MONTECITO, Calif. — 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.
Andy Granatelli's cars nearly won the Indianapolis 500 in 1967 and `68 with turbine engines. He broke through in 1969 with Mario Andretti driving his winning 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.
“The thing that gave him the most gratification in his life was what he did at the Indianapolis 500,” Vince Granatelli said.
Andy Granatelli was born in Dallas. He gained fame during World War II as a promoter of racing events, such as the Hurricane Racing Association.