Tag Archives: Indy

Parnelli Jones Book Signing

On a warm and sunny morning in Burbank, CA, I had the honor to meet and converse with the legendary, Parnelli Jones at book signing at Autobooks.


I’ve been fortunate to meet the man (now 83 and oldest living Indy 500 winner), a couple of times over the years and he has always been kind and willing to sign anything.  The occasion was the release of the “Trans-Am Era” by Daniel Lipetz.  Also, special thanks to Marc Vaughn, Senior West Coast Editor for Autoweek, for taking the picture for me.

All Artwork and photography taken by mymotorways.com

#mymotorways @mVaughnAW #Parnelli #TransAm #Racing #Cars #Indy #autobooks #Burbank


Design a Trophy Contest… Really!

The Grand Prix of Indianapolis Trophy Design Contest is your chance to create an iconic piece of Indianapolis Motor Speedway tradition. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is asking you, the fans, to help us design the trophy for our new event in 2014, the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a talented individual to create a trophy that will stand next to other iconic trophies from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for years to come.

The winning designer will receive an invitation to appear and be recognized at the official unveiling for the new Grand Prix of Indianapolis Trophy in early February. The winning designer also will receive one replica of the new Grand Prix of Indianapolis trophy, two suite tickets to the inaugural race Saturday, May 10, 2014 and a post-race photo opportunity with the winner of the 2014 Grand Prix of Indianapolis. To view the rules and regulations of the contest, click here.

Will your design be the best?

How Do I Enter The Contest?

Easy!  First, read the guidelines for trophy creation below:

  • Ideal weight of trophy should be close to 15 pounds.
  • May not be more than 2 feet wide at the base.
  • May not be more than 3 feet tall.
  • All components of the trophy must be attached. No      two-part trophies will be selected.
  • This trophy should be unique to the Grand Prix of      Indianapolis. No bottles of milk or other iconic items related to the      Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 or the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
  • Be creative! The design can be any shape that you      desire. It can be a cup, a plate, a bowl – anything!

Next, and this is the fun part, get to designing! Let your creativity run free! The sky is the limit!

Once you have the design completed, you’ll need to submit your concept. This can be done using the below form. You must include your first name, last name, email address (so we can contact you if you win), a brief description of your trophy and the most important part – your design. Designs can be submitted in these formats: .jpg, .gif, .png, or .pdf.

Entries will be accepted through January 18, 2014.  Get to work!


Parnelli Victory Hat to be returned, 50 years later

From the Indianapolis Star by Curt Cavin

Fifty years ago, Jones lost the hat he wore in victory lane after winning the 1963 Indianapolis 500. It flew off his head exiting Turn 2 during the celebration lap in the pace car.  Jones hasn’t seen it since.

George “Skip” Surface Jr. was 12 years old when he attended that race with his family. Their car was parked along the backstretch fence when his mother, Eunice, noticed the hat on the ground.

“Go get it,” she yelled.

Surface wasn’t paying attention to where the hat came from, but the adventure was there to have. Thrown over the interior fence by his father, he said he climbed a second fence before scurrying to the hat.

He tucked it and ran.

“Like a scared cat,” he said.

Surface considered it a souvenir similar to a foul ball grabbed at a baseball game. He didn’t know it had been on Jones’ head in victory lane because there wasn’t a video board as there is in that location today.

In fact, Surface said he didn’t know it was important to Jones at all.

“I was sure Mr. Jones could afford another hat,” he said.

The hat became Surface’s connection to auto racing, and he used it to collect autographs of several racers. Many of the names have faded over the years, but Jud Larson’s was one of them. On the front lip is the signature of Gordon Johncock, who would win the 500 in 1973 and ’82. There’s no evidence that Jones signed the hat.

Surface continues to attend the 500, and he spent a few years working on the safety patrol team. But because his hat story and Jones never came in contact, the hat stayed proudly displayed in his Johnson County home.

Things changed last week when the hat became a central part of a surprise ceremony at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It was there that Jones received a small replica of the Borg-Warner Trophy. His likeness on the trophy’s base has him wearing the hat, and that got Jones talking about it again.

Surface read about in Friday’s Indianapolis Star and promptly responded.

“I’m the kid who stole the hat,” he said in a telephone call to the newspaper.

Before Jones was contacted, photographs of the hat Surface possesses were compared against a series of 1963 photographs collected by a friend of Jones’, Steve Shunck. Both have the same design, featuring three rows of small holes across the top. It seems to be the same one.

The hat is called a Koko-Kooler, a summer-style hat manufactured by the Mexican American Hat Co. of St. Louis. An advertisement found online describes it as “cool and light as bamboo . . . the sun hat smart enough for Broadway.”

Reached by telephone in Philadelphia, Jones initially didn’t know how to react to the discovery.

“Really?” he said. “I can’t believe it. That’s cool.”

Jones wanted to hear more.

“Did he say he was the guy who picked it up?”


“Is he going to give it up?”

Surface said if it’s important to Jones to have the hat, he wants him to have it. Besides, it’s his.

“It’s just a memento to me,” he said. “I’d just like to shake his hand. I was always a big fan.”

That meeting figures to come in May when Jones returns to Indianapolis for the 500. The reunion will be complete when Jones dons the hat again.

Dark Day for Indycar Racing

I have been a fan for over 30 years and the size and speed of yesterday’s accident at Las Vegas was terrifying.  The drivers know the risks of course, but as the cars become safer and safer, it tends to not be in the front of everyone’s thoughts, until the cold water of reality hits.  Condolences to Dan’s family and the Indycar community.  I was at the event in Fontana that took Greg Moore’s life, but back then no one knew what happened until after the race.  I think this management team did the wise thing and stopping the event as they did.

Dan Wheldon sits in the cockpit of the new IndyCar chassis before giving it its first track tryout in August 2011. Photo by: LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC

I followed the events via twitter as most of the teams in Indycar use it to communicate to fans and tone of the messages kept getting darker and darker until the announcement of Dan’s passing was made.

The racing will go on, and with the new car Dan helped test, hopefully will prevent the from occurring again.  But as Michael Andretti said, “The are professionals and they know what they are doing”.    Dark day still….


LBGP 2011

2011 LBGP (1028)2011 LBGP (187)2011 LBGP (188)2011 LBGP (189)2011 LBGP (201)2011 LBGP (205)
2011 LBGP (207)2011 LBGP (26)2011 LBGP (262)2011 LBGP (29)2011 LBGP (294)2011 LBGP (329)
2011 LBGP (334)2011 LBGP (386)2011 LBGP (398)2011 LBGP (4)2011 LBGP (44)2011 LBGP (451)
2011 LBGP (460)2011 LBGP (468)2011 LBGP (555)2011 LBGP (57)2011 LBGP (577)2011 LBGP (620)

LBGP 2011, a set on Flickr.