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Monday, March 12, 2012
Michael Andretti talks 'Celebrity Apprentice' exit


On Monday morning, racing legend Michael Andretti still was in a state of shock about being fired from NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" on Sunday night.

"If you watch the clip, you'll see that I really was upset," said Andretti, who had been on the elimination-style competition show for more than a month. "I had the feeling that they wanted to get me off the show."

Andretti's team was asked to promote the new Buick Verano. Everyone thought Andretti, with his racing background, was going to make the presentation, but the quiet son of Mario Andretti allowed comedian Adam Carolla to take the lead. Carolla flopped and was fired, but host Donald Trump said someone else should go too, and that was Andretti.

"His reason that we didn't use our people correctly is bogus. It was all pretty confusing," said Andretti, who is chairman, president and CEO of Andretti Autosport and runs two full-time driver programs in the IndyCar series. "I wanted to start screaming. It was very surprising."

Andretti, who felt bad that his Racing for Cancer charity wasn't going to receive the eventual prize money, said he wouldn't rule out another role on reality TV.

"I came off pretty much the way I am. I'm not the kind of person who stirs up controversy. The only thing I didn't like in the editing was it was showing me standing around a lot. I was always working," Andretti said. "I'm disappointed more for my charity. I'm glad I did the show and the experience was a good one. I came away with a lot of friends."

And the eventual winner will be?

"I think Clay Aiken," Andretti said, "who is in it to win it."