John Andretti decides to take cancer fight public

(Indy Sports Central file photo)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Former IndyCar and NASCAR driver John Andretti is making his cancer battle public.

The 54-year-old was diagnosed with colon cancer earlier this month and is currently undergoing chemotherapy for cancer that’s spread to a lymph node and his liver.

His son Jarett, a USAC sprint car driver and John’s cousin and IndyCar team owner Michael Andretti, spoke for the first time on the family fight.

“Dad’s tough,” said Jarett at a brief news conference at the Andretti Autosport race shop Thursday afternoon. “He’s had colon surgery and will have more to remove a tumor on his liver.  He’ll also have twelve rounds of chemotherapy, but he’s positive. He just gets tired easily.”

John, who’s a self-described private person wanted to take his cancer battle public to help others prevent what he’s going through and it’s already had an effect.

“I knew I had to have a colonoscopy,” said Michael Andretti. “I kept putting it off and putting it off until this happened to John. If there’s one person he can help by talking about his fight, it’s all worth it and it sounds like it’s working.”

Jarett says his dad will hold his own news conference on Monday at the Charlotte, North Carolina hospital where he’s being treated.

“He’s tough. My dad is upset he can’t be here the whole month of May, but he still plans on hosting his two events with the Stinger car fundraiser and the one with Window World.”

Jarrett will take his dad’s spot in the annual Race for Riley fundraiser at New Castle Motorsports Park.