Mario Andretti / MagnaFlow Commercial

Mario Andretti's love for cars began at an early age in his native Italy when he saw great Alberto Ascari race at Monza. Influenced by this legendary driver, Andretti began his own racing career in 1959 - at the age of 19 - in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

The first of Mario's victories came in the very first race he entered in Nazareth, at the wheel of a 1948 Hudson Hornet Sportsman stock car that he, his brother and some friends had built. Mario's career flourished as he won 20 races in the Sportsman Class in his first two seasons.

The last of Mario's record 407 Champ Car races was October 9, 1994 at Laguna Seca Raceway in California. And at that point he had won just about everything: The Indy 500, The Daytona 500, The Champ Car National Championship (four times).

Mario drove with a passion that few have equated. Mario took the checkered flag 111 times during his career - a career that spanned five decades. He's been named Driver of the Year in the 60's, 70's and 80's, Driver of the Quarter Century in the 90's and America's Driver of the 20th Century.