Mario Andretti still has the same competitive desire that defined him in a truly remarkable career that spanned four decades, saw him achieve victory in the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 and the Formula 1 World Driver's Championship.
And after setting countless records during that time span, Andretti is looking to set another high-water mark on Saturday afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Andretti has partnered with Hot Wheels to build the longest toy track set in history as part of the "World's Best Driver" competition that will kick off at 5:00 p.m. ET on the Speedway frontstraight. The event will see four Hot Wheel-sized cars race in a one-mile long, four-lane oval in the attempt to set a new world record.
Mario and his nephew John will serve as coaches for the event and the 1969 Indy 500 winner is playing for keeps, hoping his driver has the nerves to handle his intense coaching style.
"I'm going to push the hell out of my kid," Andretti told SB Nation over the phone on Friday night. "He can't see it all so we're going to have to devise a strategy. I hope the kid doesn't cry because we're going to push these cars hard because there is a world record at stake."
The four kids were chosen by Hot Wheels in a national contest that will ultimately see the winner celebrate in traditional Indianapolis Motor Speedway fashion, drinking the milk, kissing the brick and receiving a wreath. The winner will also receive a giant Hot Wheels aluminum orange track.
The world-record-attempt continues a relationship Andretti has had with Hot Wheels for decades going back to his role as a secret test driver for Hot Wheels at their California test facility in the 1990s.
"I've been with Hot Wheels for a long time," Andretti said. "It goes back to the test facility that we worked on together in secret and now we get to come out of the closet and do some really cool things in the public eye. I really can't wait to get out there (on Saturday) and go chase another world record.
For those interested in watching the event, broadcast quality video will be available for streaming or download at http://www.hotwheelsemedia.com
We'll have more from Andretti on Andretti Autosport, the Andretti Curse and his grandson's attempt to win the Greatest Spectacle in Racing in a post later tonight.