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New John Andretti autobiography details a multifaceted life and career

Racer cover

A new autobiography chronicling the multifaceted career and impactful life of auto racing’s versatile John Andretti is available for pre-order ahead of a Sept. 1 release.

The driver with the diverse resume and one of racing’s greatest pedigrees died Jan. 30 after a lengthy battle with colon cancer.

“Racer” showcases the passion, wisdom and wit of Andretti, who was remembered in a February memorial service by close friend and NASCAR on NBC analyst Jeff Burton as “a guy who made stuff happen. If something was on his mind, he’d make it happen.”

Andretti Martinsville VL

That was evident during a career that included wins in NASCAR, IndyCar, sports cars and sprint cars, as well as a semifinal round appearance in an NHRA Top Fuel dragster. Andretti also was the first to attempt and complete the Indianapolis 500-Coca-Cola 600 doubleheader in 1994.

The forewords for Racer are indicative of Andretti’s reach: They were written by A.J. Foyt, Richard Petty (whom he won a race for in the No. 43), cousin Michael Andretti and his uncle, Mario Andertti.

After his racing ended, John Andretti spent much of his time raising awareness about cancer checkups and emphasizing the importance of family and helping others.

“Racer” was written by Jade Gurss, a longtime motorsports PR representative who also has written books about Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Darrell Waltrip.

Gurss befriended Andretti while he was a relief driver for Earnhardt in 2004 and “found he had wonderful storytelling skills,” Gurss said in a book release. “I had been following the news of John’s fight with cancer since 2017, and I thought there was a chance he’d be willing to do a book about his life.

2010 IRL IndyCar Kansas

30 April

© 2010 Dan Streck

“When I asked him, his immediate reply was ‘Maybe something good can come of this,’ meaning he could use the opportunity to raise awareness of colon cancer and his children’s charity efforts. We did a number of lengthy interview sessions in the final months of his life. It’s the most rewarding project that I’ve ever been a part of.”

The book is now available for pre-order from the publisher, Octane Press, and 10 percent of proceeds will go directly to Andretti’s chosen charity, the Riley Children’s Foundation.

Those who pre-order the book from Octane by June 21 will be invited to an exclusive Zoom chat with Mario Andretti and John Andretti’s son, Jarett, on June 23.

Andretti podium