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Aldo Andretti

Born in Italy in 1940, Aldo Andretti is the twin of world-famous Mario Andretti, whose name is a household word in the glitzy world of auto racing. The twin brothers both became inspired about racing after seeing a race at Monza, a historic speedway just north of Milan.

When the boys were eight years old, the family fled to a refugee camp to escape a WWII-related Yugoslavian occupation. They remained in the camp for seven years, at which time they moved to Nazareth, Pennsylvania. The twins found an oval track there and the rest, as they always say, is history.

Check out this video of the last race ever staged at the Nazareth Half-Mile Speedway, the circuit where Mario and Aldo Andretti both began their careers.

 

The brothers built a stock car together when they were nineteen, and entered into the fray. After a month, both Aldo and Mario had two wins apiece, but Aldo had a serious crash and suffered a skull fracture that put him into a coma. The next season, however, he was back at it.

In 1969, Aldo Andretti finally had a crash bad enough to force even him into retirement. When his car spun out, it sped into a fence, causing fourteen fractures in Aldo’s facial bones and permanently disfiguring his face. Ironically, the accident was not his fault.

Aldo’s brother Mario went on to racing stardom, becoming a champion at the Indianapolis 500-mile race, the Formula One and the Daytona 500.

Aldo’s son John Andretti has continued in the family’s tire tracks, making his mark in racing after practically growing up at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Aldo has traveled extensively to attend his son’s many races, and has, in fact, never missed a lap of a single John Andretti race in Indianapolis.

When John’s father Aldo was in St. Vincent’s Hospital during the 2009 Indy 500, John was at his side. “To me,” says Aldo Andretti’s son John about his father, “he’s the toughest guy I’ve ever met.”

Aldo Andretti lives in Brownsburg, an Indianapolis suburb in Central Indiana, about as close to Speedway‘s IMS as you can get. He and son John are active in Indianapolis sports as well as Indianapolis charities, and both are frequent Hoosiers in the news and well-known and respected Brownsburg people. Mario, John’s now not-so-identical twin, is retired in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

 


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