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Mario Andretti named grand marshal of Long Beach Grand Prix

Mario Andretti named grand marshal of Long Beach Grand Prix
Mario Andretti, center, shown here with his son Michael, left, and grandson Marco, will be the grand marshal of the Long Beach Grand Prix. (Tim Sharp / Associated Press)

Legendary racer Mario Andretti was named grand marshal of the 40th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach scheduled April 13, which will include giving the command for drivers to start their engines.

Andretti, 74, won four times on the Long Beach street course, first when it was a Formula One race in 1977 and later three times when it was an IndyCar race.

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The event this year is the second race of the season for IndyCar, whose current drivers include Mario's grandson Marco Andretti.

Mario Andretti was one of the most successful and versatile race-car drivers in history. He won NASCAR stock-car racing's Daytona 500 in 1967 and the Indianapolis 500 in 1969.

Andretti also won the Formula One series championship in 1978.

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