Happy Fathers Day Dad: Andretti’s Portland 1986
The Budweiser/ G.I Joe’s 200 was round 5 of the PPG IndyCar world Series at Portland, back in June, 1986.
A young Michael Andretti is flying. Having broken through for his first IndyCar win at Long Beach earlier in the season and having taken another victory the weekend before at Milwaukee, Michael leads from the start and is dominating the race. He looks set for a certain victory until a fuel pickup problem starts slowing him with about three laps to go.
Coming around the final corner the car slows and Dad, Mario, in second place is there to blow by and nick the race win by a mere seven-hundredths of a second. “Off of the last corner it just died and that’s how he got me, but if anybody’s going to beat me, I’m glad it was him” said Michael.
After the race Michael doesn’t know what to say, but then he remembers its Fathers Day and he has forgotten to give his Dad a present that morning. During the post race celebrations, Michael leans over and says “Well, Happy Fathers Day Dad!”
Being interviewed about the classic finish years later Mario sums it up best by saying” Yup, these are precious moments of course.”
The 1986 IndyCar World Series Championship was won by Bobby Rahal in a March Cosworth-Ford, with Michael finishing second for the Kraco Racing Team.