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Mario wanted to shakedown Hinchcliffe's carUPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. The Indy Star reports it wasn't a rumor.
"One hundred percent (true)," Andretti said Wednesday.
Imagine that: The 74-year-old hopping in the Indy car that Hinchcliffe nearly won the Indianapolis 500 pole with. (Hinchcliffe will start second in Sunday's race after qualifying the Andretti Autosport car at 230.839 mph).
EJ Viso, who drove for the team last year, got the gig for the five days until Hinchcliffe returned.
"EJ happened to be there and somehow he upstaged me," Andretti said.
But Andretti was serious when he broached the subject with his team-owning son, Michael, and he told Hinchcliffe's sponsor, United Fiber and Data, as much. It wasn't his first request either.
Michael Andretti wanted no part of a repeat performance.
"Dad was feeling me out and I was like, 'No, that's not happening,' " he said. "He said he could probably put (the car) in the show, but he didn't know about racing it. He's probably right; I think he could qualify the car.
"But we weren't going to find out."
05/13/14 Don't know how true it is, but rumor has it that Mario Andretti was approved by the speedway to shake down the injured James Hinchcliffe's car and his son Michael said no after what happened last time Mario was testing for Michael at Indy (hit debris and went somersaulting through the air in the then flying IRL cars). So EJ Viso got the call to duty.
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