CARY AGAJANIAN ACCEPTS LATE FATHER'S INDUCTION INTO TH INTERNATIONAL MOTORSPORTS HALL OF FAME
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (April 24, 2009) - Motorsports Management International President Cary Agajanian accepted the International Motorsports Hall of Fame honor for his late father J.C. Agajanian last night at a ceremony in Talladega, Ala. Legendary open-wheel driver Parnelli Jones, who won the 1963 Indianapolis 500 for the celebrated car owner, officially inducted J.C. Agajanian to the Class of 2009.
"When I went through and looked at the list of people who have been inducted here over the years, this is a true international hall of fame," said Cary Agajanian. "I know my dad would enjoy being with such a fine group of race drivers, car owners and promoters and all the rest of it. When you look at that list, there's just nothing like it. I've never seen another list of such great, great motorsports people."
The International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum honors men and women chosen for induction from among the greatest names in all of motorsports. Along with J.C. Agajanian, this year's group of inductees included Alabama driving legend Donnie Allison, seven-time Modifieds champion Jerry Cook, long-time team owner Bud Moore and NASCAR pioneer and car owner Raymond Parks.
As the patriarch of the Agajanian motorsports family, J.C. Agajanian's body of work as a car owner and race promoter is still revered today. He's been inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame (1989), the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame (1990), the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (1992), and the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame (1999).
In 1932, the colorful J.C. "Aggie" Agajanian entered Southern California's fledgling motorsports industry as a car owner and later coined the term "sprint car" and served as a founding board member of the United States Auto Club (USAC) in 1956. As a car owner best known for helping out drivers and wearing his signature Stetson cowboy hat, J.C. Agajanian was a popular figure at the Indianapolis 500 for over 30 years as owner of the #98 car, winning in 1952 with driver Troy Ruttman and again in 1963 with Parnelli Jones at the wheel. His knack for promotion led him to promote Evel Knievel's first motorcycle jump on ABC Wide World of Sports and broadcast the Indianapolis 500 live on Closed Circuit TV.
J.C. Agajanian died in 1984, but his son Cary and his two brothers, J.C., Jr. and Chris, have continued as motorsports pioneers in the areas of race promotion, media production, legal consultation, and driver management. With their father, they made Ascot Park, a former Los Angeles-area dirt track, the most famed short-track venue in the U.S. during its time.
Following the lead of his father, Cary Agajanian has done practically everything in racing except get behind the wheel. He has represented or advised nearly every major motorsports sanctioning body in the U.S., including NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA, AMA, World of Outlaws, and USAC. But he is most known today for pioneering the field of driver representation through Motorsports Management International (MMI), the firm he founded in the mid-1990s to represent a young, upstart driver from Indiana named Tony Stewart. Today, MMI is the leading driver management and consulting firm in the country, representing numerous NASCAR stars and prominent drivers in other series such as USAC and Formula Drift.