Date Last Updated: July 17, 2019

The Legends of Auto Racing

Pioneers in the auto racing industry, record setting racing drivers and masters of the track – these are the Legends of Auto Racing.

The name Andretti is synonymous with speed. Mario Andretti is the most successful American racing car driver, most notable for winning the Indianapolis 500 race in 1969. His other wins include four Champ Car titles, the Formula One World Championship in 1978, and the IROC championship in 1979. He is considered by many as the finest all-round racing driver and was named “Driver of the Century” in 2000 by RACER magazine. In 2000 Mario Gabriele Andretti was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. Mario Andretti’s son Michael and grandson Marco are also highly regarded racing drivers.

Women have also achieved legendary status in auto racing. Janet Guthrie is one of the best-known woman racers of the past. Guthrie took ninth place in the Indianapolis 500 of 1978, driving for a team she formed and managed by herself. She came in fifth place at the Indy Car race at Milwaukee of 1979 – the best position by a woman in 21 years. She came in sixth at the NASCAR Winston Cup race in 1977, a result that still stands as the best by a woman in the super speedway era. Janet Guthrie has been inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Dale Earnhardt Sr. is perhaps the greatest auto racing legend. Earnhardt had already received much respect as a NASCAR driver and winning team owner even before his tragic and untimely death in 2001. He was the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Champion for 7 seasons and NMPA Driver of the year for 5 years. Earnhardt is also the only six-time winner of the Busch Clash and won the Winston All-Star Race three times. Twice he was named American Driver of the Year, and he took home the “Most Popular Driver” Award in 2001. Not only was Dale Earnhardt Sr. known for his amazing driving ability, he also was known to his many friends and acquaintances as a wonderful person both on and off the track.

The long history of auto racing has produced an equally long line of auto racing legends, many of which are honored by their inclusion in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.