Marco An­dretti grate­ful his dad’s on ‘Ap­pren­tice’

The Washington Times Daily - - Television -

Marco An­dretti has been fol­low­ing his fa­ther’s progress on “Celebrity Ap­pren­tice,” and is grate­ful the re­tired race car driver filled in for him fol­low­ing the death of fel­low driver Dan Whel­don in Oc­to­ber.

The Indycar Se­ries driver was sched­uled to be­gin tap­ing the NBC hit show im­me­di­ately af­ter the Oct. 16 sea­son fi­nale race at Las Ve­gas Mo­tor Speed­way. The race was can­celed fol­low­ing an early 15-car ac­ci­dent that killed Whel­don, and Mr. An­dretti de­cided he could not honor his com­mit­ment to do the show.

“I had a pri­vate plane right next to the track in Las Ve­gas, and we were lit­er­ally go­ing to start film­ing hours af­ter that race,” Mr. An­dretti said last week dur­ing test­ing for the March 25 sea­son-open­ing race at St. Peters­burg, Fla.

“I lost my ma­ter­nal grand­fa­ther the same week and I was just like ‘I’m not ready to do this.’ I al­ways said if my heart is not in it 100 per­cent, then I’m not go­ing to do it. I knew I was not go­ing to be at my full po­ten­tial. I was not go­ing to do well. My mind wasn’t in it,” he said.

Whel­don, a two-time In­di­anapo­lis 500 win­ner, agreed the morn­ing of the race to re­join An­dretti Mo­tor­sports for the 2012 sea­son, and would have been one of Mr. An­dretti’s teammates.

Michael An­dretti ul­ti­mately re­placed his son on the show, and joined the cast mid­way through the first episode. He had made it

Steven Sea­gal

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