John Andretti, who revealed earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with colon cancer and helped initiate the #CheckIt4Andretti twitter hashtag to promote awareness of the disease, announced via twitter earlier this week that he completed his chemo treatments.
The former NASCAR and IndyCar racer first spoke about the disease in May after being diagnosed in January, noting how difficult it was to endure chemotherapy.
“I wake up in the middle of the night and I sit and listen to this pump going and know this pump is poison,” Andretti said in a press conference at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that month. “I hear that pump right now. I hate that thing.”
He then revealed in August that a subsequent round of chemotherapy was needed. “Same cocktail with an added twist. Only 3 months to go,” he said at the time.
However, earlier this week, Andretti delivered the refreshing news that his chemotherapy treatments are complete.
The Andretti Autosport team offered their congratulations and well wishes, while also maintaining the #CheckIt4Andretti campaign.
Other people in the racing world also took to twitter to offer their congratulations, including former Andretti Autosport driver Mike Conway and broadcaster and founder of the Team USA Scholarship Jeremy Shaw.
The news also comes during a week of personal importance for Andretti, who celebrated his 30th wedding anniversary on November 7.
Marco Andretti wanted to do something really special to honor the 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario Andretti’s final Indy car win in 1993 at Phoenix International Raceway (now known as ISM Raceway).
So the third-generation Andretti, along with his team, Andretti-Herta Autosport, came up with a plan and design that will take longtime race fans back in time when it appears early next month for the Phoenix Grand Prix.
Marco Andretti’s No. 98 Oberto Beef Jerky Circle K/Curb Honda will be decked out in the colors of the car his grandfather won his last race on the one-mile short track 25 years ago.
“When the idea of a throwback livery celebrating my grandfather’s final win was thrown around, Oberto was ready to get to the drawing board,” Marco Andretti said in a media release. “The black, white and red car resembles many of my family’s race cars and was a big part of my life growing up.
“It’s really cool to be able to add one of my cars to that family legacy.”
The car is a virtual double of the legendary Newman-Haas Racing and Texaco/Havoline-sponsored car Mario drove on that celebratory day in the Valley of the Sun 2 ½ decades ago.
Various events and ceremonies during the April 6-7 race weekend will honor the senior Andretti. That includes several of his former competitors who will be on hand to celebrate with Mario, including Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Arie Luyendyk, and of course, son Michael Andretti and grandson Marco Andretti.
Check out what happened on that day 25 years ago: