Racing Legends Spotlight: Parnelli Jones
Rufus Parnell “Parnelli” Jones (born August 12, 1933 in Texarkana, Arkansas), is a retired American racing driver and racecar owner. He is most remembered for his 1963 Indianapolis 500 win, and almost winning the 1967 Indy 500 in a turbine car. He is also remembered for bringing the stock block engine to USAC Sprint car racing as one of the “Chevy Twins” with Jim Hurtubise.
In his career, Parnelli Jones won races in many types of vehicles: sports cars, IndyCars, sprint cars, midget cars, off-road vehicles, and stock cars. He is associated with the famous Boss 302 Mustang with his wins using the engine in the 1970s.
Jones’ son P. J. Jones was also a diverse driver, with IndyCar and NASCAR starts and a championship in IMSA prototype sports cars. His other son Page Jones was an up-and-coming driver before suffering career ending (and life-threatening) injuries in a sprint car at the 4-Crown Nationals, and has been in rehabilitation, working with his father-in-law. Following the death of1960 Indianapolis 500 winner Jim Rathmann, Jones is now the oldest living “500” winner.