photo by flickr user Bryce Womeldurf
Update 7/27/12: ESPN Radio 100.3 talked with Andretti yesterday about racing, his legacy and tomorrow's event at the Myrtle Beach Speedway.
Enjoy the interview and read all about this Saturday's event below.
Update 7/23/12: We've got more information about the event, which includes a free outdoor movie on Friday night.
Via press release from the Myrtle Beach Speedway:
The “Driver of the Century” will be one of those honored on this special night. Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, championships in USAC and CART, and a World Formula One Champion will be the speedway's guest, Mario Andretti.
Included in the nights activities will be a collection of historic and collectable race cars from the by-gone days of coaches and coupes, including the former champion of RAMBI Raceway Tom Lupo’s 1955 Chevrolet. Mack Sarvis is one of the organizers of the gathering. He has been around the drivers and cars for 50 years and felt it was time to honor the dirt and asphalt heroes who chased Winged Victory atop a shiny trophy. Mack Sarvis has been instrumental in establishing PALM (Palmetto Academy for Learning Motorsports), a new charter school in the Horry County school system. Many of the cars that will be on display have been restored by the students and staff of PALM.
Friday night is free to view the cars behind the main grandstands along with an outdoor movie under the stars. The feature fill is the musical comedy, "Speedway," starring Elvis Presley and Nancy Sinatra. The show is rated G, starts at 8:30 p.m. and there will be free hot dogs and soft drinks served, courtesy of Bruce James Racing. Bruce grew up going to the old Coastal Speedway and RAMBI and is one of the forces behind preserving the old race cars for historical purposes. Bruce James owns many of the race cars and races them in events across the Carolinas.
Saturday night's racing card will feature NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Models, Chargers, Mini-Stocks and a special exhibition of the Vintage cars running on the famed Myrtle Beach Speedway. The night will start with the pit gates opening at 3 p.m., grandstands 5 p.m., race time 7:30 p.m. and the viewing area for the vintage cars will be in the parking lot on and off all day except when the cars on the track practicing.
First report: On Saturday, July 28, 2012, racing legend Mario Andretti is scheduled to appear as part of an antique car show and race exhibition at the Myrtle Beach Speedway.
While Mario Andretti is best known for a résumé filled with championships across all forms of racing, he's currently involved in a variety of industries including the wine business and a racing school.
The Mario Andretti Racing Experience offers fans an opportunity to drive an Indy car much like the NASCAR Racing Experience gives them the opportunity to drive a stock car. The two are both owned by Driving 101, LLC and run at the same tracks across the country with the exception of the Darlington Raceway and Myrtle Beach Speedway. While this is wild speculation, could there be a possibility that this open-wheel experience will become available locally? Time will tell and I, personally, have my fingers crossed. Big time.
The race on July 28th will feature late models, Chargers, mini-stocks, and vintage cars. There will be a vintage car show from 4 to 8 p.m. Grandstands open at 5 p.m., practice is at 6 p.m., and qualifying begins at 7 p.m. The special vintage car race will run from 8 to 8:30 p.m. You can read more about the schedule here. To purchase tickets, visit the Speedway's site here. Adults are admitted for $12 and children ages 12 and under are free.