MOTORSPORTS ICON MARIO ANDRETTI NAMED USAC.25 MIDGET HONORARY GRAND MARSHAL AT ISM RACEWAY
Story By: Richie Murray/USAC Racing
Photos By: RacersGuide.com Photo Staff
Speedway, IN (March 7, 2018) – The United States Auto Club (USAC), the most diversified sanctioning body in the U.S., announced legendary motorsports great Mario Andretti as the Honorary Grand Marshal for the USAC.25 quarter-midget event at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, Ariz.
The USAC.25 series race at ISM Raceway April 5-7 is in conjunction with USAC’s Silver Crown Champ Car Series and the Verizon IndyCar Series. It’s the second of eight races that make up the USAC.25 series national schedule. The 2018 USAC.25 season kicked off at Daytona International Speedway in Feb., where more than 340 kids from all across the country came to compete.
Andretti’s last of his 52 IndyCar Series victories occurred at ISM Raceway 25 years ago. At the age of 53, this win in 1993 made him the oldest IndyCar race winner.
Considered by many as arguably the greatest race car driver in the history of the sport, Andretti’s racing resume spans an incredible five decades. He took the checkered flag 111 times during his career. Andretti’s list of accomplished feats include being the only driver to ever win the Indy 500, Daytona 500 and the Formula 1 World Championship.
His early career wins came while behind the wheel of midget and sprint cars. Andretti joined USAC in 1964 and finished that year third in the sprint car point standings. Two years later, he earned his first IndyCar win and his first of four IndyCar championships. He would go on to collect a total of 52 IndyCar victories and a series-record 67 pole positions. Throughout his illustrious and versatile career, Andretti earned Driver of the Year titles in three different decades (60s, 70s, 80s), Driver of the Quarter Century (90s) and Associated Press Driver of the Century (2000).
“I’m happy to have the opportunity to visit with these young USAC.25 Series racers,” said the 1974 USAC National Dirt Track Champion. “This is where it all starts in motorsports, kids with dreams and goals beginning what could be their potential career. I was able to pursue what I set as my goals at a very young age, just like these kids are doing. I applaud them for their focus, will and determination.”
With at least 40 USAC.25 clubs located all across the country, thousands of kids ages five and up, along with their families, participate in USAC-sanctioned quarter midget series events. Some notable NASCAR graduates of quarter midget racing include Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, Ed Carpenter and Sarah Fisher.
Since 1956, United States Auto Club (USAC) has proven itself as being the most diversified motorsports sanctioning body in the world. It is the official sanctioning body of many of today’s largest racing series including its own suite of circle track series in Sprint, Midget and .25 Midget racing (quarter midgets), Pirelli World Challenge, Red Bull Global Rallycross, American Rally Association, International Snowmobile Racing, Robby Gordon Stadium Trucks, TORC Off Road Championship, Ultra 4 Racing, Formula Race Promotions and Karting. USAC has over 17,000 competitors racing at more than 1,000 sanctioned events globally.