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It was a sad day in Indianapolis and the racing world on Thursday. 

The legendary John Andretti’s battle with colon cancer came to an unfortunate end. Andretti passed away after fighting the disease for over two years. 

Jeff & Big Joe spent a lot of time on Friday discussing his legacy and honoring the passing of the driver before IMS Historian Donald Davidson called in to pay tribute to Andretti as well. 

“No matter what your name is you still have to get out there and do it, and you know he didn’t just ride along on the name. He had a tremendous career and very diversified,” Davidson told Jeff & Big Joe. 

John Andretti did that and more. 

He won races in CART, IMSA GTP, Rolex Sports Car Series, and NASCAR during his lengthy racing career. He was the first guy to compete in the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. He finished with 37 top-ten finishes in NASCAR, and raced in the Indy 500 12 times.

Pretty amazing for someone who grew up just down the road from the iconic Motor Speedway. 

“He would go by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway twice a day when he was kid, and then of course ended up driving in the Indianapolis 500.”

Andretti had a great career on the track as a driver, but his biggest legacy will be the work he has done for charity – particularly Riley Children’s Hospital

Each year he was known for the Race For Riley that would take place the week of the Brickyard 400 – a charity race that has helped raise millions for the hospital. 

“Above all of it was this charity that raising money for charity before he even knew that he was sick, and they raised for the Riley’s Children Hospital somewhere close to $5 million,” Davidson praised. 

“The passion with which he did these events for charity is just extraordinary, and the fact that he would become inflicted and was here in the area in September or October I think – obviously not a well person , but he was grinning and happy and giving checks to charities.”

May he rest in peace. 

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