John Paul, Jr. (racing driver)

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John Paul, Jr.
Nationality United States American
Born (1960-02-19)February 19, 1960
Muncie, Indiana, United States
Achievements 1982 IMSA GTP Champion
Awards 1997 Scott Brayton Trophy winner
IndyCar Series career
24 race(s) run over 4 year(s)
Best finish 11th (1998)
First race 1996 Indy 200 (Orlando)
Last race 1999 500 (Texas)
First win 1998 Lone Star 500 (Texas)
Wins Podiums Poles
1 1 0
Champ Car career
29 race(s) run over 9 year(s)
Best finish 8th (1983)
First race 1982 Road America 200 (Road America)
Last race 1994 Indianapolis 500 (Indy)
First win 1983 Norton Michigan 500 (Michigan)
Wins Podiums Poles
1 5 1
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
2 race(s) run over 1 year(s)
Best finish 56th (1991)
First race 1991 Miller Genuine Draft 500 (Pocono)
Last race 1991 Budweiser at The Glen (Watkins Glen)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0

John Lee Paul, Jr. (born February 19, 1960 in Muncie, Indiana) is a retired American racing driver. He competed primarily in CART and the Indy Racing League competition, and was winner of the 1982 12 Hours of Sebring while co-driving with his father John Paul, Sr.


John Paul, Jr. became the youngest-ever IMSA champion in 1982.

After becoming the youngest ever IMSA champion in 1982, he made 21 CART starts from 1982 to 1985 with a win at Michigan International Speedway and 8th position in points in 1983. Paul also finished 2nd in the 1984 24 Hours of Le Mans with Jean Rondeau in a Porsche 956.

Paul's racing career was interrupted in 1986 when he was incarcerated for his involvement in a drug trafficking ring with his father and subsequent refusal to testify against him.[1][2]

He would return to the series in 1989, but only drove in the Indianapolis 500 from 1990 to 1994. Respectable performances with obsolete race cars characterized this period of his career.

The formation of the Indy Racing League gave Paul a second shot at a competitive career. Despite driving a two-year-old car for a new team, he led 22 laps in that year's Las Vegas 500K before finishing 15th. In 1997, he competed with a contemporary IndyCar for the first time since 1985, and promptly finished 15th in the points. The next year, he started the season with PDM Racing and Team Pelfrey before landing a competitive ride with Byrd-Cunningham Racing. He broke through to win the 1998 Lone Star 500 at Texas Motor Speedway and finished an IRL career best 11th in points.

In his seven Indy 500 starts he has a best finish of 7th in 1998. He made his last IRL start in 1999 and retired from racing after failing to qualify for the 2001 Indy 500.

He retired from professional racing in 2001 after noticing that the telemetry of the Corvette GT-1 he was testing did not match what he thought his feet were doing in the car. A subsequent medical evaluation confirmed he had Huntington's disease.[3] John Paul, Jr. currently lives in the Las Vegas area and worked as a driving coach.[4]

Paul Jr. drove two NASCAR Winston Cup Series races, both in 1991.

Motorsports career results[edit]

American Open Wheel racing results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)




(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Winston Cup Series[edit]

Indy 500 results[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish
1983 Penske Cosworth Practice Crash
1984 Penske Cosworth Practice Crash
1985 March Cosworth 24th 15th
1986 March Buick Failed to Qualify
1989 March Cosworth Failed to Qualify
1990 Lola Buick 32nd 16th
1991 Lola Buick 25th 25th
1992 Lola Buick 19th 10th
1993 Lola Buick Qualifying Crash
1994 Lola Ilmor 30th 25th
1996 Lola Menard-Buick 17th 31st
1997 Dallara Oldsmobile Practice Crash
1998 Dallara Oldsmobile 16th 7th
1999 G-Force Oldsmobile Practice Crash
2001 G-Force Oldsmobile Failed to Qualify


  1. ^ SPORTS PEOPLE; Driver Gets 5 Years New York Times, May 8, 1986.
  2. ^ Markus, Robert (May 10, 1989). "John Paul Jr. Driven To Atone For His And Father`s Wrongs". Chicago Tribune. Chicago. Retrieved 2013-05-13. 
  3. ^ Huntington's Disease - John Paul Jr. UCLA Health System
  4. ^ Where are they now?: Shadow figures AutoWeek, December 31, 2008
Preceded by
Scott Brayton Trophy
Succeeded by
Roberto Guerrero