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this day in history 1933

Racing legend Parnelli Jones is born

Jones the Speed It’s Friday! And as it’s Friday, we like to go fast and celebrate all things quick moving and automotive. And what better man to honour than the (current) oldest winner of the Indianapolis 500 and all around motor racing legend Parnelli Jones. Born in 1933, he wasn’t born with that moniker (he’s really called Rufus) but adopted the name "Parnelli" in hopes that his family wouldn’t catch him racing as a teenager.

But I doubt they could have stopped him. A fanatical gearhead, Jones won races in stock cars, sprint cars, trucks and off-road vehicles. Pretty much anything he raced in - he won. Considered by many as the greatest driver around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he was the first person to to qualify over 150 mph, won the Indy 500 in 1963 and went on to win again as an owner in the 1970s.

He’s inducted in over 20 motor racing Halls of Fame including the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. And if there was a Hall of Fame for being a total bad ass, Parnelli would be in there too.