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Mario Andretti’s 1969 victory in the Indianapolis 500 will be celebrated with a special logo and a display of some of his most famous cars in the IMS Hall of Fame Museum.
Andretti earned the Rookie of the Year title at the 1965 Indy 500 after starting fourth and finished third, but became famed for his bad luck at race.
In his 29 attempts at Indy, he completed the 500 miles on only five occasions, despite ranking third in the all-time lap-leaders (556 laps).
But in May 1969, he led 116 of the 200 laps to score the most prestigious win of his IndyCar career in Andy Granatelli’s STP-sponsored Clint Brawner-designed Hawk III-Ford.
This was despite a slipping clutch, an overheating engine and a sticking wheel nut obliging him to run the race on only one set of tyres.
Andretti and IMS president Doug Boles unveiled the 50th anniversary logo on Wednesday.
It features Andretti waving next to the Borg-Warner Trophy, with the zero in the ’50’ representing the oval track and the historic Yard of Bricks start-finish line.
“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum will unveil a specially curated exhibit dedicated to Andretti and his iconic career,” read an IMS press release announcing the news.
The exhibit will feature historic Andretti cars, many making their first appearance at the Museum.
It will also have video and audio recordings of Andretti and his family, and personal memorabilia to highlight his prestigious accomplishments.
Despite winning four IndyCar championships and 52 victories, his 1969 triumph would prove to Andretti’s sole Indy 500 win.
Andretti also scored 12 Formula 1 wins and the 1978 world championship (the last for Team Lotus).
He took pole for his first start in a Lotus 49 ‘cigar tube’ at Watkins Glen in 1968, and for his penultimate start, driving the ground-effect turbocharged Ferrari 126 C2B at Monza in ’82.
Andretti took both Ford and Ferrari to victories in the Sebring 12 Hours, won the Daytona 24 Hours, and helped Ferrari conquer the world sportscar scene in the early 1970s.
He won his class at Le Mans, beat the NASCAR regulars to triumph in the Daytona 500 in 1967, racked up numerous sprint car and midget wins, and took overall honors at the legendary Pikes Peak Hillclimb.