At number one sits Mario Andretti, the Italian-American race car legend who transcended motorsport. A household name all over the world, Mario Andretti is one of only two drivers to win races in Formula One, Indy Car, World Sportscar Championship and NASCAR. He also won races in midget cars and sprint cars. During his illustrious career, Mario Andretti won the 1978 Formula One World Championship and four Indy Car titles. To date, he remains the only driver ever to win the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500 and the Formula One World Championship, and the only driver to have won a race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Formula One, and an Indianapolis 500. Mario Andretti remains the last American to have won a Formula One race victory—back in 1978 at the Dutch Grand Prix.
If all these championships weren’t enough, Mario Andretti is also the only person to be named United States Driver of the Year in three separate decades (1967, 1978 and 1984). He was also one of only three drivers to win races on road courses, paved ovals and dirt tracks in one season, a feat that he accomplished four different times. For all these feats, Mario Andretti is considered the definitive race car driver by most historians and critics. As an athlete, he dominated motorsport the way Michael Jordan dominated basketball and Wayne Gretzky dominated hockey. The name Mario Andretti is synonymous with excellence on the race track—any race track!