Mario Andretti Open To Racing Comeback, But Only Under One Condition

Mario Andretti Open To Racing Comeback, But Only Under One Condition

Mario Andretti may be 73 years old, but the racing legend thinks he still has one more race in him.

Though he has long been retired from the circuit, Andretti said this week that he could be open to the idea of racing again. But Andretti said he would only come back if he could team up with his son, Michael, and grandson, Marco, for an endurance race like 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Mario Andretti fans shouldn’t get too excited, however. His son Michael has vetoed the idea of a comeback, saying that he’s too old. That gives 73-year-old Mario a laugh, but the elder Andretti said he’s still working on his son.

“But if I can convince Michael to do it, I’ll do it,” Mario Andretti said. “I would. I still have the competitive spirit, which is good.”

Mario Andretti didn’t have a good conclusion to his long and storied racing career. After starting his professional reign with a win at the Indianapolis 500 in 1969, Andretti remained on top for more than two decades until his retirement in 1994. He made a return to the track in 2003, testing a car for Michael at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but hit debris on the track and was sent flipping end over end.

“I figured, I’m going to meet my creator,” he said of the crash. “I didn’t know which way I was going to go. But I was OK. It wasn’t my fault. I was in my element. I was lucky as hell. I landed on the wheels and only got a scratch.”

Mario stayed busy in retirement. While he was away from the track, Mario had two Indianapolis 500 victories as an owner and even made his movie debut voicing a character on the movie Cars.

But even after officially leaving racing, Mario Andretti toyed with the idea of a comeback. In 2011, at age 71, he thought about trying his luck at the IndyCar Series Las Vegas season finale, tempted by the $5 million prize offered to any non-IndyCar regular who won the race.