Whether you’re a diehard auto racing fan or just a casual spectator, you’ve likely heard the name Mario Andretti. Boasting a career spanning more than 30 years, Andretti pretty much did it all, racing in everything from Formula One to IndyCar to USAC to NASCAR. With a Formula One World Championship, four IndyCar titles, and numerous other awards and accolades under his belt, Andretti will not only go down as a racing legend, but an overall sports icon.
Of course, despite having plenty of victories throughout his career, Andretti had his fair share defeats, too. And, many of those crushing defeats came at the Indianapolis 500. Yet, even in defeat, Andretti was really something else to watch on the track. In the above remastered footage from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we get an incredible POV look at Andretti running a lap during the 1966 Indy 500. It’s hard to imagine that this happened more than 50 years ago. Just check out at how amazing that looks!
Now, like 28 of his 29 attempts at the Indy 500, Andretti’s ’66 running ended in disappointment. Despite leading for 11 laps, he eventually had to drop out due to a valve issue. It wasn’t until three years later, at the 1969 Indy 500, when Andretti took his first, and only, trip to victory lane at the Indianapolis race.
Unfortunately, this win came with a steep price and spawned what many refer to as the “Andretti Curse,” which kicked off a string of bad luck at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that not only affected Mario, but also his son Michael, his son Jeff, his nephew John, and his grandson Marco. Most racers probably couldn’t bounce back from a “curse” of that magnitude. But most racers aren’t Mario Andretti.