Speed Performance Awards
Andretti Trophy Performer of the Year
Performer Of The Year Panel
The SPEED Performer of the Year panel consists of SPEED writers, on-air personalities, former racers and race coverage producers. Learn More
The Symbolism in this Trophy

The detail and the intellect of this creation are impressive. They represent the true heart and soul of Mario. It’s not cold bronze. It’s bronze with emotion. It’s a very human way to approach a trophy. The Mario Andretti Trophy is truly statuesque, standing 38 inches tall and weighing 95 pounds. It features eight cars, including six of the most important in Mario’s rise to superstardom, as well as an array of artistic symbolism that captures the essence of the trophy’s namesake. The trophy sums up Mario’s entire journey. It encompasses all the significant chapters of his career. It’s all represented – all the eras, major victories and championships.

The six cars, distinct with their ocean green color, each represent an era in Andretti’s career. They consist of a dirt car, stock car, sports car, Formula Once car, roadster and champ car. The trophy’s other two cars ocean green as well and situated in the front of all the others, represent current-style champ cars racing to the finish.

1.  The dirt car represents the dirt-track racing that Andretti did early in his career with midgets, sprint and champ cars. The car on the trophy represents a significant evolution in his career when he recorded victories in all of the divisions and captured the dirt-car championship in 1973

2.  The stock car presents his brief but successful venture into that form of racing. The car featured on the trophy is the one in which he captured the jewel event of that sport, the Daytona 500, in 1967. The stock car also symbolizes his victory in the International Race of Champions event in 1979.

3.  The sports car symbolizes another form of his racing diversity as he competed successfully across the globe for numerous years. This particular car symbolizes a World Manufacturers Championship in 1972 when Andretti contributed four victories for Ferrari along with Jacki Ickx.

4.  The Formula One car symbolizes Andretti’s ability to take on the world’s best in another premier open-wheel series and forge another successful career. In 128 starts, he earned 12 victories and 18 poles and the featured car on the trophy is the one in which he captured the 1978 World Championship.

5.  The roadster represents the true beginnings of Andretti’s Champ Car career in 1964 and also represents the last breed of front-engine race cars before the evolution of the rear-engine cars. This car is a tribute to his participating in both eras.

6.  The champ car symbolizes his specialty in racing as well as the sport in which he enjoyed his most prolific career. He made an all-time champ car record 407 starts, earned 52 wins, 67 pole positions and led 7,587 laps. His career was highlighted by four national championships (1965 1966, 1969, 1984) and a victory in the 1969 Indianapolis 500

The spiraling speedway with the cars circles three elements of symbolism – half of a globe, an olive tree and obelisk.

a.  The globe represents Andretti’s past and present. One section depicts his birthplace of Italy (Montona) while another depicts the Eastern seaboard, including the Delaware River and the state of Pennsylvania in a tribute to where he settled when he came to this country, and where he continues to make his home, in Nazareth, PA.

b.  Rising from the top half of the globe are the roots of the olive tree that are wrapped around the lower half of the obelisk. The roots reach to Italy and Nazareth – symbolizing his family roots – while the olive tree itself represents the symbols of peace and life.

The obelisk, made of marble dramatically rises from the bronze and ocean-green globe and is reminiscent of the Washington Monument. Elie Hazak's use of the obelisk for symbolism dates well beyond the construction of the Washington Monument. His reference dates to the Egyptian times and represent auto racing as Andretti's temple.

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