From The Augusta Chronicle
AUGUSTA, GA — Racing legend Mario Andretti is set to visit Aiken County’s Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire plant on Tuesday.
The factory announced May 5 that Andretti will spend about 1 1/2 hours at the facility during an employee recognition event.
Plant spokeswoman Mary McLaughlin said the facility is taking advantage of the racing legend’s proximity — he will be at the Bridgestone/Firestone plant in Wilson, N.C., earlier in the day for its 30th anniversary celebration — to help reward employees for their productivity and safety achievements.
Most recently, the plant received a ISO TS 16949 certification, an automotive industry quality standard. Last year it was named one of Industry Week’s top 10 plants and won the South Carolina Manufacturer of the Year Award.
Andretti, featured in Firestone’s new “Where the Rubber Meets the Road” advertising campaign, has been affiliated with the tire brand for four decades. He was driving on Firestones when he won the 1969 Indianapolis 500 as well as the 1967 Daytona 500 and the 1978 Formula One World Championship.
Although the even for the plant’s 900 employees is not open to the public, area community leaders and political figures will be invited to the reception from 2-3:30 p.m., McLaughlin said.
The 1.8 million-square-foot Graniteville Bridgestone/Firestone plant, which produces radial passenger and light truck tires, is one of Aiken County’s largest private-sector employers.
Copyright The Augusta Chronicle, Ga. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.
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