Legendary Driver Andretti says Indycar Racing Climbing Back from Abyss

Mario Andretti says 100th Indy 500 will help renew interest in Indycar racing lost after series split apart in 1996.

Dawn Uhl-Zifilippo/WDET

The stars of Indycar racing are preparing for next weekend’s Detroit Grand Prix.

But they have a stop to make first: Sunday’s 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

The race, and the sport, saw a dramatic drop in popularity in the mid-1990’s when internal squabbling briefly broke the series into two rival leagues.

At the same time the popularity of NASCAR stock car racing skyrocketed.

NASCAR even started its own race at Indy, the Brickyard 400.

WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter traveled to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to talk about the state of the sport with the only driver ever to win the Formula One World Championship, the Indy 500 and NASCAR’s crown jewel, the Daytona 500.

And that driver, Mario Andretti, says the Indy 500 remains the one auto race that means more than all the others.


  • Quinn Klinefelter
    Quinn Klinefelter is a Senior News Editor at 101.9 WDET. In 1996, he was literally on top of the news when he interviewed then-Senator Bob Dole about his presidential campaign and stepped on his feet.