August 12, 2012-Parnelli Jones Happy Birthday!

Born August 12, 1933 Parnelli competed in seven Indianapolis 500’s winning in 1963, almost winning in 1967, breaking the unbreakable 150MPH barrier and never starting worst than 6th!

He had 4 top 10’s, led 5 of the 7 races or 492 laps and had career Indy winnings of $333,919 bucks, which is about what 33rd place pays today.

In 1963 when he went over the 150 MPH mark, Parnelli was awarded 150 silver dollars from Phil Hedback of Bryant Heating and Cooling.

This was a neat tradition that continued when Tom Sneva went over 200MPH, with 200 silver dollars and again when Janet Gutherie became the first women to make the 500. In 1977 she drove the Bryant sponsored car for Rolla Vollstedt and made the show at 188MPH and received 188 silver dollars too:)

This photo was taken race morning in 1963. That’s Jim Philippi, long time member of the Public Address crew, talking with Parnelli.

One cool item reguarding Mr. Jones. In 2011 he was back helping the Speedway celebrate their anniversery and I asked him if he remembered what all of us kids in the stands were saying that STP, the cars sponsor. stood for?

He shook his head and I told him we were all saying it meant “Stop That Parnelli” Parnelli told me he’s never heard that before then:)



  1. sally bonneau · · Reply

    Rufus Parnell Jones – he is my ALL-TIME favorite driver!!

  2. Lenny Ten Barge · · Reply

    Parnelli was one of the best!! just wish his family would have had better luck.

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