Indy racing legend Andy Granatelli passed away on Sunday in Santa Barbara, CA, due to congestive heart failure. He was 90. Granatelli was famous for his innovation in American open-wheel racing, kicking off his Indy career with an entry in the 1946 race. His creative streak didn't really kick off until the 1960s, though, when the Dallas, TX-born Granatelli began entering a series of wildly powerful supercharged Novi V8s in the Indianapolis 500. This was followed by the arrival of the (in)famous STP-Paxton Turbocar, a turbine-powered racer.

The dominant turbine car led nearly the entire 1967 Indy 500, running almost a lap ahead of the field when the unique Pratt & Whitney-powered car suffered from a bad transmission ball bearing. The faulty $6 part ground the car's Indy victory bid to a halt with just three laps left. Granatelli's Indy efforts weren't limited just to the turbine car, though. He sponsored Mario Andretti, who captured a win in 1969.

Granatelli's exploits weren't limited to the track, either. As president of STP, he grew the small brand into a sponsorship powerhouse, lending its traditional colors first to cars at Indy. As president of STP, Granatelli's most famous feat was securing the motor oil brand's sponsorship of NASCAR legend Richard Petty, a move that would prove to be the genesis of an iconic partnership.

Granatelli's impact on American motorsports, from his racecar innovations to his STP leadership is still felt today. Racing is worse off without him.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      Avinash Machado
      • 11 Months Ago
      RIP Andy.
      Avinash Machado
      • 11 Months Ago
      RIP Andy.
      lpattis
      • 11 Months Ago
      I was at the 1968 Indy time-trials as a 13 y.o., and I remember the "whooosh" of the STP turbine cars as they went by...way cool. RIP, Mr. Granatelli.
      dukeisduke
      • 11 Months Ago
      Wow, that's crazy - I was just watching a Graham Bensinger interview of Mario Andretti last night, and it made my think of Andy. Rest in peace, Andy. And STP isn't a motor oil, but an oil treatment. When I was a kid, my grandfather ran the stuff in his '51 Chevy (Why? You got me.), but I can remember him warming the can on the stove to get the last bit out (the stuff poured like honey or molasses).
      Vergenbuurg
      • 11 Months Ago
      Kinda have a personal connection to this, as my step-grandfather almost destroyed STP as a company... he was a managing editor for Consumers Union, and personally oversaw the '70s report regarding how STP engine treatment was a load of bunk and could actually damage engines designed to run solely on unleaded fuel... it was at the pinnacle of Granatelli's involvement in motor racing sponsorship... a smart businessman who had an admirable passion for racing, even if some of his products weren't what they claimed to be...
        diffrunt
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Vergenbuurg
        Right ! It would settle to the bottom of the pan , a 3/8ths layer of viscous goo, difficult to remove.
      fandritzky
      • 11 Months Ago
      Open wheel Indy Racing Heaven will be better with the addition of Andy. Thanks for the great Indy 500 memories. Joe & Frank, Andritzky Bros Motor Sports, Milwaukee
      Karl
      • 11 Months Ago
      RIP
      • 11 Months Ago
      [blocked]