Bill Milliken and Mario Andretti Latest to Join The Legends of the Glen
Racing Greats made Impact Both On and Off the Track
Bill Milliken his mark on the original 6.6-mile street course during the first race on October 2, 1948, rolling his car into a turn that has been known as “Milliken’s Corner” ever since
WATKINS GLEN, NY – Watkins Glen International track president Michael Printup announced that William “Bill” Milliken and Mario Andretti have joined the Legends of the Glen during a press conference held earlier this afternoon. The announcement was made in front of media and fans in Lafayette Park located in Watkins Glen, NY as part of the downtown grand prix festival that runs in conjunction with the Glenora Wine Cellars U.S. Vintage Grand Prix presented by Welliver. Milliken was joined by members of his family but Andretti was unable to attend.
“It is a pleasure to induct the final two members of Class of 2011 for the Legends of The Glen during our last event for this racing season,” said Michael Printup, president of Watkins Glen International. “Certainly without the contributions of Bill, we would not be here today. We are thrilled the Milliken Family is here to celebrate with us.”
Milliken and his family make sure to visit The Glen at least once each year during the Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival to meet with old friends and see the cars of past. Despite travel challenges due to flooding throughout the state of New York, the 100-year old Milliken would not be denied in making his appearance and was clearly touched by his selection.
“I am just blown away by the award and all of these wonderful people,” said Milliken. “This induction is such an honor.”
Among the first drivers to have raced at The Glen, Milliken was also one of the first racing committee members for the competitions held in Watkins Glen. He left his mark on the original 6.6-mile street course during the first race on October 2, 1948, rolling his car into a turn that has been known as “Milliken’s Corner” ever since. Milliken’s largest impact on The Glen, however, might have come off of the track as he was instrumental in the planning and designing of both the temporary and permanent tracks. His use of sweeping turns and long straight aways throughout the course that allow for high speeds has resulted in Watkins Glen International becoming known as the super speedway of road courses.
“Bill Milliken was a hero to me as a kid and is one of the giants of Watkins Glen legacy,” said Michael Argetsinger, son of Watkins Glen icons Cameron and Jean Argetsinger and accomplished motorsports history author. “He was such an integral part of the track at the utmost level from the beginning. His achievements as a race driver alone merit such a richly deserved award.”
“Our family is really honored to have a Bill inducted into the Legends of The Glen,” said Doug Milliken, Bill’s son. “We are really taken aback when we discovered he was being inducted with a racing legend like Mario Andretti.”
Andretti had modest success on the track at Watkins Glen in winning the 1972 Six Hours endurance race and claiming the pole for United State Grand Prix in 1968 and 1977 but his true impact came off of the track as well. His popularity was a huge draw that brought a record setting crowd to Watkins Glen in 1968. His appeal continued to bring fans in large numbers to Upstate New York and was truly a key contributor in building The Glen’s worldwide popularity and recognition. Andretti is one of two drivers to win races in Formula 1, IndyCar, World Sportscar Championship and NASCAR as well as a four-time IndyCar National and Formula 1 World Champion.
Tickets for the Glenora Wine Cellars U.S. Vintage Grand Prix presented by Welliver, September 9-11, are on sale now! Don’t miss one of the largest vintage festivals in the country and see the cars that helped build the history of The Soul of American Road Racing. Fans can order their tickets or get more information by calling the WGI ticket office at 866.461.RACE (7223) or visiting the official website www.TheGlen.com. Gift certificates and track merchandise can all be purchased at The Shop located at 2 North Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen. The Shop is open Monday – Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Friday, 9:00 a.m. –8:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Keep up with the latest happenings at The Glen by visiting the official Watkins Glen International Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/watkinsgleninternational, and following WGI on Twitter, @WGI.