May 18th, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum had an event inviting guests to attend the opening of its exhibit, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mario Andretti’s winning of the Indianapolis 500.
Mario, Michael and Marco, three generations of Andretti racers were in attendance along with special guests like Johnny “JR” Rutherford, Pancho Carter, Donald Davidson, Linda Vaughn (Lady Hurst) and more. Mario shared memories of his personal history, racing career, and gratitude for the life he’s had. There were a few humorous stories mingled in.
Within the exhibit is a section dedicated to motorsports artists. Famed motorsports artist Ron Burton had several of his “Mario” paintings featured, along with other artist.
“Mario’s ’69 Winner” by Son of Indy artist, William Homeier (son of Indy 500 driver Bill Homeier) was included in the art room.
I asked Mario if he’d like to see the painting I’d created of his 1969 winning car and take a photo. He said sure. When he and his assistant saw the painting, he asked if I wanted him to sign it. Growing up in this world, that’s the last thing I’d ask; told him the photo was more than enough. After taking a few photos, Mario said, “I’m gonna sign it!” He asked his assistant for a Sharpie and promptly did so. Thank you, Mario. Glad you liked the painting of your 1969 winner.
Dad had retired from racing about the time Mario was showing up at Ascot. To my knowledge they never competed on track. Mario said he was aware of who Dad was; didn’t really know him though.
“Mario’s ’60 Winner” will be on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum in the art room of the exhibition, through November 10th.
The story of Mario’s win can be found on this page: http://f5a.33f.myftpupload.com/marios-1969-indy-500-win/ Don’t miss your out on your own “Mario’s ’69 Winner” items (prints, shirts and more) also on that page.