Wednesday, July 4, 2018

"1950 Indy 500 Winner" Johnnie Parsons Sr. Born - July 4, 1918

July 4, 1918 - September 8, 1984
Johnnie Parsons
Born in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Parsons won the Indianapolis 500 in 1950. He had a son named Johnny who competed at Indy a dozen times. Parsons first raced in open wheel cars on the West Coast of the United States in a midget car. He won the 1942 season championship in the United Midget Association. He won 18 feature events in the abbreviated season. Parsons began racing in the AAA after World War II. He captured the third feature in the 1948 Night Before the 500 midget race at the 16th Street Speedway. Parsons finished second in his first Indy 500 in 1949. He won the season championship that season. He won the 1955 Turkey Night Grand Prix midget car race. After he retired, he became the Chief Steward for the USAC Midget division on the West Coast in the 1970s.

Parsons had the dubious distinction of being the only Indianapolis 500 winner to have his name misspelled on the Borg-Warner Trophy. Silversmiths carved "Johnny" instead of "Johnnie."
(Photo"Borgwarnertrophy018" by Doctorindy)
The Indianapolis 500 was part of the FIA World Championship from 1950 through 1960. Drivers competing at Indy during those years were credited with World Championship points and participation. Johnnie Parsons participated in 9 World Championship races. He won 1 race, set 1 fastest leading lap, and finished on the podium once. He accumulated a total of 12 championship points.
Parsons is one of only three drivers to win on his world championship début. The other two are Giuseppe Farina, who won the first world championship grand prix, the 1950 British Grand Prix, and Giancarlo Baghetti, who won the 1961 French Grand Prix.

On September 8, 1984, Parsons died of a heart attack at his home in Van Nuys, California, before receiving notification that he was to be inducted in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame later that year. He was also inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2004.

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