(WOMR file photo)
Andy Granatelli, a fixture in Indy cars and at the Indianapolis 500, died Sunday at age 90.
Granatelli is the former CEO of STP motor oil company who made a mark on motorsports as a car owner, innovator and entrepreneur.
Granatelli is a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame.
A statement from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles on the passing of Granatelli, who passed away Sunday, December 29, 2013 in Santa Barbara, California at the age of 90.
“Andy Granatelli – known appropriately as “Mister 500″ – understood better than anyone the spirit and challenge of the Indianapolis 500 and had a remarkable ability to combine innovative technologies with talented race car drivers to make his cars a threat to win at Indianapolis every year,” said J. Douglas Boles, IMS. “Andy leaves a legacy of historic moments that will live forever in Indianapolis 500 lore including his famous turbine that dominated the 1967 Indianapolis 500, the Lotus 56 of 1968, and giving the great Mario Andretti a kiss on the cheek in victory lane after his 1969 win. Our thoughts and prayers are with Andy’s family, friends and legion of fans.”
Not only was Granatelli a fixture in the Indy 500, “Mr. 500” also consummated the first major corporate sponsorship in the NASCAR world. Granatelli and his STP corporation inked a deal that would, forever, link himself, his corporation, and “The King”, Richard Petty, together in NASCAR history! Richard Petty and STP became one and the same, as far as the fans of NASCAR were concerned!
Granatelli was born in Dallas. He gained fame during World War II as a promoter of racing events, such as the Hurricane Racing Association.
He is survived by wife Dolly and sons Vince and Anthony.
“Mr. 500”, go rest high on that mountain! Your presence will be sorely missed in the auto racing world!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDENECK