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102-year-old takes ride at Indianapolis Speedway

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- A 102-year-old woman says she's disappointed racing great Mario Andretti couldn't go faster than 180 mph during their laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Edith Pittenger of Muncie said she had a great time riding with Andretti in a two-seat race car Tuesday.

"He said 180 is the maximum," she told The Star Press. "I wanted to do 200, but he wouldn't do that."

Dozens of family members joined Pittenger at the speedway for what was her second trip around the track - in 2008, she rode with driver Arie Luyendyk Jr. She marked her 100th birthday two years ago by going parasailing.

Pittenger ended her latest speedway laps with a drink of milk - just like the tradition of Indy 500 winners in victory lane.

Garett Cates said he was amazed by his grandmother's sense of adventure.

"I know people in their 70s and 80s who, I mean they're bedridden, and they can't get around or hardly do anything, but I mean my goodness she's 102 and she's going 180 miles an hour at least in a race car," he said.

Pittenger told WRTV she remembered first driving a car in the 1920s when she was 12 years old.

"I would just jump in the car and the kids would ride on the running board and we'd go around the reformatory that's down at Pendleton where I was born," Pittenger said.

Pittenger said she wasn't nervous with Andretti behind the wheel.

"He didn't slow down around those corners, that's what surprised me," she said.

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
car nut May 15 2014 at 12:06 AM

When you drive fast, you get a rush. The faster you go, the next time your out doesn't feel as fast so you want to go faster. So if you have did 120 two or three times, you get use to it and want to do 150. Then 180, then 200 and so on. The dream keeps going with most speed junkies. Glad she gets to live her dreams for the most part!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Squeek May 15 2014 at 1:43 AM

This lady is simply AMAZING. Congradulations to her!!!
How awesome!!

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bluecrabs43 May 14 2014 at 8:23 PM

Edith, Go Drag Racing for your 103 rd BD. You will be able to run 200 plus

Flag Reply +2 rate up
carocarpenter May 14 2014 at 8:08 PM

go granny...

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doxyland May 14 2014 at 7:38 PM

When I grow up, I want to be Edith Pittenger!

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avanticrzy May 14 2014 at 7:20 PM


Flag Reply +4 rate up
rexeccoach May 14 2014 at 7:10 PM

Great way to celebrate a hundred and two.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
lakearcher rexeccoach May 14 2014 at 8:18 PM

One hundred two. One hundred and two is 100.2.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
2 replies
rjackson2a lakearcher May 14 2014 at 8:24 PM

No it isn't. Think it thru.

Flag 0 rate up
Brian Gordon lakearcher May 14 2014 at 9:03 PM

Yes it is. We Americans don’t know the language any more.

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LL May 14 2014 at 7:00 PM

"One nugget short of a Happy Meal", is all I can say about this grandma .

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
grainman1955 LL May 14 2014 at 7:10 PM

Jealous little LL?

Flag Reply +4 rate up
weezie6 May 14 2014 at 6:41 PM

I think this is a wonderful thing for a 102 year old lady to be getting around like this! As my mother would of said keep the #'s rolling. Hope you had a great birthday!!!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
ga7smi May 14 2014 at 6:35 PM

Mario never could go fast

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