NTT IndyCar Series legend and 1969 Indianapolis 500 champion Mario Andretti says he is excited to see what Nashville has to offer the sport as it prepares to make its debut on the calendar this year.
Speaking to Paddock Eye on Friday, Andretti said that he is excited to drive the IndyCar two seater on the streets of Nashville as he will lead the field to the green flag when the series race there on August 8. When it comes to records, Andretti says that as an American he feels more pride in having won four national championships then the Indianapolis 500 and Formula One world championship.
Andretti praised defending Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton who has equaled Michael Schumacher’s championship tally of seven, something that Mario says he thought would never happen.
When it comes to his own legacy in IndyCar, Mario told us that records are there to be broken after six time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon equaled his race winning tally of 50 series race wins and says that records are there to be broken. Mario went on to say that he loves the fact that he is still involved in the sport as an ambassador for Firestone and also involved in his son Michael’s team, Andretti Autosport and helping his grandson Marco.
When it comes to Michael, he is full of admiration for what his son has achieved in the NTT IndyCar Series as a team owner pointing to the fact that Andretti Autosport have won the Indianapolis 500 five times with Dan Wheldon in 2005, Dario Franchitti in 2007, Ryan Hunter Reay in 2014, and back to back in 2016 with then rookie Alexander Rossi and 2017 with Takuma Sato.
Andretti said that he is delighted for Michael with all of the racing activities he is involved in from IndyCar, to Formula E and the Australian Supercar championship, Mario also revealed that Michael is in talks to purchase a Formula One team in the near future.
Mario also went on to say that he was happy to see the introduction of the Aeroscreen to the NTT IndyCar Series as it is added protection for the drivers and he also pointed out that the Halo system currently being used by Formula One saved Romain Grosjean’s life following his accident in Bahrain last season.