Sports Xtra: John Andretti book reveals racer's legacy

Posted at 10:22 PM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 22:22:22-04

INDIANAPOLIS — It was a life and career made for television and John Andretti was on it a lot.

And now, his story comes in a whole new way.

"I was talking with a friend and we got to talking about John and the idea just kind of popped up, 'Wow, it would be great to do a book with John,'" Jade Gurss said.

And Gurss, a writer, did just that. The book, "Racer," captures the many aspects to John Andretti's career.

"The book is great about showing that diversity and him detailing the differences between all of those," Gurss said.

Including his most successful time in NASCAR and a win for Richard Petty in 1999.

"Winning with Richard Petty's team in Martinsville, he talks about that with great reverence," Gurss said. "Like at that moment he appreciated and understood what it mean for Richard and his team, which hadn't seen victory lane in a lot of years."

Ultimately, the book touches on Andretti's 2017 colon cancer diagnosis and the still ongoing 'Check It 4 Andretti' campaign.

"The single thread in the book is family, friends and helping others, that's the thread even among the funniest racing stories," Gurss said.

And that includes the 23 years of his 'Race for Riley,' and the annual karting event which over the years raised nearly $5 million. Andretti opening up in a series of interviews about the good time and the bad.

"There were days when I got there when he clearly did not feel good, when he did not have much energy. But, after a question or two his face would light up," Gurss said. "Personally, for me, that was a great feeling knowing he so enjoyed sharing a lot of the stories. I think it meant a lot to him and it means a lot to me as well."

Pre-orders are available online with 10 percent of the proceeds going back to Riley Children's Hospital.

Still giving back, the way John would want it.