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Parnelli Jones

PARNELLI JONES, winner of the 1963 Indianapolis 500 race, was the first to break the 150 mile per hour “barrier” in qualifications in 1962 with one-lap and four-lap qualifying speeds of 150.729 and 150.370 miles per hour, respectively. He broke both records the following year and led the field for 167 laps on his way to an impressive victory at a record average speed of 143.137 miles per hour. He had only seven starts in the Indianapolis 500, but led five of them for a total of 492 laps. He finished second in 1965 and never started worse than sixth. He led 171 of 196 laps in 1967 before he was eliminated by a mechanical failure within sight of the finish with Andy Granatelli’s controversial STP-sponsored gas-turbine-powered car. He is the only driver to have led for more than 400 miles of an Indianapolis 500 twice. In United States Auto Club competition, he won six National Championship races, 13 national stock car races, 25 sprint car races, and another 25 midget races, earning the United States Auto Club sprint car title in 1961 and 1962, and the stock car title in 1964. Other notable victories included NASCAR’s (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) Riverside 500 in 1967 and numerous off-road racing events. In 1967, he joined forces with sportsman Vel Miletich to field cars in United States Auto Club competition, winning the Indianapolis 500 with Al Unser in 1970 and 1971, plus the season’s title with Unser in 1970 and with Joe Leonard in 1971 and 1972. The team also won the United States Auto Club Dirt Car title with Unser in 1973 and Mario Andretti in 1974; the latter was the driver for the team’s ambitious, but short-lived Formula One effort in 1975