By Leonard Rodriguez

This column highlights inspiring stories of Latino leaders. For more than 500 years, Latino men and wom- en have positively influenced the face of United States so- ciety. Let us celebrate these outstanding hispanics.

Emerson Fittipaldi

A two-time world driving champion and two-time Indy 500 winner, Emerson Fittipaldi is one of the greatest Formula 1 and IndyCar drivers in history. Born in Brazil, he grew up around racing and worked as a mechanic as a teen. He has made a significant contri- bution to World Wide Open Wheel racing, winning number numerous titles, poles, sponsor- ships and cash prizes.

His name ranks among other greats such as Andrade, Unser and Mears with good reason. In 1967, he won the Brazilian Vee title and since launch to historic racing career. He won 22 IndyCar victories, set a $25 million single-season record, became the first driver to win more than $1 million for a single Victory and a messed career earnings of $14 million.