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February 28: Mario Andretti was born on this date in 1940

February 28, 2014

Like Ted Williams, the achievements of Mario Andretti may be impossible to match. Set aside the lack of U.S. talent in Formula 1, and that no American has won a F1 race since Andretti prevailed at the Dutch Grand Prix in 1978, part of his F1 championship season. From midget cars on dirt tracks to Le Mans, Andretti raced everything and won in most fields he entered, and still stands as the only driver in the world to win the Indy 500, the Daytona 500 and an F1 championship. Given the complexities of 21st century racing, switching between series has become harder than ever — and makes Andretti's career one for the ages. Here he is at his peak in F1, at the 1978 Sweden Grand Prix in the Lotus 79: