Mario Andretti visits Monza for the first time since 1983

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Racing legend and 1978 Formula 1 world champion Mario Andretti returned to Monza today for the first time in 31 years, bringing an American feel to the paddock in promotion of the United States Grand Prix.

Andretti last came to Monza in 1983, but it is a track that holds great significance. This is where he first watched a Formula 1 race in 1954, and also where he clinched the 1978 world championship. However, on the same weekend as his title victory, his teammate and close friend Ronnie Peterson was killed in an accident. Coming back to Monza fills Andretti with mixed emotions, and he spoke about this during a track walk with NBCSN’s Will Buxton which you can watch during our broadcast this weekend.

This weekend, he is back in town to promote the United States GP which will be held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas this November. Appropriately, he has brought a number of Stetson hats with him, which were given out to the drivers in the paddock on Thursday.

Andretti also commentated on a sim race between Buxton and Force India’s Sergio Perez later in the day (and yes, Force India, that’s something we thought you would never tweet).

Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Alexander Rossi, Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel, Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne were just some of the drivers to chat with Andretti and don a Stetson. Check out some of the pictures below.

The United States Grand Prix takes place at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas between October 31st and November 2nd. For more information, be sure to visit www.circuitoftheamericas.com.

Holmatro, INDYCAR renew partnership in five-year extension

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Holmatro, a long-time partner of INDYCAR and title sponsor of the Holmatro Safety Team, have renewed a long-standing partnership that will see Holmatro and INDYCAR continue their partnership in a five-year contract extension.

“Holmatro has been a trusted partner and supplier in Indy car racing for more than 20 years,” said president of competition and operations Jay Frye. “Holmatro’s growth parallels some of the great strides made in safety for INDYCAR drivers and teams. We’re pleased to see this partnership continue, as it is a great benefit to everyone in the paddock.”

Holmatro’s relationship with INDYCAR dates back to 1991, when they first supplied tools to the safety team of the CART sanctioned PPG IndyCar World Series. Holmatro branding will continue to be featured on the firesuits, vehicles, and transporters of INDYCAR’s safety team throughout the agreement.

“Holmatro is extremely pleased to extend our partnership with INDYCAR for another five years,” said Tony Barboza, general manager for Holmatro. “We’re extremely proud to be affiliated with the premier on-track safety team in the world. Members of the safety team serve on their home fire departments when not at INDYCAR events and, like them, we believe in constant improvement and innovation. When the race is for life, you can count on the INDYCAR Safety Team and Holmatro rescue tools.”

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