PARSONS EYES DuQUOIN "SWAN SONG;" CONCLUDES 43-YEAR USAC CAREER IN SUNDAY'S "TED HORN 100" Johnny Parsons of Speedway, Ind. will conclude his spectacular 43-year USAC racing career Sunday in the "Ted Horn 100" USAC K & N Silver...
PARSONS EYES DuQUOIN "SWAN SONG;" CONCLUDES 43-YEAR USAC CAREER IN SUNDAY'S "TED HORN 100"
Johnny Parsons of Speedway, Ind. will conclude his spectacular 43-year USAC racing career Sunday in the "Ted Horn 100" USAC K & N Silver Crown Championship race at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds. Parsons won the "Ted Horn 100" in 1992 and 1995.
Parsons, the son of 1950 Indianapolis 500 winner Johnnie Parsons, owns 38 USAC National feature victories and the hearts of race fans everywhere. A dozen starts in the Indianapolis 500 netted him a pair of fifth-place finishes, in 1977 and 1985, but his victories are spread across the USAC landscape.
"J.P." earned his 150th start in the Silver Crown cars at Springfield, Ill. August 19 and in typical J.P. fashion he had charged through the pack to challenge for a "top-10" spot when he was involved in a tangle on the backstretch which sent him into the outer wall. He escaped injury but acknowledged that the sport has changed a lot in the past 43 years.
"It's time to let the career achievements rest," he says. "I've had a great time in auto racing and, although I won't be driving after DuQuoin, I plan to remain involved. DuQuoin has always been a special place for me and it's a great place to conclude my driving career."
Parsons will drive for Benton, Illinois car owner Ricky Nix, for whom he has given some memorable performances in the past few years.
His USAC career includes three Silver Crown wins, 30 in the Midgets and five in the Sprints. His first Silver Crown win came at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis in 1991, while his Midget victories (USAC and non-USAC) include the Belleville (Kans.) Midget Nationals, the "Copper World Classic," the "4-Crown Nationals," the "Hut Hundred" and in the RCA Dome in Indianapolis.
In 1976 and 1989 he finished as the runner-up in the USAC Silver Crown points and in 1977 he was the National Midget runner-up. He has a total of 724 USAC National career starts (150 Silver Crown, 236 Sprint and 338 Midget).
In 1988 J.P., the only remaining active driver from USAC's inaugural Silver Crown season in 1971, was presented the Jimmy Caruthers Award for Spirit and Determination. He is also a recipient on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's "Jim Malloy Award" recognizing his skills, perseverance and cooperation with the nation's news media and is a member of the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame.