On This Day

Mario Andretti

Racing Car Driver Mario Andretti
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

Profession: Racing Car Driver


Biography: He won the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, the Formula One World Championship and the Pikes Peak Hillclimb.

Born: February 28, 1940
Birthplace: Montona, Italy
Age: 82 years old

Generation: Silent Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Dragon
Star Sign: Pisces

Married Life

  • 1961-11-25 Racing car driver Mario Andretti (21) weds high school sweetheart Dee Ann Hoch (19)

Historical Events

  • 1967-02-26 9th Daytona 500: Mario Andretti wins his first and only NASCAR Grand National event; only time driver born outside the US has ever won the Great American Race
  • 1969-05-30 Indianapolis 500: Mario Andretti leads for 116 laps to win for car owner Andy Granatelli in record time of 3:11:14.71; breaks previous record by nearly 5 minutes
  • 1978-09-10 The single point American Lotus driver Mario Andretti earns for finishing 6th at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza is enough to clinch his first Formula 1 World Drivers Championship
  • 1978-10-08 American Mario Andretti in a Lotus finishes 10th in the season ending Canadian Grand Prix at Île Notre-Dame Circuit, but wins his first Formula 1 World Drivers Championship by 13 points from Ronnie Peterson
  • 1981-05-24 Indianapolis 500: Bobby Unser crosses finish line ahead of Mario Andretti; Unser disqualified for pit lane infraction, later reinstated for his 3rd race victory
  • 1984-05-27 Indianapolis 500: 1979 champion Rick Mears wins second Indy 500 two laps ahead of the field after contenders Tom Sneva and Mario Andretti drop out in second half of the race
  • 1985-05-26 Indianapolis 500: Danny Sullivan wins by 24 seconds from Mario Andretti after surviving famous 360° spin on lap 120
  • 1987-05-06 Mario Andretti sets one-lap speed record at Indy at 218.204 MPH
  • 1988-05-29 Indianapolis 500: Rick Mears claims his third-career Indy 500 victory; 50th victory in Championship racing for owner Roger Penske and Penske Racing

Famous Racing Car Drivers