Rufus Parnell “Parnelli” Jones, famous US racing driver and team owner, started his racing career in 1950s from different classes of stock car racing. He won 15 races in the regional NASCAR Pacific Coast Late Model Series. In 1956-60 Parnelli Jones also started in some races in the highest stock car championship – NASCAR Grand National, scoring 3 victories. In 1958 he graduated to sprint car racing sanctioned by California Racing Association (CRA), and in 1960 debuted in his Fike Plumbing Special in the USAC Sprint Car Championship winning the Midwest series, while A.J. Foyt claimed USAC’s Eastern title. The 1960 was also his first season in Big cars – Jones was 18th in the USAC National Championship. In 1961 Parnelli Jones took part in all 4 major USAC series. He focused mostly on the USAC Sprint Car Championship and USAC National Championship, but often raced in the USAC National Midget series and occasionally started in the USAC Stock Car Championship.
Midget series always had a very busy schedule. So in 1961 there were as many as 58 races in the USAC Championship calendar. Parnelli Jones was able to start only in 18 of them winning 2 rounds. First, he won at Milwaukie Mile, unusual midget race held on 1-mile paved oval, in Chuck Benda owned car #89. His second win was in his regular Willard Battery Kurtis-Kraft midget owned by Marvin Edwards. Jones won the last race of the season held on 31 December at Ascot Stadium., Gardena, CA. In the final standing of the USAC 110 Offenhauser Championship (the official name of the National Midget series) Parnelli Jones was 6th with 593.5 points. The winner, Jimmy Davies, won 11 out of his 48 races, and scored 1265.2 points. Parnelli’s major rival, A.J. Foyt, was in 7th position, just behind Parnelli, but with 9 wins of just 13 starts.
|1961||USAC Midget Championship|
|Parnelli Jones||98||Marvin Edwards|
|Kurtis Kraft||Offenhauser||Willard Battery Special|
|1:43||GMP||Limited Edition 1:43 Parnelli Jones 3 Car Set|
|1443 / 7682|