J.C. AGAJANIAN – One of America’s most respected motor racing personalities, J.C. Agajanian was universally acknowledged as the “dean” of Indianapolis Motor Car owners. He set an all-time record with 36 consecutive entries in the Indy 500 race and twice he stood in the victory lane. In 1971, Agajanian was honored at the White House as America’s premier race car owner and motor sports promoter. Ascot Park, where “Aggie” served as president was referred to as the busiest race track in America. Agajanian passed away in 1984.
CARY, J.C. & CHRIS AGAJANIAN are the sons of one of auto racing’s greatest car owners and promoters, J.C. Agajanian. As the owners and operators of Ascot Park, the storied raceway in Gardena, CA, which launched the career of Evel Knievel, the Agajanians brothers produced over 160 events a year and boasted crowds of over a half a million loyal fans annually. In 2016, the boys succeeded in stacking up a win at the Indianapolis 500 with a dramatic finish, as their rookie driver brought the famed #98 IndyCar across the finish line first. This thrilling win gave the Agajanian family four of the most coveted victories in motorsports, the 1952, 1963, 2011 and 2016 Indy 500s. To this day, three winning #98 racecars are displayed in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, while the fourth is expected to be installed later this year.
GARY GABELICH – Gary Gabelich held the world land speed record of 622.407 mph over the measured mile in the rocket-powered Blue Flame from 1970 to 1983. He was the 34th man to hold the record since 1898. He completed more runs over 600 mph (six) and more runs over 500 mph (16) than anyone else. A native of the harbor area, Gabelich attended school at Mary Star of the Sea in San Pedro. He became involved with racing at age 17 and won numerous racing events. Gabelich was killed in an accident in 1984.
PARNELLI JONES – Born in Texarkana, Arkansas, and raised in Torrance, California, Parnelli Jones is one of the most famous names in auto racing, having won nearly every major auto event in the United States. In 1962 and 1963, Jones won the pole position at the Indianapolis 500, and in the latter year was the first driver ever to exceed 150 mph, setting a mark of 151.153 mph for his lap qualifying run. He went on to win the race. Away from the track, Jones is a highly successful Firestone Tire dealer.
BILL MUNCEY – The most famous name in unlimited hydroplane racing, Bill Muncey was killed October 18, 1981 in an accident during the final heat of the World Championships in Acapulco. A resident of La Mesa, California, he won more unlimited hydroplane races than any other driver. Muncey amassed 61 victories, including a record eight Gold Cups and seven national titles. He was a member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness.