Mario Andretti named Honorary Race Official for the Daytona 500
Daytona International Speedway to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the racing icon’s 1967 Daytona 500 victory.
Legendary racing icon Mario Andretti has been named an Honorary Race Official for 59th Daytona 500 at the famed Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 26, according to a release by the Florida track.
Andretti, who will turn 77 two days after the Great American Race, had just one victory in NASCAR’s Premier Series with crew chief Jake Elder beating out Holman-Moody teammate Fred Lorenzen. He is just one of four drivers to win both the Daytona 500 and Rolex 24 At Daytona, along with A.J. Foyt, Jamie McMurray, and most recently, Jeff Gordon.
As part of the celebration of the elder Andretti’s accomplishment a half-century ago, a replica of his race-winning No. 11 Ford will be on display at the UNOH Fanzone, where he will take part in question-and-answer sessions in fan hospitality area.
As part of his honorary status, Andretti will be introduced at the drivers’ meeting, take part in the pre-race ceremonies and ride in one of the parade cars.
“It’s an honor to host Mario Andretti for the DAYTONA 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said in a press release. “Mario is part of an exclusive club of champions at the ‘World Center of Racing’ and arguably has the most recognizable name in the entire history of auto racing. His victory here in 1967 has grown to legendary status and is truly one of the most significant moments in the history of the speedway and our community.”
Best known for his open-wheel acumen, Andretti won 33 times in the AAA / USAC Champ Car Series, 19 in CART and 12 more in Formula One. He was named Co-Driver of Century by the Associated Press in 1999 and accumulated the 1978 Formula One World Championship and four IndyCar Series titles. In addition, he is just one of two drivers to have won both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500, along with A.J. Foyt.