Andretti Autosport hosted what it hopes will become an annual charity garage sale at its Indianapolis race shop on Tuesday, allowing fans to purchase team merchandise and old race car parts as well as meet the team’s Verizon IndyCar Series drivers.
The event to benefited the Michael Andretti Foundation and Gleaners Food Bank in Indianapolis. Buyers at the sale could donate canned goods bound for Gleaners in return for raffle tickets for an Andretti Autosport prize pack that included autographed items.
The genesis for the sale was rooted in helping others with an added benefit to the team.
“We were looking to raise money for the Michael Andretti Foundation and have more support for our canned food drive,” said Marissa Andretti, director of the Michael Andretti Foundation and the daughter Michael Andretti, the race team’s CEO. “We wanted to go ahead and make an even bigger difference and open it up to the public and for our fans to go ahead and support great charities.
“And, yes, clearing out some of our storage shelves to make room for 2018 merchandise is also another part of it!”
Make room they did, with numerous tables of souvenir crew shirts, hats, die-cast cars, posters, photographs and even discarded race wheels finding their way to new owners.
One such buyer, Bryant Dunbar of Northbrook, Illinois, found many items he had to have.
“I purchased two hats, two race-used wheels, an issue of RACER magazine, a pair of Bowers and Wilkins 100th Indianapolis 500 wireless headphones and one small Fernando Alonso die-cast,” said Dunbar.
Like many other buyers, Wilkins had some of his purchases autographed by the team’s four full-time drivers for 2018 – Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi and Zach Veach – as well as Stefan Wilson, who has been announced to drive the team’s fifth entry in the 2018 Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
“It was great to get one of the wheels signed by all the Andretti Autosport drivers for 2018, including Stefan Wilson,” Dunbar said. “I was at the 100th running of the 500 and the new headphones will be handy with some upcoming travel.”
Dunbar also remembered the more important reason to attend the sale.
“It was great to give and contribute to the canned food bank in the spirit of the holiday season,” he said.
The Michael Andretti Foundation has numerous focuses that include the welfare of American children and families in cities, health and education. Much of the foundation’s work occurs behind the scenes in Verizon IndyCar Series race markets.
“A lot of the time, the Michael Andretti Foundation will support different local markets where we race for those areas that have supported and given to Michael’s career throughout his many racing years,” Marissa Andretti said. “It’s just a better way for us to give back to all of those people and support them.”
By partnering with Gleaners Food Bank, the foundation accomplished that aim in its base of operation. The foundation also works with motorsports charities, such as Hunter-Reay’s Racing For Cancer and Speedway Children’s Charities.
Marissa Andretti said the reception for Tuesday’s event could lead to it becoming a staple each year.
“That would be great, we would love that,” she said. “Today was actually a pretty big hit, we were very happy about it. I think that there is potential there.”