Lifelong Racer Jerry Grant Passes Away

Jerry Grant, an avid racer, passed away Sunday, August 12, 2012.

Jerry Grant passed away Sunday, August 12, 2012, at 3:50 a.m. in Orange, California. Always a passionate racer with a natural-born gift for driving fast, Grant was born January 23, 1935, in Seattle. Grant was a big man, even by the standards of the day, compared to the jockeys who occupy the computerized cockpits of today's miniature versions of the cars Grant chauffeured around the steel- and hay bale-lined courses of his day.

Grant is credited with the first official 200-mph lap on a closed-race track. He raced against, and for, some of the greatest names in the business, including Dan Gurney, Carroll Shelby, Bobby Unser, Bob Bondurant and many more. He drove the great cars of the era, including Ferrari, Corvette, Lotus, Eagle, Cobra and Ford GT. He drove all the great circuits of any era, including Indianapolis, Daytona, LeMans and Targa Florio, among others.

When Grant finally hung up his helmet, he exchanged it for a Champion Spark Plugs ball cap. He brought that same winning dedication to his job as vice president of motorsports for Champion Spark Plugs as he had to every car he had ever driven. After leaving Champion, Grant started Motor Sports Unlimited and worked directly with Honda. Later, with his efforts and Rolodex, he was instrumental in Prolong Lubricants' brand development.

Grant is survived by his wife of more than 55 years, Sandy, his daughters Yvonne and Tammy and five grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the Grant family requests that donations be made to First Love Ministries USA.