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
Jake Zemke
 
Jake Zemke Will Race a Ducati Superbike at Indianapolis
In his new rider-management role with Wasserman Media Group, Zemke has attended all but one MotoAmerica race this year, but round eight at Indianapolis Motor Speedway next week will be the first time he has cinched up a helmet.
Read More
Red Bull Indianapolis GP
 
2015 Red Bull Indianapolis GP Storylines
Indianapolis is the 10th round in the MotoGP World Championship and marks the start of the second half of the season. MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 classes will take the track all three days along with the new MotoAmerica series appearing at IMS for the first time.
Read More
Red Bull Indianapolis GP
 
MotoGP Title Battle Set to Recommence at Indianapolis
The iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway will play host to its eighth Red Bull Indianapolis GP this Sunday as riders and teams return from the summer break well-rested and prepared to do battle once more in what is turning into an epic MotoGP World Championship title scrap. The passionate American fans will be hoping for more of the same as last year’s race saw an incredible opening few laps with Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso all involved in a brilliant fight, before Marquez went on to secure the win by 1.8 seconds.
Read More
Graham Rahal
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Rahal Thrills Ohio Fans, Inches Closer to Montoya
Rahal's surge in the second half of the Verizon IndyCar Series season continued with his second win in five weeks. Rahal, who started 13th in the 90-lap race in the No. 15 Steak 'n Shake Honda for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, closed to nine points of Verizon IndyCar Series championship front-runner Juan Pablo Montoya with two races left in the season. There are 10 entries mathematically eligible for the title.
Read More
Aaron Colton
 
Wide Range of Activities on Tap for Red Bull Indianapolis GP Weekend
From high-flying Red Bull skydivers to a bustling marketplace to the fastest two-wheeled athletes in the world, the eighth Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Aug. 7-9 is shaping up to be the best yet.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,007
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
Curious about the hot topics for the 8th annual @RedBullINDY #IndyGP? Here ya go! http://t.co/XHw1YXPuEu http://t.co/kRKptSlb8F
about 4 hours ago