IMS Press release
INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - Driver Michael Andretti and longtime Indianapolis 500 Chief Starter Pat Vidan are the 2012 inductees to the Auto Racing Hall of Fame.
The induction ceremony is Thursday, May 24 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.
Andretti made 16 Indianapolis 500 starts between 1984 and 2007, with a best finish of second in 1991 after a spellbinding duel with four-time "500" winner Rick Mears. Andretti recorded five top-five finishes at Indianapolis. He also led 431 laps, 10th on the all-time list.
While Andretti didn't win the Indianapolis 500 as a driver, he has entered the winner's circle twice as a team owner, in 2005 with Dan Wheldon and in 2007 with Dario Franchitti. He continues to serve as owner of IZOD IndyCar Series team Andretti Autosport and Andretti Sports Marketing.
Andretti, a native of Nazareth, Pa., also won 42 CART-sanctioned events as a driver between 1985 and 2002, capturing the season title in 1991 and finishing second five times. He also finished third in the Italian Grand Prix in 1993 as a McLaren teammate to three-time Formula One World Champion Ayrton Senna.
Vidan became one of the most iconic figures in motorsports during his tenure as chief starter for the Indianapolis 500 from 1962-79. The nattily-dressed Vidan flagged the "500" and other major United States Auto Club events with considerable flair, grace and showmanship, working from the track surface until safety issues dictated a move to the flag stand.
The muscular Vidan operated a health studio in the Town of Speedway, Ind., which was popular with many Indianapolis 500 drivers. Vidan, a native of Portland, Ore., died in 1983.
Special recognition will be paid at the induction ceremony to the 11 living multiple Indianapolis 500 winners and late two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Wheldon, who died last October after winning the "500" last May.
The Auto Racing Hall of Fame, established in 1952, is located at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum.