News & Multimedia

102-Year-Old Fulfills Need For Speed

“Let’s do that again,” said Edith Pittenger as she leaned into the cockpit to thank Mario Andretti for the high-speed two-seat Indy car ride around the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“It’s a date,” the auto racing legend replied.

Nearly 40 family members gathered trackside May 13 to cheer on the resident of Muncie, Ind., and mark the special occasion.

“She did this when she was younger … 96,” said her son, Jay Pittenger.

That was 2008 with two-time Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner Arie Luyendyk behind the wheel of the stretched Indy car to set an unofficial record for the oldest person to take a lap on the famed 2.5-mile oval. Now, at 102 years old, the spry great-great-grandmother sent a message to potential challengers.

“That was fun; come and try it,” said Pittenger, who raised her arms as Andretti sped over the Yard of Bricks that mark the start-finish line.

The two-seater ride six years ago was a Christmas present from family members, while this excursion was organized by Indy Racing Experience co-owner Scott Jasek.

“My family knew it was something I wanted to do back then, and it was so much fun I wanted to do it again,” Pittenger said, “and it was just as much fun this time.”

Pittenger, who attended her first Indianapolis 500 in 1948 when her son, Lynn, was an usher, returned for more than two decades with a gaggle various family members in tow. The 1969 race stands out in her memory – the year Andretti led 116 laps en route to victory for car owner Andy Granatelli.

Andretti, who will be recognized on Legends Day (May 24) on the 45th anniversary of his victory, joined Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles and the large family contingent in congratulating Pittenger.

“It just shows that you can be too young to ride but you’re never too old,” Andretti said.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
102-Year-Old Fulfills Need For Speed
 
102-Year-Old Fulfills Need For Speed
That was 2008 with two-time Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner Arie Luyendyk behind the wheel of the stretched Indy car to set an unofficial record for the oldest person to take a lap on the famed 2.5-mile oval. Now, at 102 years old, the spry great-great-grandmother sent a message to potential challengers.
Read More
Related Media
Daytona
 
NASCAR Kicks Off Daytona 500 Weekend with Can-Am Duels Thursday Night
The drivers of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will take to the track at Daytona International Speedway on Thursday night for the Can-Am Duels. The Duels will determine who starts in the third through 40th positions in Sunday’s DAYTONA 500.
Read More
Juncos Racing
 
Juncos Racing Announces Entry for 101st Running Indy 500
Juncos, the founder and team principal of Juncos Racing – the highly successful operation in the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires developmental ladder – said his team will take the next step to the Verizon IndyCar Series on its biggest stage at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May. While driver and manufacturer announcements await, the news signals a “dream come true” for the immigrant from Argentina.
Read More
Al Unser
 
Al Unser to Return to Racing for Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational
Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser revealed he plans to return to wheel-to-wheel competition at the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s (SVRA) “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on June 17 – appropriately enough, Father’s Day Weekend. The three-time Indy car national champion will join his son, two-time Indy 500 champion Al Unser Jr., in the race to mark the first time since 1993 that they have competed together at the Speedway. Unser’s surprising return to competition comes at the 25th anniversary of the best finish by a father and son in “500” history when in 1992 Al Jr. won in what remains the race’s closest finish while dad Al brought his Menards entry home third.
Read More
Willy T. Ribbs
 
Ribbs Enjoying Quiet Life After Barrier Breaking Career in Racing
A determined Ribbs made a name for himself in various forms of racing, most notably in 1991 as the first black driver in the Indianapolis 500. As part of Black History Month, Ribbs is remembered for breaking that color barrier with two starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read More
Hulman Terrace Club
 
On-Sale Now, Hulman Terrace Club Offers Premium Seating for IMS Events
The Hulman Terrace Club, located on the outside of the front straightaway of the famed 2.5-mile oval, features some of the best views of the track plus ADA-accessible seating for fans seeking a club option. All tickets to the Hulman Terrace Club were sold in its inaugural season in 2016. Space is limited, so fans interested in tickets should act now.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,428
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
JOIN! Are you in the Lousiville area? Join us for a Town Hall at the @derbymuseum on 3/6 from 6-8pm with @h3lio! https://t.co/rGpYvwVFpS
about 42 minutes ago