Andretti is a name synonymous with the sport of auto racing, and John Andretti is welcomed as the family’s third member into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame joining his uncle, Mario, and his cousin, Michael. John’s father, Aldo, is Mario’s twin and his godfather is IndyCar legend, A.J. Foyt.
Driving since the age of nine when he took up go-kart racing, Andretti has made his mark in all types of auto racing including NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and USAC midgets. Born in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, John grew up near Indianapolis with dreams of competing at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
It was in the Indy PPG/CART series where John got his feet wet professionally in 1987. He raced in five events and won rookie of the race honors each time. Just a year later, he made his debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and took 21st due to mechanical woes after getting as high as seventh place.
1991 was a big year for John as he claimed victory in his biggest race to date, winning the Gold Coast Grand Prix in Australia. Later that year, John finished fifth at the Indy 500. A week after that, Michael, John and Mario took the top three spots during a race in Milwaukee for the only known time an entire family finished first, second and third in a motorsports race.
In 1994, Andretti moved over into the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, eventually joining Petty Enterprises. That year, Andretti accomplished a feat that nobody had up to that point and only few have since, competing in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola World 600 on the same day. Three years later, Andretti won the Pepsi 400 at the Daytona International Speedway on the NASCAR circuit.
Andretti ended up as the last NASCAR driver to win a cup race for Petty Enterprises in 2008. He also finished in the top 10 at the Indy 500 four times. In 2012, John even got to be teammates with his only son, Jarett, during the 24 at Daytona event.
Off the track, John is an accomplished father, husband and businessman that also finds time for his charitable ventures. He co-founded the Kroger Race for Riley presented by Cheerios to benefit Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Entering its 18th year, the race has raised more than $2 million.