News & Multimedia

Indianapolis 500 Veteran Grant Dies At 77

Jerry Grant, a 10-time competitor in the Indianapolis 500 and the first person to qualify for a race faster than 200 mph in an Indy car, died Sunday, Aug. 12. He was 77.

Grant, a prominent American road racer, turned his historic 201.414-mph lap in 1972 at Ontario, Calif. But he is probably best remembered for nearly winning the 1972 Indianapolis 500.

Driving the purple Mystery Eagle as teammate to Bobby Unser on Dan Gurney's All-American Racers team, Grant led at the 188-lap mark when he had to pit to replace a tire which was losing air. Instead of pitting in his stall, he went to the adjoining one of Unser, who had retired much earlier in the day. Whether or not Grant actually took on any fuel from Unser's refueling tank is up for discussion, but the hoses were momentarily hooked up, and it became known that the tank in his own pit was apparently empty, the maximum allotment of 275 gallons having been exhausted.
While Grant did finish the 500 miles, taking the checkered flag in second place behind Mark Donohue, officials subsequently disallowed Grant's final 12 laps, thus dropping him from second to 12th.

Such an occurrence was hardly a new experience for Grant. With only five minutes remaining in the 1966 Sebring 12 Hours, the Ford GT Mk. II he shared with Gurney was in front when a mechanical issue forced Gurney to stop on the course. Gurney then proceeded to push the stricken car the final 300 yards to the finish line, whereupon he was disqualified.

Gurney and Grant would have placed second, based on distance covered, if the car remained untouched at the side of the road. Less than three months later, Gurney and Grant were seemingly on their way to winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans when a mechanical issue eliminated them while leading at the 21-hour mark.

The diversified Grant, who climbed from 43rd to fifth in the 1967 Daytona 500, finished fifth in the 1966 Dixie 400 at Atlanta, co-drove a Ford Cobra in the 1964 Targa Florio (shared second in the GT class with Gurney) and had three top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500, topped by a seventh place in 1970. He competed in 49 USAC National Championship races between 1965-77, placing third in the 1974 Ontario 500 and fourth in a 150-mile event in 1969 on the road course at Castle Rock, Colo.

An entertaining speaker and story teller, Grant became part of Champion Spark Plug Company’s Highway Safety program, lecturing on highway safety to students and service personnel, eventually succeeding Fred Agabashian as Champion’s senior lecturer.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Indianapolis 500 Veteran Grant Dies At 77
 
Indianapolis 500 Veteran Grant Dies At 77
Jerry Grant, a 10-time competitor in the Indianapolis 500 and the first person to qualify for a race faster than 200 mph in an Indy car, died Sunday, Aug. 12. He was 77.
Read More
Related Media
2018 IndyCar
 
INDYCAR Unveils New Images of 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series Car Design
INDYCAR, sanctioning body for the premier North American open-wheel racing series, released new images today of the universal aerodynamic bodywork kit that will be used by all competitors in 2018. Following along with this year's INDYCAR theme of "NEXT," the computer-generated images are the next evolution of the car's development process and provide more detail than concept sketches released in January.
Read More
Mikhail Aleshin
 
Schmidt Peterson Duo Looks To Build on Superspeedway Prowess
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe celebrated the first pole of his career at this track in last May’s 100th Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil. He also led 188 laps in a runner-up Firestone 600 finish at Texas Motor Speedway.
Read More
Pippa Mann
 
Mann Joins Indy 500 Lineup for Dale Coyne Racing
Mann will return to Dale Coyne Racing for a fifth consecutive year to pilot the team’s third entry in the 101st Indianapolis 500. The British driver will once again be paired with Ridgely, who was her engineer when she scored her best Verizon IndyCar Series finish in 2015 (13th), as well as her best Indy 500 result (18th) last year.
Read More
Simon Pagenaud
 
Watch Chevy Stars Test for Indy 500 Saturday at IMS
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway invites fans to watch an Indianapolis 500 test by Chevrolet teams Saturday, April 1. Fans can view the test for free from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., with a lunch break from noon-1 p.m., from the Turn 2 Viewing Mounds, IMS Museum Lot or the South Terrace Grandstands. Free parking is available in the Museum Lot for fans.
Read More
Fans
 
HandleBar Hot Lap Revs Up Businesses for Workforce Week
On Friday, April 28, Monument Circle will host a uniquely-Indy race: the second annual HandleBar Hot Lap. In celebration of Downtown Indy, Inc.’s Workforce Week and the 101st Running of the Indy 500, businesses are invited to form a team and pedal in races around Monument Circle in HandleBars. The field is limited to the first 48 corporate teams that register.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,313
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Laura Wyamn at (317) 492-8557 or email at lwyman@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
RT @PCaporali: Any #IndyCar fans coming to @IMS on Sat. April 1 to watch @AJFoytRacing @ECRIndy + @Team_Penske test their @TeamChevy engine…
about 10 minutes ago