Jeff Andretti is an American former racing driver who is more known as a son of Mario Andretti and a brother of Michael Andretti than by his achievements in a racing career. He was active from 1983 to 1999, participating in different North American competitions in various racing disciplines (open-wheel, sports cars, touring cars, stock cars). He spent one full season in the CART Indy Car World Series when he was the Rookie of the Year.
A former racing driver Jeff Andretti is working as driving coach
Victorious start of a racing career
Born in April 1964 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Jeff started his racing career in 1983 in Formula Ford. He won both the USCA Pro Ford Championship and the Skip Barber Formula Ford Eastern Series. He was also successful in Formula Ford in 1984, winning the SCCA Northeast Division title.
In February 1984, Jeff made a debut at Daytona 24 Hours, driving the #90 Porsche 911 SC for 901 Shop team. He didn't finish the race.
Andretti made a debut in the Formula Super Vee in November 1984 and then spent a full season in that competition in 1985, driving for Ralt America team. He won three races, finishing fifth in the points.
Vice-champion two years in a row in the CART American Series
In 1986, Jeff moved to the new CART American Racing Series. Driving a March-Buick for Ralph Sanchez Racing, he won one race, on the Milwaukee Mile, finishing the season second in the points. The champion was Fabrizio Barbazza.
For the 1987 ARS season, Jeff switched to Arciero Racing. He won the season-opening race in Phoenix and one more in Tamiami Park, finishing again second in the points. This time, Tommy Byrne was the champion.
In 1988, Jeff spent just a part of the season in the American Racing Series and another part in the IMSA GTP Championship, driving a March-Buick for Momo Racing or Ford Mustang Probe for Tom Milner Racing. He retired in all races he appeared. In 1989, Andretti was competing in the SCCA Toyota Atlantic Championship, scoring no wins or podiums. He finished sixth in the points and the best among rookie.
Jeff Andretti's car in 1991
CART Indy Car debut in 1990, Rookie of the Year in 1991
In 1990, Jeff Andretti made a debut in the CART PPG Indy Car World Series, making a history because it was the first time that a father (Mario Andretti) raced against his two sons (Michael and Jeff) in a CART race. It was at Milwaukee Mile, where Jeff was driving Lola-Cosworth for TEAMKAR International. Jeff retired due to mechanical problems. Before his debut at Milwaukee Mile, Jeff failed to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.
For the 1991 CART Indy Car season, Jeff joined Bayside Disposal Racing to drive all races in the #86 Texaco Havoline Star Lola-Cosworth. He scored four top ten finishes, with the seventh place as his best result, to finish 15th in the final classification and earning the CART Rookie of the Year title.
Earlier that year, in February, Jeff joined Mario and Michael at Daytona 24 Hours in Jochen Dauer Racing's Porsche 962C. They were classified in the fifth place although they failed to finish due to overheating.
Jeff Andretti at 1993 Indianapolis 500
Two more starts and one DNQ at Indianapolis 500
Jeff had no full-time in 1992. He raced at Indianapolis 500 in the #48 Lola-Chevrolet with A. J. Foyt Enterprises. He crashed heavily on lap 109, breaking both his legs. He returned to racing next year, participating in two IMSA GTP races and driving a Lola-Buick for Pagan Racing at Indianapolis 500. He retired in all three races.
In February 1993, he set the unofficial closed-course speed record for IndyCars of 234.50 mph, at Texas World Speedway while testing for the Indianapolis 500. He returned for the last time to Indianapolis 500 in 1994, failing to qualify with Hemelgarn Racing. His last Indy Car race was earlier that year with Euromotorsports at Phoenix International Raceway.
A season in the Indy Lights Championship
Faced with a fact that he was uncompetitive in the CART Indy Car Series, Jeff made a step back and secured a seat with Canaska Racing in the 1995 Firestone Indy Lights Championship. However, he wasn't among the front-runners, finishing best in the seventh place and ending a season 19th in the final classification.
In 1996, he stepped away from open-wheel racing and switched to touring car racing, driving a Ford Mondeo for Leitzinger Racing in the North American Touring Car Championship. In twelve races, he was always between positions five and ten, ending a season seventh in the points.
In the next two years, he was out of racing, returning to race tracks in 1999 with three starts in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He was driving the #94 Chevrolet for Enerjetix Motorsports but without notable results.
Andretti racign family: John, Michael, Jeff and Mario