Mario Needs Some Help

Posted by Iannucci | 8/22/2006 | 3 comments »
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I love Mario Andretti. Period.
My favorite driver of all-time. Exclamation point.

OK, that being said it drives me nuts how for years he has served as a big CART/Champ Car pimp. Even with his family so invested in the IRL, he still thinks more of CCWS drivers.

Further proof is in this puff piece in the Cambridge (Ontario) Times.

Now, to no one’s surprise Andretti 1.0 says his favorite driver is his grandson. Duh. But other than family members, here’s what he had to say.

"If I didn't have anybody in the family, there's this kid A.J. Allmendinger. He always looks like a potential winner and has found the perfect situation (when he changed teams from RuSport to Forsythe Championship Racing ), where he's shown that he's not just a flash in the pan by winning his first race since he switched. Now he's continuing and driving his teammate Paul Tracy crazy."
Allmendinger is having a fantstic Champ Car season, but...what? Allow me to serve as an impromptu writer for Andretti Green Racing and offer a slightly different version. This is what Mario should have said.

"If I didn't have anybody in the family, there's this kid Danica Patrick. She always looks like a potential winner and has found the perfect situation (when she changed teams from Rahal Letterman to Andretti Green), and she's shown that she's not just a flash in the pan by staying in the IRL. Now she's continuing and driving her teammate Jeff Simmons crazy."
Hopefully Mario can print that, cut it out, and save it in his wallet – just in case he has any further interview requests.

You’re welcome, Mario. It’s the least I could do for my favorite driver.

3 comments

  1. pressdog // August 23, 2006 10:17 AM  

    Mario don't dig the IRL. That's pretty plain. He's a street/road racer dude. His attention to the IRL will endure right up until he gets Marco that F1 gig.

  2. Ken // September 14, 2007 9:56 AM  

    Hello Jeff... First off, in order to keep all of this in perspective, lets go back in time for a moment to the mid 90's (ala' Scooby Doo style if you like).... Way back to when Tony George decided he was going to revolutionize/cheapen (oops, I meant to say more reasonably price) open wheel racing for everyone by selecting the chassis, limiting engine selection and racing at only high speed ovals. And oh yeah, for anyone who ever wanted a shot at winning the 500 again, this was the only way you're gonna get there.... You can feel the vise tightening in the general vicinity of your groin already can’t you? Remember also if you will, a fairly full CART schedule with some very talented drivers zipping around some amazing road courses.
    After the split, we enjoyed very little high caliber open wheel racing, lots of blown engines and tranny problems, the parade of incoming and outgoing engine manufacturers was much like a revolving door.... Much like some of the racing talent…. It, the racing has gotten somewhat better over the past few years, but it has never been what it was at CART.... The pinnicle of motor sport whether you like it or not is F1, CART was always a ladder to F1. Personally I enjoy road/street racing a great deal more than 200 lefts every Sunday.... It will always be the true measure of a real race car driver period.... So, if you are Mario, and you were treated the way he has been treated by TG for 10 years, (Because Mario spoke his mind) and you came from CART and ultimately won a world Championship in F1, how do you suppose you would feel... BTW... How many drivers from the IRL have gone over to F1 lately.... Hmmmmm.... How many drivers from Champ Car have gone over to F1 lately....? Yeah I don't care for that rouge bespectacled cheese eater either but he’s gone to F1 just the same.... No matter how badly Champ Car sucks right now, it will always be a much better breeding ground for F1 drivers and much more of a test of real driving ability than the IRL will ever be.... Ken…. p.s. Both my fiancé and myself enjoy your blog a great deal….

  3. Jeff Iannucci // September 14, 2007 10:17 AM  

    Thanks Ken for the thoughtful comment.

    What I was saying more or less was not that Mario shouldn't follow Champ Car at all but that since Mario is hanging around with Michael in the IRL it would be nice of him to talk up drivers on his son's team instead of anyone else. Just as a courtesy.

    But this was a year ago now, and I certainly think no less of Mario for his views. He's entitled to them.