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Michael Andretti to retire as driver



Published: Tue, February 4, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



Michael Andrettito retire as driver

INDIANAPOLIS -- Former CART champion Michael Andretti will retire as a driver after the Indianapolis 500 in May to concentrate on being a car owner.

The 40-year-old son of former Indy winner Mario Andretti bought the former Team Green last fall and began running the new Andretti Green Racing with partners Kim Green and Kevin Savoree in December.

The team moved from CART to the rival IRL with former CART stars Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan as Andretti's teammates.

Andretti, Franchitti and Kanaan will drive in the first four IRL races this season, with rookie Dan Wheldon taking Andretti's place following the Indy 500 on May 25.

He first hinted two weeks ago that he would be both owner and driver for the early part of the season, which begins March 2 in Homestead, Fla.

Andretti was the Indy 500 co-rookie of the year in 1984 and has led more laps in the race than any other non-winner. But he said the difficulty being an owner and driver prompted his decision to refocus the direction of his career.

In his 20-year career as a driver, Andretti won a record 42 races in CART and was series champion in 1991. He also was series points runner-up five times. He was runner-up to Rick Mears at Indianapolis in 1991 and finished third in 1988 and 2001. He was seventh last year.




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