STREETS OF LONG BEACH, CA
April 15, 2012 on NBC
Jones named Sunday's Grand Marshal at Toyota Grand Prix
of Long Beach
Jones will be the grand marshal on Saturday in Long Beach,
BEACH, Calif. – The legendary Parnelli
Jones has been named Grand Marshal for the Sunday, April
15 IZOD IndyCar Series race at the 38th Annual Toyota
Grand Prix of Long Beach.
was once said that, if it had wheels, Parnelli Jones could
take it to Victory Circle. Few, if any, racing drivers
were as versatile and successful as Jones, whose family
moved to Torrance from their home in Texarkana, Ark.,
when Jones was a youngster.
he was 17 years old, he participated in his first race
– for jalopies – at Carrell Speedway in Gardena,
then graduated to sprint cars, winning the Midwest Region
sprint car title in 1960.
competed in his first Indy car race in 1960 at Milwaukee
and a year later was voted co-Rookie of the Year at the
Indianapolis 500. In 1962, he won the Indy 500 pole, then
repeated the feat the following year, going on to win
the race and six other Indy car races.
also won the SCCA Trans-Am Series title, USAC Stock Car
championship, twice won the Pike’s Peak Hill Climb
and joined with Bill Stroppe to win both the Baja 500
and Baja 1,000 off-road races!
1967, he and the late Vel Miletich established the Vel’s
Parnelli Jones Racing Team. With Al Unser at the wheel,
the team won the Indy 500 in 1970 and 1971, three straight
national championships and 53 Indy car races with Unser,
Mario Andretti and Joe Leonard driving.
has an especially strong Long Beach connection. In 1975,
Andretti and Unser each drove team Lolas in the Formula
5000 race at the first Long Beach Grand Prix. The Jones/Miletich
team competed in Formula One from 1974-76, and in 1976,
the team’s only appearance here, Andretti finished
15th behind winner Clay Regazzoni.
to top it all off, Jones competed eight times in the Toyota
Pro/Celebrity Race here, winning the overall race in 1980
and capturing the Pro Division in 1989 and 1991!
Jones has been a part of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long
Beach fabric virtually from its very beginning,”
said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix
Association of Long Beach. “We are grateful for
his many contributions to the event and our sport, and
honored to have him as our Grand Marshal Grand at America’s
#1 Street Race.”
for the 2012 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, featuring
six races including the third round of the IZOD IndyCar
Series, are available now at gplb.com. Fans can select
their seats, parking and paddock passes there or by calling
the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 82-SPEED. Also featured
on gplb.com is the latest Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
news, a downloadable ticket brochure and racetrack information,
photos and ongoing announcements of special race week
prices range from $26 for a Friday General Admission ticket
to $130 for a three-day ticket that includes Sat./Sun.
reserved seating in grandstand upper levels. A wide variety
of Hospitality Club packages are also available, including
the exciting Vista Club – featuring a nearly 360-degree
view of the race circuit – located high atop the
Hyatt Regency Long Beach.
can follow the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook
and on Twitter @ToyotaGPLB.
Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
credit: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
to our coverage of the 2012 Toyota Grand Prix of Long
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