Hero: Mario Andretti

All This Hero Does Is Win, Win, Win

Hero: Mario Andretti’s name has meant speed for decades, but do you actually know the extent of his dominance on the track? Here are some fun facts for you: Andretti is the only driver who’s ever won the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and the Formula One World Championship and a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He’s also the only driver to win IndyCar races in four different decades—the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s—and the only driver to race and win on all different types of tracks in one season—we’re talking road courses, paved ovals and dirt tracks.

All this from a boy who spent his childhood racing with his twin brother behind his parents’ back. The Andretti boys were born in Italy (in an area that is now Croatia) where they would race wooden cars through the hilly streets when most kids would be starting Kindergarten. At 15, they moved to Pennsylvania, and the brothers worked in a garage and secretly raced modified stock cars—and obviously, they won most of those races. Thus began Andretti’s winning career that spanned from 1959 to the year 2000, when he made an appearance driving at Le Mans at the age of 60. Hats off to you, Mario.