Andrettis help Race for Riley bring in nearly $500K for Riley Hospital for Children

Jarett (left) and John Andretti pose at the 21st annual Race for Riley at New Castle Motorsports Park (WXIN July 18, 2017).

NEW CASTLE, Ind. – The 21st Race for Riley is once again a tremendous success, helping to benefit Riley Hospital for Children.

“The process is to help them and move along in their lives,” said race co-founder John Andretti. “I never expected to be in this place, but we love helping the kids.”

That place Andretti refers to is one similar to many of the children he’s striving to help. He was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer earlier this year.

“I’ve got to do a lot of great things in my life,” continues John, brushing aside any sense of self-pity. “For the kids, it’s so unfair.”

This year’s Race for Riley will greatly help in the care for those kids, as the event has brought in nearly a half-million dollars.

“Dad still talks about when the first couple years it was you know a couple grand or 2500 bucks or three grand,” says Jarett Andretti, John’s son. “You see where it’s grown to now. It’s just amazing.”

Jarett filled in for John on the track, racing with several different groups on the NCMP course, but he hopes to see his dad back in the driver’s seat soon.

“I was talking to him earlier,” added Jarett. “I said, ‘I can’t wait till next year. I can be crashing you out there.’ He just starts laughing. I’m looking forward to him getting better and going out and racing with us again.”

For now, John is encouraged by his progress, but points out the obstacles he still has to face before crossing the finish line.

“I feel great,” he smiles. “Right now, I’m doing the best I’ve been since I started treatment, but I’ve been off treatment for seven weeks while I recover from surgery. When I get next week, I’ll probably hopefully, good news is I have to go back on chemo, which means they’ve gotten all the cancer they can see, and the chemo’s supposed to mop up whatever’s left.”