Accomplished race driver, living legend and patriarch of a veritable racing dynasty Mario Andretti is being honored by the Italian government with the title of Commendatore della Repubblica Italiana. The prestigious award will be presented on October 23 by Consul-General Antonio Bandini at the New York Columbus Citizens Foundation.

To say Mario is an accomplished driver is like saying the Pope is Catholic. Andretti has won the Formula 1 driver's world title, the Indy Car championship (four times), the USAC national dirt track championship, the Indy 500, the Daytona 500 and the 12 Hours of Sebring (three times), to name a few. To top that he's been named Driver of the Year spanning three decades, not to mention Driver of the Century.

His son Michael, head of Andretti-Green Racing, and grandson Michael Marco, IRL rookie of the year, will be there for the ceremony as well.

Word has it the Commendatore can't refuse a favor on this, the day of his decoration, so better get in line. Just kidding... felicitazioni, Mario!

[Source: Sports Car Market]