Parnelli Jones Jr

Parnelli Jones Jr


PJ Jones, son of 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones. He won the 1993 Daytona 24 hour race and was runner up in the Driver's Championship. Now driving in the IRL Series.

When PJ Jones, oldest son of 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones, was a toddler, he slept in a bed shaped like a race car. As a baby, his parents took him to Indianapolis in the month of May. It is not confirmed whether PJ had gasoline in his milk bottle, but nobody was surprised when he announced at age 13 that race driving would become his life.

He started in go-karts and quickly progressed to midgets where he won over 20 main events during the years 1986 to 1991. Despite his hectic schedule, he still had time to graduate from high school. He then went on to compete in the Firestone Firehawk and Indy Lights Series. There he caught the eye of Dan Gurney who at the time was looking for a driver for one of his Toyota Eagle GTP cars to be campaigned in the 1992 IMSA GTP Championship. PJ was chosen as a teammate to Juan Manuel Fangio II. He was an instant success scoring two victories and the "Most Improved Driver Award" in 1992

In 1993, PJ captured six pole positions and three race wins, the highlight being the Daytona 24 hour classic. He was runner up in the 1993 Driver's Championship and played a vital role in securing the GTP Manufacturer's Title for Toyota. After 1993, PJ began development work for all American Racers and Toyota on the Cart World Series in '96 and '97. He became the first driver to score points for Toyota with an impressive ninth place finish at the Detroit Grand Prix.

He first raced in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in 1993 for Harry Melling with a best finish of eighth at Watkins Glen. He raced int he series again in 1994 but only did two races.

After a break of six years Jones returned to the series in 2000 and raced occasionally over the next few years. he has also raced in the NASCAR Busch Series and the Craftsman Truck Series.

He drove in the 2004 and 2006 Indianapolis 500 races for Curb-Agajanian-Beck/Team Leader Motorsports with a best finish of 19th in 2006. Jones will also compete in the 2007 Indy 500 but this time for Team Leader/Dollander Racing in a car owned by Kent Baker

He has a great fondness for airplanes and got his pilot's license in 1992. He owns a 609 A Aero Commander, which he flies to most of the races. "All the stuff I own lies around in that plane somewhere" he chuckles, "I use it like an old station wagon going across the country." Golf and boating are other passions and physical fitness along with a strict diet program are a must for the 5'10, 180 lb young athlete. He makes his home in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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