INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 20, 2015) -- A 91-year-old World War II veteran took a seat behind legendary driver Mario Andretti for the ride of his life.
Fans line up every year for Andretti's racing experience at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This year, Hugh Wallis stepped up for his turn.
"I'm looking forward to it," Wallis said.
Wallis stood out from the crowd. At a spry 91 years old, the veteran got the chance to sit behind Andretti thanks to a family friend.
"(My son) said dad, he wants to know if you’ll go and I said sure," Wallis said.
So he found himself with a full track suit on, ready to strap into the back seat.
Andretti said he does get the occassional great-grandparent in his car.
"I commend them for doing this at that stage of their life," Andretti said.
Maybe none so eager as Wallis, though. His wife was a huge Andretti fan.
"He was one of (her) favorites and she's watched him race for years and years," Wallis said.
If you ask Wallis about his time serving in the 82nd Airborne, he is not short on stories.
"I went to England, trained and it may seem strange but I missed jumping to Normandy by the flip of a coin," Wallis said.
Wednesday's experience with Andretti added one more story to that list.
"It'll be a thrill!" Wallis said before taking off.