Only in Indiana: Eva Kor and Mario Andretti share a spot in the Winner's Circle


INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - What could Eva Kor and Mario Andretti possibly have in common? Kor is one of the most famous survivors of Auschwitz in the world. Andretti is one of the most famous race car drivers in the world.

Their paths crossed earlier this week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and as it turned out, the answer is: plenty.

For one, both are identical twins. Eva's twin, like Eva, also survived Dr. Josef Mengele's cruel experiments. Mario made his twin brother sit in for him back in 1969.

"It's traditional here the next day to have a photo but my face was all burnt so I asked my brother to sit in the car for me and nobody knew it," Andretti admitted. "Nobody asked the question, and they still have that at the Speedway shop. They still sell that photo."

Both have been given cold milk in the winner's circle at Indy.

"This is going to be special for you because it is signed by last year's winner, Alexander Rossi. But normally I present it," said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Doug Boles. "You, however will receive it from an Indy 500 winner," said Boles as he handed Andretti a bottle of ice cold milk to give to Kor.

"There you go my dear. It's a special tradition and milk never tasted better than it does when you drink it right here," Andretti told Kor as he held it with her.

Ironically, these two have something else in common very few would ever suspect.

"I was in a refugee camp. Our family was not proud of WWII. We knew how awful those times were," shared Andretti. "Makes us appreciate life in a different way. Because of the war, we moved to America. New opportunities. Not sure I would have achieved my goals if he had stayed in Italy," he shared.

Eva clearly relished the moment.

She is also embracing her role as Grand Marshal for the IPL 500 Festival Parade.

"Every person should be that lucky. I tell kids study, be a good person, follow your dreams and you might end up at the Indy 500," Eva said.

"I like that. Follow your dreams," Andretti echoed.

And believe it or not, there is still more.

"1967, 1968 my husband said, 'you are driving like Mario Andretti,'" she said with a hearty laugh.

"He would be proud of you," Mario said.

Two living legends, standing right where they both belong--in the Winner's Circle at Indy.