Parnelli Jones, winner of the 1963 Indy 500, passes away at the age of 90

Parnelli Jones: A Racing Legend

Parnelli Jones, the oldest living winner of the Indianapolis 500, passed away peacefully in California, leaving behind a legacy that will forever be remembered in the racing world. Born in 1933 in Arkansas, Jones quickly made a name for himself as a talented racer, competing in various classes and capturing multiple championships throughout his career. From his early days racing jalopies in California to his legendary victories at the Indianapolis 500, Jones was a force to be reckoned with on the track.

### Early Career and Rise to Prominence

Jones began his racing career at the age of 17, racing jalopies in California under the alias “Parnellie.” He quickly made a name for himself in various racing classes, including NASCAR’s late model series, where he achieved 15 wins. His talent caught the attention of J.C. Agajanian, leading to his debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1961, where he was named the Rookie of the Year. Jones continued to impress, setting records and leading laps at the famed Indy 500, eventually capturing his first victory in 1963.

### Off-Road Racing and Team Ownership

In addition to his success on the track, Jones also ventured into off-road racing, winning back-to-back Baja 1000 races in the early 1970s. He also made a mark in NASCAR, capturing four wins in the Cup Series. In 1969, Jones teamed up with Vel Miletich to form Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing, achieving great success in the Indy 500 and USAC championships. Despite a major accident in 1974, Jones remained a prominent figure in the racing world as a team owner, securing top drivers like Mario Andretti and competing in Formula 1.

### Hall of Fame Inductions and Legacy

Parnelli Jones’ contributions to the world of motorsports have been widely recognized, with his induction into various Halls of Fame such as the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame. His legacy lives on through his family, including his wife, sons, and grandchildren, who continue to carry on his passion for racing. Parnelli Jones will forever be remembered as a true racing legend whose impact on the sport will never be forgotten.

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