Racing fans got an opportunity to meet one of the sport’s legends, Mario Andretti, Thursday morning as part of the grand opening for Burt Brothers Tire and Service in Highland.

Burt Brothers, an auto service business started in 1991 in Bountiful by brothers Ron and Wendel Burt, celebrated the opening of its tenth location — the first in Utah County — with a meet-and-greet event with Andretti for community members, a classic car show and a monster truck car crush.

Andretti, winner of 111 major racing events, is a personal family friend of the Burt family, and longtime partner with the Firestone tire brand. He traveled to Highland from his home in Pennsylvania, because he believes in both brands, he said. This is his fourth Burt Brothers location he’s celebrated with the Burt family.

“This is a great family-run business and a great asset to the community. And it’s a business that’s needed in this community,” he said. “I would love to have them in my neighborhood any time.”

There are 10 Burt Brothers locations in northern Utah, and Ron Burt said they were drawn to Highland as their first Utah County location because of the location and how easy it was to work with Highland’s officials. Smaller communities like Highland are a good fit for their brand, he explained, and the opportunity was one they couldn’t pass up.

“We’re just praying and hoping the community will come in and support us,” Ron Burt said.

The store location, situated just off Highland’s Town Center Boulevard, was previously a tire services shop. Burt Brothers remodeled and updated the space. Highland Mayor Rod Mann said he was excited for their business because the company is very involved in the local communities at each location.

“They are engaged and they give back to the community. We’re delighted to have a company that cares about people,” Mann said.

Andretti joked that he already expects an invite to Burt Brothers’ next location grand opening, saying he feels like the company is family. Burt Brothers partners with the Bridgestone/Firestone tire company, and Andretti, 78, has been a part of the Firestone brand for four decades. Andretti was a test driver for the company, assessing tire performance on the racetrack.

“The racetrack is the ultimate test, of course, and all that knowledge has been passed down to passenger cars,” he said.

Andretti signed autographs and posed for pictures at the event, as well as taking part in Thursday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Karissa Neely reports on Business and North County events, and can be reached at 801-344-2537 or kneely@heraldextra.com. Follow her on Twitter: @DHKarissaNeely

Karissa Neely reports on Business & Community events, and loves telling people’s stories.

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