Granatelli, Indy 500-winning car owner, dies at 90

Andy Granatelli, the former CEO of STP motor oil company who

made a mark on motorsports as a car owner, innovator and

entrepreneur, has died. He was 90.

Granatelli’s son, Vince, said his father died Sunday of

congestive heart failure at a Santa Barbara hospital.

Granatelli is a member of the International Motorsports Hall of

Fame, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and the Indianapolis

Motor Speedway Hall of Fame.

”Everything he did was bigger than life,” Vince Granatelli

said. ”The thing that gave him the most gratification in his life

was what he did at the Indianapolis 500.”

Granatelli’s cars nearly won at Indianapolis in 1967 and `68

with turbine engines. He broke through in 1969 with Mario Andretti

driving a car with a conventional engine. Granatelli kissing

Andretti on the cheek in Victory Lane is one of the most famous

images in Indy history.

In 1973, Gordon Johncock gave Granatelli another Indy 500

victory.

”Andy Granatelli – known appropriately as `Mr. 500′ –

understood better than anyone the spirit and challenge of the

Indianapolis 500 and had a remarkable ability to combine innovative

technologies with talented race car drivers to make his cars a

threat to win at Indianapolis every year,” Indianapolis Motor

Speedway President J. Douglas Boles said in a statement. ”Andy

leaves a legacy of historic moments that will live forever in

Indianapolis 500 lore.”

Granatelli was born in Dallas. He gained fame during World War

II as a promoter of racing events, such as the Hurricane Racing

Association.

He is survived by wife Dolly and sons Vince and Anthony.