Alumni Spotlight - Summer 2012
John Andretti (CR '81)
by Anne Krieger (CR '83)
With the conclusion of another exciting month of May, it was only fitting to contact John Andretti (CR '81) to be the Alumni Spotlight in this issue. John gives us some insights and details on what he has been up to besides what can be found in the news. Here is an insider look from John himself.
What you have been doing in the past couple of years along with your racing highlights?
There have been several things changing as Nancy and I are experiencing the range of children from adulthood (19) to still a child (11) to in between (16). I continue to represent, make appearances and give speeches for companies. I also have a couple of partnerships but most of my time is focused on my family and still racing, only now it is Jarett who is racing most of the time.
Tell us about your family.
I have three great kids with the perfect wife [Nancy Summers (CR '81)] who also happens to be a Ritter Critter. We did not date until after high school but it was worth the wait. We have one in middle school, Amelia who is very musically inclined and a gifted writer (Sister Rita would love her). Olivia is an outstanding student, a very hard worker (over 100 hours of community service), and is focused on the medical field (Sister Rita would love her too). Jarett is a freshman in the Honors Program at NCSU and racing full time (come to think of it, she would really enjoy him too). I did the same thing when I was his age. All of them take after their mom which is a blessing.
How has being a Cardinal Ritter Student impacted your life?
Discipline, integrity, hard work and honesty are all traits that I believe being a Ritter student represents. Now there are always exceptions but for the majority there is a sense of pride that you have been fortunate enough to attend a school that teaches you more than history, science or math but about life.
What teachers had the greatest impact on you and why?
Of course, Sister Rita is at the top of the list but there were several others. Sister Julann, Mr. Scanlan, and one of the best personalities and who was also a racer, Mr. Craddock.
What can you tell us about yourself that your fellow classmates from Cardinal Ritter would be shocked to know about you?
I am not a dork! At least not now! Or at least I don't think I am! Even though I was not active in school sports due to my racing, I do remember many of them. Actually I was looking forward to our 30th reunion but unfortunately I missed it.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Honestly, spend time with my family and race, including working on some of Jarett's race cars. I do enjoy being involved in many business projects and look forward to life after racing but I hope that it does include some connection to the sport. I co-host a weekly motorsports radio show, have an annual charity event that is now going into its 16th year and continue to manage my racing activities. There really isn't much spare time.
What is on your leap list that you would like to share with us?
I have been blessed with so many good things from family to career to friends. I want to see my kids reach for their goals and when possible be a part of that. I still would like to own and build a strong business that keeps me on the move both physically and mentally. Again, hopefully it is related to the motorsports industry but not a necessity. I don't dream of vacations or sitting on a beach. I would like to become a certified welder, get a CDL as well as a pilot's license. Life is still full of compromises and I consider that a leap list is more for dreaming as you need to not be selfish and see things that benefit more than just you.