FEBRUARY 1, 2003
Andretti to retire
Former McLaren F1 driver Michael Andretti, one of the stars of the CART Champ Car scene in recent years, is to retire from racing after this year's Indianapolis 500. Andretti is now the owner of the Andretti Green Racing team and intends to concentrate on running the three-car Indy Racing League operation after one last attempt to win the Indianapolis 500. Michael will be replaced in the team by test driver Daniel Wheldon from England, who will then race alongside Tony Kanaan and Dario Franchitti in the team which will be sponsored by 7-Eleven, Big Gulp, Motorola, Pepsi, Klein Tools and a number of other sponsors.
"I've decided that I want to be a team owner full time, but first there's still a little piece of unfinished business I want to take care of on the racetrack," said Andretti. "I still want to win the Indianapolis 500. It's the one thing that I haven't done in my career, and it's the one thing that I really want to accomplish. I'm a very lucky man. Over the past 20 years, I've been able to pursue my dreams and succeed at my profession. I've been supported, encouraged and surrounded by people in the racing industry who continue to show me that anything is possible in this sport. I am very happy about this decision. Believe me when I tell you that I will be just as proud to accept first-place trophies as the team owner of Andretti Green Racing as I have been to accept them as a driver."
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