Living and Giving

Leadership Series: Mario Andretti’s Fast Lane To America, Part Two of Four

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This is Part Two of Four in the Series on “Mario Andretti’s Fast Lane to America”. Please click here to start from the beginning!


Thank you for joining our Leadership Series: How To Become a Leader     

We feature real-life stories on how people became successful leaders, so you can too. We show you Practical Steps and Stories to Following Your Passion, leading you to your own success. Our feature today is on Mario Andretti, a world-class racer who started out in a refugee camp. Join us as we continue to explore his life story!

The Mario Andretti family was on its way from war-torn Italy to America.  They had been working in car shops, learning, gaining experience. Heads-down, hands-in-car-parts operations. Learning, learning, learning. With perseverance, they followed their dreams.




With patience, visas came three years later. Their family migrated to Pennsylvania where family resided. Always an observer, after dinner one night in Pennsylvania, Mario and his brother saw something flashing in the distance as well as loud sounds. They soon found it was their love! It was the explosion of a car engine!




They literally ran towards their passion, which was about a mile away and featured a racetrack. They had a high-end taste in cars due to being from Italy and their work on Formula 1 cars. While these cars were different, the boys kept showing up at the track. Experience built upon experience. It was time to build their own car for the first time: a 1948 Hudson Commodore.

To get in at the race track, they stated they were 19 and 21 years old, racers from Italy. Soon, Aldo and his brother, Mario, each won two of the first four stock-car races. 4 They won nearly $150 and used that to build their next car.5 Their passion was on their way! Instead of working on cars, they were now building them — and racing them!  




Now Mario is considered one of the top race car drivers in the world. He\’s won the 1978 Formula One World Championship races and most specifically, the top IndyCar race, 4 times. He\’s known for being the only driver to win the NASCAR Cup Series, Formula One and an Indianapolis 500.




So you can follow your passion, too, and realize success. Mario is a good man, and he did it. You can be a good person, and you can do it.


Follow Passion = Realize Success,



Stay tuned for Part Three of the Four Part Series “Mario Andretti’s Fast Lane to America” tomorrow!


Citations: ³ Myers, Marc “Mario Andretti: From Italian Refugee Camp to the Winner’s Circle at Indy”, The Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2018,
Fig. ³: Photo by Vance Osterhout on Unsplash
Fig. ⁴: Photo by Oscar Sutton on Unsplash
Fig. ⁵: Photo by MiRo Am on Unsplash
Fig. ⁶: Amy Hollowbush, contributed photo retrieved from