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
Carlin Racing
 
Carlin Joins Verizon IndyCar Series for 2018 Season Confirming Drivers Chilton and Kimball
Carlin is proud to announce their move into the Verizon IndyCar Series in a full-time capacity for the 2018 season. Joining the first season INDYCAR effort at Carlin will be drivers Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball along with primary partners, international insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services firm, Gallagher and global healthcare company, Novo Nordisk.
Read More
#IMSLights
 
12 Days of IMS De-Lights Bringing More Holiday Cheer to Indy
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will make this year’s holiday season extra memorable for Lights at the Brickyard attendees, with a special new “12 Days of IMS De-Lights” promotion that starts Dec. 13 and runs through Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.
Read More
Jack Harvey
 
Harvey Joins MSR, SPM Partnership for 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil
Driver Jack Harvey and Michael Shank Racing are taking the next step in their Verizon IndyCar Series careers together, with veteran team Schmidt Peterson Motorsports lending a guiding hand.
Read More
Amazing Race
 
Rossi, Daly Lead Team INDYCAR in 'The Amazing Race'
Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly have been friends for years, and sometimes housemates since both joined the Verizon IndyCar Series full time in 2016. Now they’re something more: teammates for Season 30 of “The Amazing Race,” the popular, Emmy Award-winning reality competition show airing on CBS.
Read More
Newgarden Introvert
 
Newgarden Talks Racing Life with Aspiring Journalists
Recently crowned Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden spent most of an hour Tuesday disproving the fact he’s a self-described “introvert.”
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 2,831
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 IMS Sales Department at (317) 492-8739 or email at hospitalitysales@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
It's Pole day on @CrownRoyal Armed Forces Weekend & we can't wait to see you! Check out details on the day: https://t.co/yKQ6Db3YRK
May 21