The Birmingham Times
Race legend Mario Andretti will serve as Grand Marshal for the 10th anniversary Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, held April 5-7 in Birmingham. Mario Andretti is considered to be one of the greatest race car drivers in the history of the sport.
In its 10th year, the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, the only IndyCar race in the Deep South, is a signature event on the NTT IndyCar Series circuit. This year’s event will feature nine races over three days, including Lamborghini, Formula 3, Porsche, and the final race with the Formula 1 cars on Sunday.
The Inaugural INDY 5K will take place after the on-track racing on Friday and will allow spectators to run and experience the track like never before. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Children’s of Alabama.
There is a Wine Down at Indy Wine Tastings with suppliers from Alabama Crown sampling and selling wine and craft beer in the Hagerty Car Corral on Saturday and Sunday.
Visit The Grand Art Fest located in the Hagerty Car Corral on Saturday and Sunday and check out artists that will be showcasing and selling handmade art, ceramics, paintings, jewelry, and more.
Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
More than 60 sculptures in the park, ranging from insects and animals – to people and motorcycles. The latest piece is a 25-foot-tall stainless-steel sculpture by Innovative Sculpture Design out of Arkansas. As you’re heading into the park, you can see it located between the two garage buildings on the left once you’ve passed Gate 2.
Sculptor Ted Gall spent more than a year creating the three stainless steel monuments you see in front of the Barber Museum. The installation is called “The Chase,” and it was placed prior to the museum’s opening in 2003. Collectively, they weigh nearly 10,000 pounds.
There is a collection of more than 1,600 motorcycles and 115 cars in the collection (59 of them are Lotus cars).
About Mario Andretti
Andretti was born in Italy and moved to the United States at age 15. His love for the sport began at age 19 where he raced stock cars in his hometown of Pennsylvania. Andretti took 111 checkered flags during his legendary career including wins at the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500 and the Formula One World Championship, an unprecedented trifecta of wins that no other race car driver has achieved. Over a career that has stretched five decades, Andretti has won every level of motorsports racing including midgets, sprint cars, dirt track cars, stock cars, IndyCars, Formula One, Formula 5000 and sports cars.
“We are honored to have a racing legend of his caliber as our Grand Marshal for the 10th anniversary of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by AmFirst,” stated George Dennis, president of ZOOM Motorsports, the exclusive event promoter of the Barber Motorsports Park. “Mario’s energy and presence will add to the milestone event, and we’re excited for what is shaping up to be the most memorable Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama yet.”
Additionally, Mario was named Driver of the Century by the Associated Press, knighted by his native Italy, added to the Library of Congress Living Legends list and given the title of “The 25 Coolest Athletes of All Time” by GQ Magazine. He was also in the first Pixar Cars movie voicing himself.
Andretti’s duties as grand marshal of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will include announcing the widely recognized pre-race command, “Gentlemen, start your engines!” to kick-off Sunday’s race for some of the biggest stars of the NTT IndyCar Series including grandson Marco Andretti, defending champion Josef Newgarden, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power, Graham Rahal and more.
Additional events include wine tastings, an art festival, INDY 5K, Surgere Fan Zone, Bud’s Best Ferris Wheel and more. For more information, please visit www.barberracingevents.com.