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Parnelli Jones, Champion Auto Racer and Record Setter, Is Dead at 90

The following day, the driver Eddie Sachs, who claimed that oil from Jones’s car had caused him to slide into a wall, got into an argument with him. As Jones told MotorSport magazine in 2013: “I said, ‘I oughtta bust you in the mouth.’ And he said, ‘Go ahead.’ So I let him have it.”

Jones’s final Indy 500 came in 1967, when he drove Andy Granatelli’s revolutionary turbine-powered car, which was considerably faster than the traditional piston-engine cars. He was leading A.J. Foyt by more than a mile with seven and a half miles to go when a bearing, reportedly costing $6, failed in his gear box, forcing him to limp into the pits as Foyt went on to his third Indy 500 triumph.

In 1971 and ’72, Jones won the off-road race that came to be known as the Baja 1000, and he captured the Sports Car Club of America’s 1970 road-racing Trans-Am Championship.

In addition to his son P.J., he is survived by his wife, Judy Jones; another son, Page; and six grandchildren.

After his racing years, Jones operated chains of tire dealerships and auto parts distributorships.

At times, he showed a penchant for speed away from the pro circuit. He told how in the aftermath of his 1963 Indy 500 victory, a police officer stopped him for speeding on a Southern California freeway and asked him, “Who do you think you are, Parnelli Jones?”

His 2012 autobiography, written with Bones Bourcier, a journalist, was titled, “As a Matter of Fact, I Am Parnelli Jones.”

Alexandra Petri contributed reporting.

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