Talking with a racing icon

Fans get a chance to chat with Mario Andretti at Carlisle Fairgrounds

By Travis L. Pickens, Assistant Sports Editor, Aug. 29, 2009
The Sentinel Online
Last updated: Sunday, August 30, 2009 12:41 AM EDT


For someone who spent 36 years of his life racing automobiles, Mario Andretti said when he walked away in 1994, he didnít have much of a problem coping with life out of the driverís seat.

ďI just didnít want to end it because itís something I enjoyed doing so much,Ē said Andretti, who spoke Saturday during the Corvettes at Carlisle show at the Carlisle Fairgrounds, where there were an estimated 4,000 Corvettes on display. ďBut I also wanted to be as careful as possible not to overstay because Iíve seen some of my best friends and my peers that stayed too long and were not competitive. I didnít want to have that as the last memory of my career.

ďIn 1994 I was already 54 years of age and thatís about as old as you can get and drive at that level. I probably could have gotten a couple more years out of it but no regrets. Ultimately, Iím glad that I got out of it when I did and can only be thankful for all the years I had in my career.Ē

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