Aldo Andretti might not have had a decorated driving career like his twin brother Mario or his son John, but he still lived a wonderful life. On Thursday, the Andretti family revealed Aldo passed away on Wednesday night, with Robin Miller of Racer reporting it was from complications related to COVID-19. He was 80 years old.
After quickly falling in love with motorsport and moving to America, the Andretti twins competed in stock car races until Aldo suffered serious injuries in a wreck as a teenager in 1959 that placed him in a coma. Another wreck a decade later in a sprint car race resulted in facial injuries that resulted in reconstructive surgery. Besides rendering him and Mario no longer identical twins, the crash ended Aldo’s driving career.
Although he was no longer behind the driver’s seat, Aldo continued to support his brother’s racing career as Mario became one of the most iconic names in motorsport history.
“Aldo Andretti, my loving twin brother, my partner in crime and my faithful best friend every day of my life was called to heaven last night. Half of me went with him,” Mario tweeted. “There is no eloquence. I’m shaken to my core.”
Aldo’s sons Adam and John would also become racers. While Adam won races in the Trans-Am Series and has also dabbled in the Stadium Super Trucks, John enjoyed a career that included victories in the NASCAR Cup Series and IndyCar. John died in January after a battle with cancer at the age of 56. Other relatives included his nephew Michael, the 1991 CART champion, and his nephew Marco, who currently races in IndyCar.
“RIP uncle Aldo,” tweeted Marco. “One of the toughest guys I have ever met. I have never heard him complain, a trait that he passed down to John. Always so positive and upbeat and raised an amazing side of our Andretti family.”
Various figures and sanctioning bodies in the racing world issued their condolences.
Four-time IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti posted on Twitter, “Our deepest condolences Mario to you and the whole Andretti family. You guys have all been in my thoughts the last couple of days as I read John’s book. Here’s to your partner in crime Aldo, a special man.”
“One of the nicest & most humble guys I have ever met,” tweeted SST driver Bill Hynes, whose UFD Racing team fielded a truck for Adam and has sponsored Andretti Autosport in IndyCar. “Rest In Peace Aldo Andretti. Thoughts & prayers to the entire Andretti Family on your loss.”
“NASCAR extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Aldo Andretti,” read a statement from NASCAR. “The Andretti family has been an integral part of motorsports for six decades. Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.”
The IndyCar Series shared, “We extend our sincerest condolences to the family, friends and fans of Aldo Andretti, who passed away Dec. 30. Aldo was everyone’s friend in Gasoline Alley and in racing paddocks around the world.”