Andy Granatelli was a huge part of what many of us old timers consider the golden age of Indy Car centered around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In the week following his death at the age of 90 I find myself still feeling sad. He is one of the last links to what could arguably be called the high point of the sport.
He was a shameless self-promoter and almost singlehandedly made the STP logo ubiquitous in just about all forms of racing. The propagation of that brand was evident in stickers that were everywhere, on crew uniforms, and on race cars, including the iconic number 43 Richard Petty drove in NASCAR.
He allowed then young fans like me to experience Novis at the track. The turbines were different and rankled the establishment, which effectively legislated them out of existence. He was a renegade owner and always looked for the next innovation. He was a giant man and cut a wide swath right through the racing world.
His brand of personality was larger than life. Personalities such as Andy, J.C. Agajanian and others helped create wide eyed interest in the sport and are sorely missing today. Recently his annual visits to IMS in May were high points for those of us with deep respect for history.
We all come and go in the general scheme of the universe, but a big part of what got many of us hooked early on is gone and he is missed.