By: Tanner Watkins
January 30, 2020 | 4:30 PM
On Thursday afternoon, Andretti Autosport confirmed that John Andretti has died at the age of 56 after a multi-year battle with colon cancer. The news was announced via a team statement, shown below.
It is with the heaviest of hearts we share that John Andretti has today lost his battle with cancer. John was a loving husband and father, a devoted son and a trusted cousin. He was a philanthropist, an advocate for the sport, a dedicated teammate, a driven competitor and most importantly a dear friend.
Through Race4Riley, John spent decades dedicating his time and fundraising attention to Riley Hospital for Children. When first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2017, John vowed to fight back and use his voice to help spread the word of prevention and early detection. He fought hard and stole back days the disease vowed to take away. He helped countless others undergo proper screening, and in doing so, saved lives.
We will forever carry with us John’s genuine spirit of helping others first and himself second. Our prayers today are with Nancy, Jarett, Olivia and Amelia, with our entire family, and with fans worldwide. We urge all our followers to, please, #CheckIt4Andretti.
Andretti, a 12-time starter in the Indianapolis 500, was a multi-discipline driver who found his way into a variety of race cars. His stops along the way included CART and the IndyCar Series, NASCAR, IMSA sports cars, and even a short stint in NHRA drag racing.
After completing his driving career, John remained active in the motorsports community by co-hosting The Driver’s Seat with John Kernan on Sirius/XM’s NASCAR channel, co-hosting the Race for Riley fundraiser, and most recently, leading the #CheckIt4Andretti colonoscopy initiative after his initial cancer diagnosis was revealed in April 2017.
Open-Wheels would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the Andretti family at this difficult time. Additional tributes to John are to follow.
Header image by Chris Jones/INDYCAR.