag 111 times during his career – a career that stretched five decades. And he was competitive for all of those years: He was named Driver of the Year in three different decades (the 60s, 70s, 80s), Driver of the Quarter Century (in the 90s) and Driver of the Century in January, 2000.
Today Mario is a successful businessman off the track and serves as spokesman, associate and friend to top executives around the world. Among his prestigious honors since retiring from racing, he was awarded the title of Commendatore from the Republic of Italy in 2006 and in 2008 the Library of Congress added him to its “Living Legends” List.
This year’s event will mark the ninth anniversary of the relationship between The Michael Andretti Foundation and the Andretti Winery and the 10th year of operation for the foundation founded by racing legend Michael Andretti. The Foundation will once again join forces with Speedway Children’s Charities, the charitable arm of Infineon Raceway, to benefit The Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley, Hanna Boys Center and Valley of the Moon Teen Center.