Happy birthday to open-wheel legend, Parnelli Jones

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We wish Parnelli Jones a happy 80th birthday today. It’s a banner year for the open-wheel legend, as 2013 marked the 50-year anniversary of his 1963 win at the Indianapolis 500. He was on hand as Ed Carpenter took the pole for this year’s 500.

Gentlemen who are older and more experienced than I am in racing – NBC Sports Network’s IndyCar insider and pit reporter Robin Miller and longtime IndyCar PR ace Steve Shunck come to mind off the top of my head – can probably offer better stories or words regarding some of Jones’ exploits on the track. Miller has said before if racing had a Mount Rushmore, you’d see “‘ol Rufus'” face on it.

Beyond being a great racer, he’s also served as a great ambassador for the sport over the years. Son P.J. raced in IndyCar off-and-on from 1996 through 2007, with a best finish of second at Nazareth Speedway in 1999.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”