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Mario Andretti to receive the 2017 Argetsinger Award from the IMRRC

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Mario Andretti at the 1969 Indianapolis 500. Photo courtesy Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Established in 2014 and named for the man who brought motor racing to Watkins Glen, the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award is presented annually by the International Motor Racing Research Center (IMMRC) to the “person in the motorsports industry who is recognized universally for having advanced and improved the sport,” and “brings prestige to motorsports and demonstrates commitment to the future of racing.” For 2017, the IMMRC has selected Mario Andretti, who will receive the award at a formal dinner on August 31 at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York.

Bobby Rahal, IMMRC Governing Council chairman, called his former Indy Car series rival, “an icon of the world, let alone the sport of auto racing,” adding, “The name ‘Mario’ is immediately recognized around the globe, in the same way other one-name celebrities have become household words, such as Elvis and Pele. His impact on the sport for more than 50 years cannot be measured.”

Andretti’s motor racing career began in 1959, driving a 1948 Hudson Hornet (shared with his brother Aldo) on dirt ovals near his adopted home town of Nazareth, Pennsylvania.  Over the next five-plus decades, Andretti proved adept at driving everything from stock cars to Formula 1 cars, becoming only the second American citizen (after Phil Hill) to capture a Formula 1 World Championship. He remains the only driver to have won the Daytona 500 (in 1967), the Indianapolis 500 (in 1969) and the Formula 1 World Championship (in 1978). In addition to being named Driver of the Year in three decades (the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s), Andretti was named Driver of the Quarter Century in 1992, and was selected by the Associated Press and RACER as Driver of the Century in 2000.

He has long supported the work of the IMRRC, twice serving on the organization’s Driver’s Council and twice chairing its annual membership drive. Of the organization’s significance, Andretti said,

The International Motor Racing Research Center is doing valuable work, taking car of the history of racing. The collections are a great source of information, and they’re always expanding. This success shows that we in racing understand how important the work is, and I’m proud to have been involved with teh Center from the beginning.

Past recipients of the Argetsinger Award include Chip Ganassi (2014), Richard Petty (2015), and Roger Penske (2016). The awards dinner, presented by NASCAR, the International Speedway Corporation, Watkins Glen International and IMSA, is open to the public, but tickets (priced at $250 per person) are limited. For additional information, or to purchase tickets visit