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Racer Jerry Grant dead at 77

Monday, Aug. 13, 2012

Jerry Grant, a 10-time competitor in the Indianapolis 500 and the first person to turn an official lap faster than 200 mph in an Indy car, died Sunday, Aug. 12. He was 77.

Grant, a prominent road racer, turned his historic 201.414-mph lap in 1972 at Ontario, Calif. But he is probably best remembered for nearly winning the 1972 Indianapolis 500.

He had three top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500, topped by a seventh place in 1970. Grant also competed in some NASCAR events, including races at Daytona and Atlanta, and co-drove a Ford Cobra in the 1964 Targa Florio, sharing second place in the GT class with Dan Gurney.

Also in that era, Gurney and Grant were leading the 24 Hours of Le Mans when a mechanical issue sidelined them at the 21-hour mark.

Grant competed in 49 USAC National Championship races between 1965-77, placing third in the 1974 Ontario 500 and fourth in a 150-mile event in 1969 on the road course at Castle Rock, Colo.

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