John Andretti Eyes Starts in Indy 500, Brickyard 400 This Year INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, March 26, 2004 -- John Andretti was the first driver to complete the Memorial Day "Double" of the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600. Now he wants to complete...
John Andretti Eyes Starts in Indy 500, Brickyard 400 This Year
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, March 26, 2004 -- John Andretti was the first driver to complete the Memorial Day "Double" of the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600.
Now he wants to complete another rare racing double -- running the 88th Indianapolis 500 on May 30 and 11th Brickyard 400 on Aug. 8.
"I've taken the first step," said Andretti, who has driven in two of the five NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races this season, including finishing 13th in the Daytona 500.
"Every year I've had an opportunity to come back. Now I can do it. I want to see where everything sets. I want to do it right.
"(The Indy 500) has never fallen off my radar screen, and it never will. It's the Indy 500. Good, bad or indifferent, I can't wait for it to come around. It's been a part of my life."
Only three drivers have competed in the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 during the same year: John Andretti (1994), Robby Gordon (1997, 2001, 2002, 2003) and Tony Stewart (1999, 2001).
Andretti, 41, is son of Aldo Andretti and nephew of Aldo's twin brother, Mario, one of auto racing's all-time greats. John's cousin is Michael Andretti, co-owner of a four-car team competing in the Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series. Michael, five months older than John, retired as a driver at the end of last year's Indianapolis 500.
John Andretti has made seven Indianapolis 500 starts and finished in the top 10 in the last four in which he ran, from 1991-94. That most recent start, in 1994, initiated what now is commonly called the Memorial Day "Double" -- driving in both the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at midday and the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C., in the late afternoon.
Andretti, who did not reveal who he is talking with about an Indy 500 start, moved to NASCAR full time in 1994. He has driven in 329 races and won twice. He was released by Petty Enterprises after 14 races last year and finished the season driving for Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, Haas CNC Racing and Richard Childress Racing. He drove for DEI in his two NEXTEL Cup starts this season.
Tickets: Tickets are available for all three events in 2004 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the 88th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 30, the United States Grand Prix on Sunday, June 20 and the 11th Brickyard 400 on Sunday, Aug. 8. For information or to purchase tickets, log on to www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, or call the IMS ticket office at (800) 822-INDY or (317) 492-6700.