Johnnie Parsons was a successful midget car driver who won the 1949 American Automobile Association National Championship title during his first full season on the Championship “trail.” He finished second as a rookie in the Indianapolis 500 that year and scored five victories at other tracks. Parsons won the rain-shortened 1950 Indianapolis 500 race and also led laps in 1956. He won a total of 11 championship races from 1948 through 1952 and was in the Indianapolis 500 starting lineup ten times.
He won the 1948 American Automobile Association Midwest Midget title and ranked third in the 1951 American Automobile Association Eastern Sprint Car standings, running a full schedule between National Championship races. In 1957, Parsons finished third in the invitational 500-Mile Race of Two Worlds at Monza, Italy. Born into a show business family and participating in his parents’ song-and-dance act by the age of four, he had a flair for showmanship that made him a great favorite with the fans. In 1976, he was part of a team that drove Pontiac passenger cars on a three-and-a-half-month goodwill tour around the world, through 32 countries.
Courtesy of Indianapolis Motors Speedway Museum