OldRacingCars.com

Michigan 250 (2)

Michigan International Speedway, 16 Sep 1973

ResultsLapsTime/Speed
1 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M16C [5] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#7 Gulf [McLaren Cars] (see note 1)
63 0h 48m 04.700s
2 Mario Andretti Parnelli VPJ-2 [102?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#11 Viceroy [Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing]
62 Flagged
3 Mike Hiss Eagle 72 [7216?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#6 Thermo King Air Cond [Don Gerhardt]
(see note 2)
62 Flagged
4 Lloyd Ruby Eagle 72 [7228] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#18 Commander Motor Homes [Mike Slater]
(see note 3)
61 Flagged
5 Johnny Parsons Jr Eagle 72 [7221] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#97 Lodestar [Agajanian/Leader Card]
(see note 4)
61 Flagged
6 Steve Krisiloff Kingfish 73 ['1'] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#24 Tecumseh Comm Mutual Fund [Grant King Racers]
(see note 5)
61 Flagged
7 Joe Leonard Parnelli VPJ-2 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#1 Samsonite [Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing]
60 Flagged
8 Gary Bettenhausen McLaren M16C [3] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#5 Sunoco DX [Roger Penske] (see note 6)
60 Flagged
9 Jimmy Caruthers Eagle 72 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#21 Cobre Firestone [Robert L. 'Bob' Fletcher]
(see note 7)
59 Flagged
10 Lee Brayton Eagle 72 [7217] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#61 Eisenhour-Brayton [Lee Brayton and John Eisenhour]
(see note 8)
56 Flagged
11 Larry Cannon Eagle 70 [803] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#59 PEP Gas Treatment [Hoffman Racing]
(see note 9)
54 Flagged
12 John Hubbard Finley 73 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#94 Two Jacks Flyer [Vatis] (see note 10)
54 Flagged
13 Jigger Sirois Mongoose 71 - Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
#51 Minnesota Serendipity [Pat O'Reilly]
(see note 11)
46 Flagged
14 AJ Foyt Coyote 73 ['73-2'] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
#14 Gilmore Racing [Foyt Enterprises]
(see note 12)
45 Losing oil
15 Billy Vukovich Eagle 72 [7207?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#2 Sugaripe Prune [Jerry O'Connell/Jud Phillips]
(see note 13)
12 Wrecked
16 Bobby Unser Eagle 73 [7304?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#8 Olsonite [AAR] (see note 14)
3 Wrecked
17 Larry McCoy Atlanta 72 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#63 Eastern Racing Associates [Larry McCoy]
(see note 15)
0 Did not start
DNS Dick Simon Eagle 73 [7306] - Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
#60 (see note 16)
Did not start
(Did not start)
Qualifying
1 Gary Bettenhausen McLaren M16C [3] - Offy 159 ci turbo
2 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M16C [5] - Offy 159 ci turbo
3 Mario Andretti Parnelli VPJ-2 [102?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
4 Lloyd Ruby Eagle 72 [7228] - Offy 159 ci turbo
5 Billy Vukovich Eagle 72 [7207?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
6 Steve Krisiloff Kingfish 73 ['1'] - Offy 159 ci turbo
7 Jimmy Caruthers Eagle 72 - Offy 159 ci turbo
8 Mike Hiss Eagle 72 [7216?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
9 Bobby Unser Eagle 73 [7304?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
10 Johnny Parsons Jr Eagle 72 [7221] - Offy 159 ci turbo
11 Joe Leonard Parnelli VPJ-2 - Offy 159 ci turbo
12 AJ Foyt Coyote 73 ['73-2'] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
13 John Hubbard Finley 73 - Offy 159 ci turbo
14 Lee Brayton Eagle 72 [7217] - Offy 159 ci turbo
15 Larry Cannon Eagle 70 [803] - Offy 159 ci turbo
16 Jigger Sirois Mongoose 71 - Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
17 Larry McCoy Atlanta 72 - Offy 159 ci turbo
18 Dick Simon * Eagle 73 [7306] - Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
 
* Did not start

Notes on the cars:

  1. McLaren M16C [5] (Johnny Rutherford): New for McLaren Cars to be driven by Johnny Rutherford as the #7 Gulf entry in 1973. He used this car at the Indy 500 but may have used M16C/2 (or even M16C/4) at other races that season. Raced again by Rutherford in 1974 as the #3 car, winning the Indy 500, but he used another M16C at short track events that year. This car then became Rutherford's short-track car in 1975 and 1976. Sold to George Walther to be Salt Walther #33 backup car at Indy in 1977 but how it was used that season is unknown. Entered by Walther at the 1978 Indy 500 as the #34 for Graham McRae but he was bumped. Sold by Walther to Rick Carroll (Jensen Beach, FL) and restored. Sold by Carroll's estate in 1990 via Sotherby's Palm Springs Auction for $495,000 to Patrick S. Ryan (Montgomery, AL). Loaned by Ryan to the IMS Museum but also attended various concours events while owned by Ryan. Repainted by Paintergeek Paintworks (Indianapolis, IN) in May 2013. Sold by Ryan through RM Auctions at Monterey in August 2013 for $3,250,000 to web entrepreneur Bill Oesterle (Indianapolis, IN).
  2. Eagle 72 [7216?] (Mike Hiss): Built in the fall of 1972 as one of the two replacement Thermo King/Gerhardt cars after Malloy's crash at Indy in 1972. Used by Mike Hiss in the 1973 500 as the #6 car; then the #46 car used by Jim McElreath in practice in 1974; then the #46 car used by Rick Muther and Jan Opperman in practice in 1975; then the #45 car qualified by Gary Bettenhausen in 1976. After Eddie Miller wrecked the sister Gerhardt Eagle (7209) at Indy in 1976, 7216 was driven by Bettenhausen and Steve Krisiloff for the rest of 1976. Sold by Fred Gerhardt to Gary Howard when Gerhardt stopped racing but not raced by Howard, and sold to Bob Featherly (East Syracuse, NY) about 1980/81.
  3. Eagle 72 [7228] (Lloyd Ruby): Supplied as a monocoque to Lloyd Ruby and his chief crew Mike Devin after Ruby had crashed chassis 7224 at Ontario. Chassis 7228 was built up using the components of 7224 and raced as Ruby's #18 Commander Motor Homes for the rest of the season. Retained in 1974 as a backup car to Ruby's new 1974 Eagle, but actually raced more often than the '74 that season. Sold to Anastassios "Tassi" Vatis, a Greek shipping tycoon and veteran Indy car owner, and run by Vatis's faithful chief mechanic Bill Finley for Johnny Parsons Jr in 1975. In 1976, the team had a "new" car built on an "unused" chassis, presumably 7224 as it still carries the 7224 plate today. However, 7228 remained the main car, Parsons' #93 Ayr-Way/Vatis entry in 1976 and 1977. In 1978, 7228 was modified with straight sidepods and radiators repositioned to the rear of the tub, matching the specification of 7224, after which they are hard to tell apart. John Mahler (Bettendorf, Iowa) bought the Vatis team in November 1978 with the support of longtime backer Richard Deutsch, and it is believed that 7228 was the #92 car that Mahler had bumped after qualifying. Retained as a backup in 1980 and 1981, then sold to Rick DeLorto (Wood Dale, IL) who attempted to qualify for several CART races in 1982. Then to John Griffith (Chicago, IL) 1983, then Steve Burgner (Chicago, IL) 1984, after which it was sold to Mountain View Motorsport Park in Colorado. It then passed to a dealer in Connecticut, from which Eric Camiel (Danbury, CT) bought it in 1991. Then unknown until acquired from Chuck Haines (St Louis, MO) by John Mueller (Fresno, CA) in late 2005. Chuck is believed to have got it from Lilo Zicron (Burbank, CA). Extensively rebuilt by Mueller to standard specification. Sold to Rick and Alison Dresang (Hartford, WI) in May 2016.
  4. Eagle 72 [7221] (Johnny Parsons Jr): New to Leader Card Racers in time for the TWS race at the start of 1973. Raced by Mike Mosley as the #98 Leader Card entry. Then taken to the Indy 500 as a backup, renumbered #97, and qualified by Rick Muther. It was then Mosley's short track car, and raced by Muther at Pocono and by Johnny Parsons Jr at Ontario and at the late-season races. Presumably for Parsons again at Ontario in March 1974. Then Mosley's short track car when he wasn't using his new 1974 Eagle. Signs of repairs to the left side of this car allow it to be identified from 1975 onwards. It was raced by George Snider as the #97 at Ontario at the start of 1975, then by Steve Krisiloff in the Indy 500 as the #98 and later in the season as the #98 and then the #10. For 1976, the car was sold to Patrick Santello and was his #65 City of Syracuse or S&M Electric entry that season for Larry Dickson and Lee Kunzman. Then to Gus and Richard Hoffman (Milford, OH) of Hoffman Racing for 1977 and entered for Jerry Grant and later Joe Saldana as the #69. Driven again by Saldana in 1978 and 1979. Also appeared once for Bob Frey in 1980. Reappeared briefly in 1982 when it was entered by George T. Smith's GTS Racing as the #86 Empress Traveler for Al Loquasto. Sold by Smith to Chuck Haines (St Louis, MO) who sold it to Bob Colllings (Boston, MA) in April 1985. Retained by Collings and now forms part of the auto collection in The Collings Foundation (Stow, MA).
  5. Kingfish 73 ['1'] (Steve Krisiloff): Built by Grant King for Steve Krisiloff to drive in 1973 as the #24 Grant King Racing entry, acquiring many different sponsors during the season. This car started the season red but was repainted blue-and-yellow after qualifying for the Indy 500. Retained the number #24 for 1974 but now driven by Tom Sneva, scoring a fifth place finish at Michigan in September 1974. Retained by the team for 1975 and raced by Bentley Warren at the Indy 500 but crashed in the rain and was very badly damaged. Parts of the car were used to build up a new chassis and what was left of the car remained with its 1973 sister car until both were sold as a project on race-cars.com in 2009 to Rick and Jacques Dresang (Hartford, WI).
  6. McLaren M16C [3] (Gary Bettenhausen): To Roger Penske for Gary Bettenhausen to drive during the 1973 season as the #5 Sunoco DX car, and used by him at all races that season. Entered for Mike Hiss as the #68 Norton Spirit entry at Indianapolis and Michigan in 1974. Then the #16 CAM2 Motor Oil entry for Bobby Allison at four long-track races in 1975. Then raced by Mario Andretti for Penske as the #6 in 1976 at the Indy 500 and Pocono. Sold to Bill Simpson later in 1976 (still as #6) together with M16C/4. It then became part of Teddy Yip's Theodore Racing team in 1977 as their #39 but was crashed very heavily by Clay Regazzoni in Indy practice. The wrecked car was cubed by Yip.
  7. Eagle 72 (Jimmy Caruthers): One of two 1972 Eagles bought by Robert L. 'Bob' Fletcher and chief crew Clint Brawner for Fletcher's new Cobre Firestone team in 1973. This car arrived in time for the race at Texas World Speedway at the start of April so is likely to be chassis 7214. Entered at TWS as the #21 entry for Jimmy Caruthers, and it is assumed that this was the same #21 entered for him at Trenton and at the Indy 500. After Art Pollard's accident in the sister car, this was Fletcher's only remaining 1972 car and it was driven by Caruthers for the rest of 1973, then by Duane "Pancho" Carter at the Indy 500 in 1974. It is likely to be the car raced by Carter later in the season but he might have been allocated one of the team's 1974 Eagles. The car was renumbered #55 for 1975 and entered for Lee Kunzman at Ontario, where he finished third in his heat and fourth in the final. Entered also at the Indy 500 but Kunzman did not qualify. The car was not needed again but remained with the team as a show car. It was photographed in Frosty Acres livery, which cannot be earlier than 1979. Subsequent history unknown.
  8. Eagle 72 [7217] (Lee Brayton): New to Patrick Racing and raced by Gordy Johncock in 1973 as the #25 Patrick Racing entry early in 1973 and then became the #20 STP Double Oil Filter Special at the Indy 500 when Patrick Racing picked up STP sponsorship. Johncock won the Indy 500 in this car but it was wrecked at Pocono in July when a wheel came off and then damaged again at Milwaukee in August in an incident with Johnny Rutherford while Johncock was leading the race. The Eagle was repaired, sold to Lee Brayton and John Eisenhour, and raced by Brayton at Michigan in September 1973 as the #61 Eisenhour-Brayton car, replacing the team's 1972 Coyote. Retained for 1974 when it was Brayton's #28 car, also driven by Mike Hiss at Ontario. Wrecked by Brayton at Indianapolis during practice on 7 May when Tom Bigelow spun in front of him, and extensively damaged, the Daily Reports noting that the Eagle was "apparently a complete loss". Brayton had to return to the old Coyote for Pocono and it is not clear whether he raced the Coyote again at Michigan later in the year or whether the Eagle had been repaired. Retained by Lee Brayton and undergoing restoration at Walter Goodwin's workshop in May 2010. In June 2010, it appears that this car was placed in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, replacing the mueum's replica of Johncock's 1973 Indy 500 winner. Sold to Bruce McCaw around 2012.
  9. Eagle 70 [803] (Larry Cannon): New to the Jud Phillips half of the Leader Card team for Bobby Unser to race at the 1970 Indy 500. However, Unser preferred his usual 1967 car and the 1970 car was only used in practice. According to a later Hungness yearbook, the car was entered as a spare in 1971 and in 1972 and raced at least once during those three seasons, by Rick Muther in the 1972 California 500. Acquired by Gus and Richard Hoffman (Milford, OH) of Hoffman Racing and entered for Larry Cannon in 1973 as the #59 PEP Gas Treatment Spl. Returned in 1974 and qualified for the 500, now with American Financial Corp backing. Used again in 1975 before the team acquired a newer 1973 Eagle for the 1976 season. Subsequent history unknown but the ex-Unser, ex-Cannon car advertised by Robert Pass (Maryland Heights, MO) in 1992, having been restored by Jim Robinson. Later advertised by Chuck Haines (St Louis, MO) as being chassis 803. The car had been restored to Cannon's 1974 livery.
  10. Finley 73 (John Hubbard): This car is often described as a Fleagle (e.g. the 1974 Hungness and the 1973 Daily Reports) but the descriptions are sufficiently consistent to be able to pinpoint this as a 1973 car built by Vatis Chief Mechanic Bill Finley (Hungness 1974 p124) as the car used by Parsons at both the 1973 and 1974 Indy 500s. All other references to Finley-Eagles, Finleys and Fleagles wearing #94 in 1973, 1974 and 1975 are presumed to be this same car. In 1975, the Vatis team acquired at old 1972 Eagle which was run as the #93 car with the 1973 Finley retaining the number #94. In 1976, a new Eagle was built on a "spare tub" and took the number #93 after which the 1973 Finley appears to have been retired.
  11. Mongoose 71 (Jigger Sirois): New for Lloyd Ruby in 1971 as the Gene White team's #12 car but "abandoned by Ruby after that year's Indy 500", presumably as it was the only year for some time that he had not led the race. Sold to Pat O'Reilly and entered as the #51 Minnesota Serendipity car in 1973 for Dee Jones, John Hubbard and Jigger Sirois. Returned in 1974 as the #53 for John Cannon but failed to qualify for the Indy 500. Raced later in 1974 by Jan Opperman and by Mel Cornett and appeared in 1975 for John Hubbard and Cornett again. Wrecked at Milwaukee in June 1975 and, according to Milwaukee Mile Historian Steve Zautke, was "wiped out".
  12. Coyote 73 ['73-2'] (AJ Foyt): New for AJ Foyt at at the 1973 Indy 500 as Foyt Enterprises' #14 Gilmore Racing entry. Photographs show that it was also raced by Foyt as the #14 at Pocono, Michigan in July, Ontario, Michigan again in September, and Trenton in September. It is likely to be the car raced by Foyt at Texas World Speedway in October and by George Snider at Phoenix in November, but this remains unconfirmed. The side-radiator 1973 Coyotes were not seen again after 1973 and were presumably rebuilt into the team's front-radiator 1974 cars.
  13. Eagle 72 [7207?] (Billy Vukovich): One of two 1972 Eagles, the other being 7204, bought new by Jerry O'Connell's Sugaripe Prune team and raced by Billy Vukovich as the #3 entry in 1972, with Jud Phillips as chief mechanic. This car can be identified from an invoice later in its life so is known to Vukovich's backup car at the 1972 Indy 500 (entered as #32 but ran as #3 and crashed during practice) and then became his long track car later in the season. Finished second at the 1973 Indy 500 amd won at Michigan the following August. The team then bought a 1974 Eagle and sold 7204 but kept this car as a backup for three more seasons. Sold to Arthur E. 'Art' Sugai (Ontario, OR) for 1977 and entered as the #91 Eastside Café car that season, alongside the ex-Penske 7225. Sold with 7225 to collector/dealer Chuck Haines (St Louis, MO) in May 1980 and fully restored to 1972 specification by Walter Goodwin of Race Car Restorations. On display for many years at the "International Motorsports Hall of Fame", a NASCAR museum at Talladega Speedway in Alabama.
  14. Eagle 73 [7304?] (Bobby Unser): New for Bobby Unser at the 1973 Indy 500, as AAR's #8 Olsonite entry. Unser qualified second but retired at mid-distance. He then drove the same car at Milwaukee in June, winning from pole position. The car Jerry Grant had raced at the Indy 500 was sold to Patrick Racing, leaving Unser with 7302 and the new 7304. Exactly how these cars were used in 1973 is still being resolved but, for now, it is assumed that 7302 was the car he heavily damaged at Milwaukee in August, leaving him with just chassis 7304 to the end of the season. In the final race, at Phoenix in November, Unser destroyed his car in a massive accident. Autosport reported that this car was repaired and sold to the VPJ team, but photogarphs show that VPJ had new 1974 cars from the start of the season, so it seems likely that 7304 ended its life at Phoenix.
  15. Atlanta 72 (Larry McCoy): Completed by Gene White Racing after Atlanta Cars closed, and first seen as the team's #21 Bill Daniels GOP for Cale Yarborough at the 1972 Indy 500. Yarborough was then "asked to step down", and the car was converted from Ford to Offy power for team leader Lloyd Ruby to try in practice at Pocono. It was raced by Jimmy Caruthers as the #52 Wynn's Special at Ontario in September. Almost certainly the Atlanta-Offy sold to Larry McCoy Sr's Eastern Racing for his son Larry McCoy to drive in 1973, backed by James Bidwell's Shurfine Foods. Converted by Eldon Rasmussen to Ras-Car specification for 1974, and raced by McCoy and others up to 1977. To Frank Fiore for 1978, and his #87 Machinists Union entry for Jerry Karl, Phil Threshie and Al Loquasto that season. Then to Buddie Boys, a Calgary trucking magnate, and entered for Bob Harkey at the 1980 Indy 500, but he could not get enough speed out of it. The last that was heard of the car was just before the Milwaukee race, when the engine was said to have blown up during testing.
  16. Eagle 73 [7306] (Dick Simon): Patrick Racing acquired a new 1973 Eagle after the 1973 Indy 500, probably either chassis 7305 or 7306. It was fitted with a Ford V8 engine and used in practice at Ontario by Graham McRae as the #60 entry, but failed to qualify. Raced by Dick Simon at two later races that season. It may have been Steve Krisiloff's intended #60 Patrick entry at Indy in 1974, identified by Hungness as an Eagle "of 1973 vintage", but the car Krisiloff actually qualified was an older 1972 car. The 1973 car finally reappeared when raced by Krisiloff at Pocono and a few races later in the 1974 season, by which time it had a turbo Offy engine. Sold by Patrick Racing's chief crew George Bignotti to Fred W. Carrillo (San Juan Capistrano, CA) and entered as the #73 Spirit of Orange County entry for Jerry Grant at Ontario at the start of 1975. This became Carillo's AMC-engined car in late 1975 and early 1976, driven again by Grant, before Carillo acquired a newer Eagle. In 1977, this car was rebuilt to Offy specification and sold to Jim McElreath for son James to drive as the #26 McElreath Racing entry in 1977. Then for Jim McElreath in 1978. In 1979, McElreath acquired a second Eagle, apparently the ex-O'Connell 1974 car, which was numbered as the #23 with the older car continuing as #26. The older car continued in use until 1981. In 2017, it was reported that this was chassis 7306, and had remained at Jim McElreath's home in Texas from 1983 until his death in 2017. It was then owned by Angus Russell (Ormond Beach, FL).

Sources

The identification of individual cars in these results is based on the material presented elsewhere in this site and may in some cases contradict the organisers' original results.

The foundation for this research is the work done by the late Phil Harms collating the results of all AAA, USAC and CART races, including the period covered here. His data was refined by Michael Ferner who added more information before making it available to OldRacingCars.com. Since the start of the USAC project on OldRacingCars.com in 2004, a wealth of further information has been gleaned from the Carl Hungness and Donald Davidson Yearbooks, Formula and On Track magazines, USAC News, National Speed Sport News and other published sources. Gerry Measures has also provided much information from his files as have others on TNF and Trackforum. Since 2009, the work of Simmo Iskül and others identifying cars from period photographs has has moved this research forward significantly.

All comments, clarifications, corrections and additions are most welcome. Please email Allen (allen@oldracingcars.com) if you can help in any way with our research.