John Andretti was a professional racer who was a member of the famous Andretti racing family. Andretti’s uncle is former Indy 500 winner Mario Andretti, and he is the cousin of former racers Michael and Jeff Andretti. He won two NASCAR races and finished fifth at the 1991 Indianapolis 500 before retiring in 2010. He was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in 2017 and had clean scans a year later after treatment, but the cancer returned earlier this year. After his original diagnosis, he used the hashtag #CheckIt4Andretti to urge people to get regular colonoscopies, something he had not done.
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Died: Thursday, January 30, 2020 (Who else died on January 30?)
Details of death: Died at the age of 56 from colon cancer.
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On his colon cancer diagnosis: “I’m an Andretti. I already beat the age I should have lived to. Growing up when you’re a little bit wild in a race car, I think everybody in our family’s always heard this: ‘You’re not going to live to see 20.’ Then it was, ‘You’re not going to live see 25,’ then, ’30.’
“But here I am. Still going. Our family’s already been through plenty of trials, and we’re still here. To get taken down by this, well, I’m going to go out giving it the strongest fight I can give it.” —Told to the IndyStar in May 2018
What they said about him: “God Speed John Andretti. My heart is heavy with overwhelming sadness. I know his last name was Andretti, but for our family it was always Petty. All my thoughts, prayers and love go out to the entire Andretti Family.” —Racing legend Kyle Petty
“There wasn’t a better soul in racing than John Andretti. A man who won in everything he drove, ever category that he competed in. I spent my #Indy500 rookie year media day with John, and the impression he made on me on that day will last a lifetime. RIP John, you’ll be missed.” —Racer Graham Rahal
“John Andretti was a great competitor and advocate for racing, but he was an even better person. He spent so much of his time focused on improving the world for others — all while fighting a horrible disease.” —Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb
Full obituary: IndyStar