OldRacingCars.com

Bobby Ball 150

Phoenix International Raceway, 7 Nov 1976

ResultsLapsTime/Speed
1 Al Unser Parnelli VPJ-6B [002?] - Cosworth DFX V8
#21 American Racing Wheels [Vel's Parnelli Jones]
(see note 1)
150 1h 23m 34.140s
2 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#20 Goodyear-Wildcat [Patrick Racing Team]
(see note 2)
150 Finished
3 Mario Andretti McLaren M16C [4] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#68 Norton Spirit [Penske Racing]
(see note 3)
150 Finished
4 Wally Dallenbach Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#40 Goodyear-Wildcat [Patrick] (see note 4)
149 Flagged
5 Roger McCluskey Lightning 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#7 First National Travelers Check [Lindsey Hopkins]
(see note 5)
149 Flagged
6 Billy Vukovich Eagle 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#5 Alex Foods [Alex Morales] (see note 6)
148 Flagged
7 Dick Simon Vollstedt 73/76 [13] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#17 Payne Day-Night Air Conditioning [Vollstedt Enterprises]
(see note 7)
147 Flagged
8 Bill Puterbaugh Eagle 73 [7303] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#83 McNamara Motor Exp. [Lee Elkins]
(see note 8)
144 Flagged
9 Rick Mears Eagle 72 [7225] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#90 Eastside Cafe & Lounge [Sugai]
(see note 9)
144 Flagged
10 George Snider Eagle 74 [7411] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#18 Longhorn Racing [Bobby Hillin]
(see note 10)
143 Flagged
11 Lee Kunzman Eagle 72 [7221] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#65 S&M Electric [City of Syracuse = Patrick Santello]
(see note 11)
141 Flagged
12 Al Loquasto McLaren M16C [M16-1?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#86 Frostie Root Beer [Al Loquasto Sr.]
(see note 12)
139 Flagged
13 Todd Gibson Eagle 74 [7406] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#8 Routh Meat Packing [Richard Routh]
(see note 13)
138 Flagged
14 Bobby Olivero Eagle 72 [7226] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#78 Alex Foods [Alex Morales] (see note 14)
134 Flagged
15 Larry Dickson McLaren M16E [001] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#80 Polak Racing [Russ Polak] (see note 15)
128 Flagged
16 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M16C [5] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#2 Hy-Gain [Team McLaren] (see note 16)
111 Broken oil line
17 Steve Krisiloff Eagle 72 [7216] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#45 Thermo King [Gerhardt] (see note 17)
61 Engine
18 Tom Bigelow Eagle 74 [7417?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#24 Leader Card [Wilke] (see note 18)
46 Wrecked (turn 3)
19 Spike Gehlhausen McLaren M16B [2] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#19 Spirit of Indiana [Carl Gehlhausen]
(see note 19)
45 Wrecked (turn 3)
20 Johnny Parsons Jr Finley Eagle ['72 7224?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#93 First National Travelers Checks [Vatis]
(see note 20)
41 Engine
21 Bobby Unser Eagle 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#3 Cobre Tire [Fletcher Racing]
(see note 21)
32 Broken intake weld
22 Lloyd Ruby Eagle 74/76 - AMC 209 ci turbo V8
#73 California-Oklahoma [Fred Carillo]
(see note 22)
21 Blown engine, wrecked
DNS Bill Simpson McLaren M16C [3] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#6 Nikon [Simpson Safety] (see note 23)
Did not start
(DNS, too slow)
DNS Ken Nichols Fiore Spyder - Offy 159 ci turbo
#43 Ossman-Hoffman-Bonniser [Fiore] 'Spyder'
Did not start
(DNS, too slow)
DNS Tom Sneva Eagle 72 [7205] - Crower 160 ci f8
#57 Crower Cams [Bruce H. Crower]
(see note 24)
Did not start
(Oil leak)
DNSC Mike Mosley Eagle 74 [7407] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#12 Sugaripe Prune [Jerry O'Connell/Jud Phillips]
(see note 25)
Did not start (crashed)
DNSC Tom Frantz Eagle 72 [7201?] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
#72 Custom Motor Home [Tom Frantz]
(see note 26)
Did not start (crashed)
T Al Unser Parnelli VPJ-6B [001] - Cosworth DFX V8
#21 American Racing Wheels [Vel's Parnelli Jones]
(see note 27)
(Only used in practice)
  AJ Foyt Coyote 75 - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
#14 Gilmore [Foyt Enterprises]
On entry list
  Janet Guthrie Vollstedt 72/75 [12] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#27 Payne Day-Night Air Conditioning [Vollstedt Enterprises]
(see note 28)
On entry list
  Mike Hiss Eagle 72 [7219] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#28 Spirit of Public Enterprise [Warner Hodgdon]
(see note 29)
On entry list
  Roger Rager Eagle 72 [7212] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
#44 Robyn CB [Dick Simon] (see note 30)
On entry list
  David "Salt" Walther McLaren M16C/D [6] - DGS 158 ci turbo
#77 Dayton-Walther [Walmotor = George Walther]
(see note 31)
On entry list
  Gary Bettenhausen Eagle 73 [7302?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#99 Joe Hunt Magneto [Joe Hunt]
(see note 32)
On entry list
Qualifying
1 Bobby Unser Eagle 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo
2 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
3 Mario Andretti McLaren M16C [4] - Offy 159 ci turbo
4 Tom Bigelow Eagle 74 [7417?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
5 Lloyd Ruby Eagle 74/76 - AMC 209 ci turbo V8
6 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M16C [5] - Offy 159 ci turbo
7 Wally Dallenbach Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
8 Billy Vukovich Eagle 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo
9 George Snider Eagle 74 [7411] - Offy 159 ci turbo
10 Al Unser Parnelli VPJ-6B [002?] - Cosworth DFX V8
11 Roger McCluskey Lightning 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
12 Spike Gehlhausen McLaren M16B [2] - Offy 159 ci turbo
13 Dick Simon Vollstedt 73/76 [13] - Offy 159 ci turbo
14 Johnny Parsons Jr Finley Eagle ['72 7224?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
15 Steve Krisiloff Eagle 72 [7216] - Offy 159 ci turbo
16 Al Loquasto McLaren M16C [M16-1?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
17 Bobby Olivero Eagle 72 [7226] - Offy 159 ci turbo
18 Rick Mears Eagle 72 [7225] - Offy 159 ci turbo
19 Larry Dickson McLaren M16E [001] - Offy 159 ci turbo
20 Todd Gibson Eagle 74 [7406] - Offy 159 ci turbo
21 Bill Puterbaugh Eagle 73 [7303] - Offy 159 ci turbo
22 Lee Kunzman Eagle 72 [7221] - Offy 159 ci turbo
23 Bill Simpson * McLaren M16C [3] - Offy 159 ci turbo
24 Ken Nichols * Fiore Spyder - Offy 159 ci turbo
25 Mike Mosley * Eagle 74 [7407] - Offy 159 ci turbo
26 Tom Sneva * Eagle 72 [7205] - Crower 160 ci f8
27 Tom Frantz * Eagle 72 [7201?] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
 
* Did not start

Notes on the cars:

  1. Parnelli VPJ-6B [002?] (Al Unser): Al Unser had a backup car at the 1976 Indy 500 wearing #25. It is assumed that this (second) VPJ6B was the #25 car Unser drove at Phoenix at the start of 1976. At the 1977 Indy 500, Ongais is driving this #25 car (said by Hungness to be Unser's 1976 backup) so it assumed to be Ongais' #25 car at Ontario in 1976 and in the early 1977 races. Written off at Milwaukee June 1977 "when he hit a patch of oil thrown out by another car" (Formula Sep 1977 p42).
  2. Wildcat Mk 2 (Gordon Johncock): New for Gordon Johncock in 1976 as Patrick Racing's #20 Sinmast Goodyear entry, but Johncock also had a 1975 Mk 1 for short track events, and exactly where he used the Mk 2 is not yet fully resolved. This car was retained for 1977, becoming Johncock's short track car, and was also raced by Johnny Parsons Jr at the 1977 Indy 500 as Patrick's #60 entry. The car was wrecked by Johncock at Milwaukee in June 1977 and was not seen again. As the team had to borrow a Mk 2 back from another team during 1978, it can be assumed that this car was not rebuilt.
  3. McLaren M16C [4] (Mario Andretti): The history of this car in 1973 and 1974 remains unproven, but believed to be new for Peter Revson as McLaren Cars' #15 entry at the 1973 Indy 500. Crashed by Revson and it is unclear when the car returned to the team. Almost certainly Johnny Rutherford's black rollhooped short track car in 1974. McLaren records show that M16C/4 was sold to Roger Penske in November 1974. Raced by Tom Sneva in 1975 as the #68 Norton Spirit entry after his original M16C was wrecked at the Indy 500. Used again by Sneva as his #68 car during 1976, and appears to have been the #68 driven by Mario Andretti in two late-season races. Sold to Bill Simpson with M16C/3 and became part of Teddy Yip's Theodore Racing team in 1977 as their #38 car, raced by Clay Regazzoni at the Indy 500 and by Rick Mears later in the season. Unknown in 1978 but reappeared in 1979 as Bill Alsup's #41 WASP Racing car. Raced by Phil Caliva for Alsup Racing in 1980 as the #47 and at Indy 1981 where it was "extensively damaged" on 12 May in an accident during practice. Not seen again.
  4. Wildcat Mk 2 (Wally Dallenbach): Wally Dallenbach had a Wildcat Mk 2 for the 1976 season but we cannot be certain when he drove the Mk 2 that season and when he may have used an older Mk 1. The Mk 3s were produced for 1977 but were only used at a handful of races and Dallenbach drove his 1976 Mk 2 at most races. At the end of 1977, the Dallenbach Mk 2 was sold to Sherman Armstrong's Armstrong Mould team and driven by Tom Bigelow through the 1978 season. It was loaned back to Patrick Racing for Steve Krisiloff to drive at Trenton in September after his usual Mk 2 had been wrecked at Ontario three weeks earlier and the alternative Mk 4 had been shipped to England for the two British races. Retained by Armstrong and driven by Gary Bettenhausen and Howdy Holmes in 1979 and by Bettenhausen in 1980. Used briefly by Rich Vogler as an Armstrong Mould entry in Indy 500 practice in 1981. Subsequent history unknown
  5. Lightning 76 (Roger McCluskey): New for Lindsey Hopkins as the #7 Hopkins entry for Roger McCluskey at the Indy 500 in 1976. Raced by McCluskey from Michigan in July to the end of the season, qualifying second at Ontario and at Michigan in September but not actually finishing a race higher than fifth. Sold to Rolla Vollstedt for Janet Guthrie to drive in 1977 as his #27 Bryant Air Conditioning entry. Guthrie qualified for the Indy 500, and also raced the car at Pocono and Ontario, and by Bob Harkey and Dick Simon at other races. Sold to Phil Threshie for 1978 but crashed at Michigan and wrecked again at Ontario, its final race. Later owned by Nick Pappas (Oregon City, OR) and sold by him to Bob Boyce (Michigan City, IN). Later to Bob McConnell (Urbana, OH).
  6. Eagle 74 (Billy Vukovich): Having crashed his usual #21 Vel's Parnelli Jones 1974 Eagle at the 1975 Indy 500, Mario Andretti drove a different 1974 Eagle at Pocono in June 1975, his final appearance for VPJ. The Pocono car went to Alex Morales for 1976 and was the #5 Alex Foods entry driven by Billy Vukovich and the 1976 Indy 500. Raced by Vukovich for Morales for the rest of 1976 and again in 1977 when it was the #15 entry. Last seen at the 1977 Indy 500 when it was the #75 backup car crashed by Jerry Grant during practice. The car was only moderately damaged so is likely to have been rebuilt. Subsequent history unknown.
  7. Vollstedt 73/76 [13] (Dick Simon): New for 1973 as Vollstedt Enterprises' #17 Norton Spirit entry for Bill Simpson but Simpson crashed during practice for the Indy 500, and the car could not be repaired in time for qualifying. Simpson drove the car again in practice for the Pocono 500, but left the team, saying the car was not fast enough. Bob Harkey took over the drive, and qualified. At the Ontario 500, Tom Sneva was brought into the team, but again crashed the car preventing it from qualifying. The car was converted to the McLaren-style design of the 1972 car for 1974 when it was raced by Bigelow as the #27 Bryant Heating car. Raced by Bigelow at Indy in 1975 but its usage during the rest of that season is still to be determined. Rebuilt extensively for 1976 with its radiators moved to the nose, the same as the 1972 car which had been modified the previous season. Raced by Dick Simon as the #17 Bryant Heating entry in 1976 and in early 1977. It was then retained by the team as a backup car in 1978 and was fitted with an AMC turbo V8 for some races in 1979. Its last known appearance was when driven by Gary Bettenhausen at Pocono in June 1981, when it was described as "an old shovel-nose car". Rolla Vollstedt's son Bruce recalls that the tub sat around for some time, the sides having been taken off with the intention of using it build a different style car. The sides were later put back on, it was sold to to Joe Green, and Rolla rebuilt the car for him in about 2001.
  8. Eagle 73 [7303] (Bill Puterbaugh): New for Jerry Grant to race at the 1973 Indy 500 as AAR's #48 Olsonite Eagle. Grant was not entered at the Pocono 500 and the car was sold to Patrick Racing prior to that race. It was raced by Gordy Johncock for the rest of the season as his Indy-winning car was wrecked at Pocono. Raced by teammate Wally Dallenbach in the early races of 1974, then brought to the Indy 500 to replace a '74 car damaged by Johncock in practice. Raced by Johncock at Indy and at Milwaukee in June, and believed to have been his short track car for the rest of the year. Then to Lee Elkins and entered as the #83 McNamara Eagle for Bill Puterbaugh at Indy and at Pocono in 1975, qualifying for both. Retained for the 500-mile races 1976, when Puterbaugh qualified for the Indy 500 and Ontario, and also in 1977 when, now as the #16 entry, he again qualified for the Indy 500. Immediately after qualifying, the car was acquired by George Walther who wanted to put son Salt into it but after an uproar, Puterbaugh drove it in the race. Then from Walther to Bob Olmstead who fitted a Volker V12 engine for Indy 1978 but did not get the car on track. The car was stored until after Olmstead's death, and was sold to Bill Simpson in the early 1990s. It was restored as a show car for Simpson by Wayne Leary and put on display in North Carolina to represent the Eagle that Simpson had raced at Indy. Sold around 2013 to Jeff Urwin (New York, NY).
  9. Eagle 72 [7225] (Rick Mears): To Roger Penske for Mark Donohue to drive as the #66 Sunoco DX car at the three 500 mile races in 1973. It was then driven by Gary Bettenhausen as the #5 Sunoco DX car in place of his usual McLaren M16C at Phoenix in November 1973 and again at Phoenix in March 1974. For 1976, the car was sold to Bill Simpson and raced as his #38 Nikon car until September that year when it was sold to Arthur E. 'Art' Sugai (Ontario, OR) and became the #90 Eastside Café car for Rick Mears. Raced by Mears, Steve Krisiloff and Bubby Jones in 1977. Sold to collector/dealer Chuck Haines (St Louis, MO) in May 1980 and retained by him until purchased by Rick and Alison Dresang (Hartford, WI) in August 2004. Fully restored, and maintained by Kettle Moraine Preservation & Restoration.
  10. Eagle 74 [7411] (George Snider): New to Mike Devin's Unlimited Racing Team, who was expecting to be Lloyd Ruby's chief mechanic on the car as part of the Parnelli team, but was sold on to Mike Slater's Commander Motor Homes, still with Ruby as driver and Devin as chief mechanic. Ruby also owned a 1973 car, chassis 7228, which was his short track car in 1974. Entered by Devin for Sammy Sessions at the 1975 Indy 500, then Bob Fendler (Phoenix, AZ) bought the '74 Eagle, setting up a new team in Phoenix, with Devin relocating to be chief mechanic, and Ruby again as driver in the November 1975 Phoenix 150. Fendler's empire then collapsed, and the Eagle returned to Devin. After Ruby's last Indy 500 appearance in the car the following May, Devin joined Lindsey Hopkins' team in July 1976, and leased the Eagle to Bobby Hillin's Longhorn Racing, later selling the car to Hillin in 1977. It was Hillin's #18 Spirit of Truth entry in 1976 for Jan Opperman and George Snider, then Hillin's #72 entry for Bubby Jones at Indy 1977, and then the #18 again for Snider later in the year. It was entered by Hillin for the 1978 Indy 500, but only as a backup. This was then the 1974 Eagle entered as the #81 Dairy Queen car for Billy Vukovich and Roger Rager later in 1978, in what became the John O'Hanlon/Wayne Woodward Shade Tree Racing, although whether O'Hanlon and Woodward had joined forces as early as 1978 is unclear. It was run for Dick Ferguson and Jerry Sneva in 1979 and then appeared at two more races for Michel Jourdain in 1980. It was next seen when Steve Culp (Shreveport, LA) bought it from Mike Gue of Essex Racing some time between 1982 and 1984. Gue was an English dealer who moved his operation to Connecticut in 1981, then to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1983. Culp moved the car to Shreveport about 1985, where it remained, still in Jourdain's livery. It was bought by Danny Aiello (Marshall, TX) in 2020.
  11. Eagle 72 [7221] (Lee Kunzman): 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).
  12. McLaren M16C [M16-1?] (Al Loquasto): To Roger Penske at the 1971 Indy 500 for Mark Donohue (#66 Sunoco). Donohue retired from the Indy 500 but his car was later "destroyed" when Mike Mosley crashed his Eagle into it. It was said that nothing was salvageable and a new car (M16-4) was built in time for Pocono. However, detailed study of photographs establishes that M16-1 was rebuilt and was raced by Gary Bettenhausen for Penske at short-track races in the first half of 1972. Sold to Roy Woods Racing for John Mahler (#74) at Ontario 1972 but wrecked in the race. Not seen again until entered by Roy Woods for David Hobbs (#73) at Ontario September 1973 then for Mahler (#74) at the 1974 Indy 500 but DNQ. It had been updated to M16C form during this time. Sold to Al Loquasto, replacing the M16B he had previously raced, and used from 1975 to 1978 as Loquasto's #86 Frostie Root Beer entry. Loquasto may have used his M16B at some tracks, but no photographic evidence has yet been found for that. Sold by Loquasto to Robert W. LaWarre Sr. (Titusville, FL) for Tony Bettenhausen II (#86 Tilton) late 1979. History then unknown until the M16 was bought from someone in Florida by Joe Baird (Shelbyville, IN) and a partner in the 1990s, when the car still had Loquasto and LaWarre bodywork. Sold via Jim Mann and Steve Truchan to former Formula Atlantic driver Glen A. Smith (Rockwall, TX) and retained by Smith until his death in 2008, after which his wife sold it to Bob Boyce (Michigan City, Indiana).
  13. Eagle 74 [7406] (Todd Gibson): New to VPJ for 1974, but exactly how this car was used in 1974 and 1975 is yet to be fully determined. After Gary Allbritain crashed Dick Routh's ex-Gordy Johncock 1974 Eagle twice in early 1976, Routh's chief crew Todd Gibson bought chassis 7406 from the VPJ team to replace it. Raced by Jan Opperman at the Indy 500 as the #8 Routh Meat entry and then by Gibson himself for the rest of the season. It then became Routh's #22 Baja Boats car for Gibson in 1977, but was crashed heavily in practice at Milwaukee in August. The car was repaired over the close season using the left rear corner from the ex-Johncock Eagle, and run by Gibson a few times in 1978 as the #75 Gibson Racing entry. The car was rebuilt using a Bob Fletcher update kit which moved the radiators to the back of the tub, and was raced in this form until Gibson crashed it in qualifying at the 1979 Indy 500. At some later date, this car was acquired by Chuck Haines and rebuilt to 1974 specification.
  14. Eagle 72 [7226] (Bobby Olivero): According to AAR records, this car was originally sold to Doug Champlin & Fred Carillo of Champ Carr, Inc. This is believed to be the team's #34 car for Sam Posey but he was bumped. The team then tried to disguise the #34 car as the team's backup #31 entry to allow Posey another try at qualifying, but the deception was spotted by IMS technical supervisor Frank DelRoy and both the #34 and #31 entries were disqualified. Photographs indicate this car was then used as a short track car for Jim McElreath in 1973. Carillo retained the car during 1974, but it was not seen. In early 1975, it was repainted as Carillo's "Spirit of Orange Country" entry, but finance could not be found, and it was sold to Alex Morales, who entered it as the #78 Alex Foods car for Jimmy Caruthers. Assumed to be the #78 car for the rest of 1975 and then the #78 Alex Foods second team car for Bobby Olivero in 1976. The team acquired a pair of new Lightnings for 1977 and the Eagle was not seen again. Unknown after November 1976. Nothing more is known until it was sold by Barry Green via Walter Goodwin to Kenneth Hodge (Ocala, FL) in 2004 to be fitted with a complete spare drive train that Ken had acquired from Smokey Yunick's 1973 Chevrolet turbo engine project.
  15. McLaren M16E [001] (Larry Dickson): New in 1975 for McLaren Cars main driver Johnny Rutherford as the #2 Gatorade entry. Raced at the three 500 mile events that year but Rutherford then moved to M16E-2 and this car was next seen at Michigan in 1976 when it was entered by Russ Polak's Polak Racing as the #80 for Larry Dickson. Raced by Dickson until the end of 1977. Then almost certainly the McLaren entered by Jack L. Rhoades as the #20 Scientific Drilling Controls car for John Martin at the 500 mile races in 1979 and for Dana Carter at Indy in 1980. Returned to Indy in 1981 as the #52 Rassey Engines car for Larry Rice. Then unknown until advertised in the late 1980s by Stephen A. Schwartz (Westport, CT), totally restored and in its original Gatorade livery. It was reacquired by McLaren and put on display in the Donington Museum for many years. It was at McLaren HQ in Woking in 2010.
  16. 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).
  17. Eagle 72 [7216] (Steve Krisiloff): 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.
  18. Eagle 74 [7417?] (Tom Bigelow): In 1976, the Leader Card team consisted of three Eagles, their original 1974 car (chassis 7417) which had been modified following Steve Krisiloff's accident at the Speedway in May 1975, their one remaining 1972 car and another 1974 car which had been bought from Patrick Racing. Tom Bigelow was the team's main driver but how he used the three cars during the season isn't yet clear. His intended #24 car at the Indy 500 was 7417 but he was bumped and qualified the 72 instead. The ex-Patrick car was the #23 team car for Snider at the Speedway and is presumably the #23 car driven by Mike Hiss in the Ontario 500, suggesting Bigelow stayed with 7417.
  19. McLaren M16B [2] (Spike Gehlhausen): McLaren Cars 1972 for Peter Revson (#12), and raced at the Indy 500, Pocono and Ontario. Also raced by Gordie Johncock at Trenton in September after his usual M16B/3 had been wrecked at Ontario. To Lindsey Hopkins for Roger McCluskey to race in 1973 as the #3 Hopkins Buick entry, but McCluskey raced his older M16A at the Indy 500 and at Pocono, before settling on the M16B at the end of the season. The two cars took McCluskey to the USAC National Championship. The M16B was retained for 1974 and 1975 as a backup to Hopkins' new Riley-built 'English Leather' car. The McLaren was used at Trenton in 1975, and then entered for Graham McRae at the 1975 Indy 500, but he could not qualify. Sold to Carl Gehlhausen for Spike Gehlhausen to drive in 1976 (#19 Spirit of Indiana) and 1977 (#19 PV Corp) but crashed at Ontario, Indy and Pocono in 1977 with serious damage each time. Replaced with an Eagle in mid-1977. Acquired from Gehlhausen by Chuck Haines (St Louis, MO) some time in the 1980s, and restored by Gehlhausen's chief mechanic Eddie Baue and Walter Goodwin. USAC's history of this car identified it as the #86 "ex-Revson" McLaren (actually Hopkins' other M16) and it was restored to this specification and then sold to Gene Wagner (Atlanta, GA), who used it in US vintage racing between 1988 and 1990.
  20. Finley Eagle ['72 7224?] (Johnny Parsons Jr): Having run a 1972 Eagle and the 1973 'Fleagle' in 1975, the Vatis team introduced a new car in 1976, said to have been built on a spare Eagle tub unused until that year. This ran as the #93 car in 1976 with the 1972 Eagle moving from #93 to #92. This arrangement appears to have continued through 1977 but the two cars become harder to disentangle in 1978 as the 1972 Eagle has been modified to look much the same as the 1976 car. It would appear that the older 1972 Eagle becomes the team's first choice car in 1978 and in 1979.
  21. Eagle 74 (Bobby Unser): New to Robert L. 'Bob' Fletcher's Cobre Firestone team and entered as the #21 car for Jimmy Caruthers in 1974. Firestone withdrew from racing In August 1974 and Fletcher, who ran the largest Firestone dealership in the US, had to use Goodyear tyres in 1975. He also lost chief mechanic Jim McGee to Penske. This car became the white #11 entry for Duane Carter in 1975. Unknown in 1976 but presumably a backup car for Bobby Unser's regular #3 car. Sold to Carl Gehlhausen and entered for Spike Gehlhausen as the #19 PV Corp car at four races towards the end of the 1977 season and then through the 1978 season, until it was crashed heavily at Michigan in September. Gehlhausen then bought Pat Santello's '74 Eagle to replace it. The Michigan wreck is believed to have been repaired for 1979, and may be the car sold to Todd Gibson for 1980.
  22. Eagle 74/76 (Lloyd Ruby): Fred W. Carrillo, formerly of Champ Carr Enterprises, had entered a "1974" Eagle in 1975 and then with a 209 ci turbocharged AMC V8 engine in 1976. For 1977 he appeared with a new car said to be built in 1976 on a 1974 Eagle tub, still powered by the AMC engine. This car was entered as the #73 Carillo Rods car for Jim McElreath. Also (almost certainly) the Warner Hodgdon #11 entry for Roger McCluskey through 1978. Subsequent history unknown.
  23. McLaren M16C [3] (Bill Simpson): 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.
  24. Eagle 72 [7205] (Tom Sneva): AAR's third team car in 1972 and entered at the Indy 500 as the #48 Mystery Eagle for Jerry Grant. Also raced by Grant at other races that season, taking pole position at Ontario with the first official lap at over 200 mph. The car was sold to engine specialist Bruce H. Crower for 1973 and entered as his #23 Crower Cams car as a test bed for various Chevrolet engine projects over the next three seasons. In late 1976, the car returned again as the #57, powered by Crower's own flat-6 engine. Crower then acquired a 1974 Eagle for 1978 and the '72 car was retired.
  25. Eagle 74 [7407] (Mike Mosley): New to Jerry O'Connell's team for 1974 and raced by Billy Vukovich as the #4 Sugaripe Prune Special, with Jud Phillips as chief mechanic. Presumably the car used through 1974 by Vukovich and then through 1975 by Mike Mosley but the team had older 1972 Eagles available and those older cars may have been used at some races. Used again by Mosley in 1977 but O'Connell also acquired a new Lightning for that season. After Pocono in July 1978 the Eagle was sold to Jim McElreath, who had damaged his ex-Patrick 1973 Eagle at that race. Identified by Simmo Isk├╝l from photographs as McElreath's #23 in 1979, and presumed to be the McElreath Racing #23 right up to 1981, although the ex-Patrick car was also repaired and used again. Subsequent history unknown, but at some point in the next 30 years the car was acquired by Chuck Haines and restored to it original Sugaripe Prune livery. For reasons currently unknown, Haines advertises the car as chassis 74-08.
  26. Eagle 72 [7201?] (Tom Frantz): The prototype 1972 Eagle was tested over the winter and then used as AAR's #6 Olsonite entry for Bobby Unser on "the mile tracks" during 1972, winning at Phoenix, Trenton, Milwaukee and Phoenix again in November. Sold to Stan Malless, Bob Voigt and Dick Sommers of MVS and converted to turbo Ford engines. Raced for MVS by Sammy Sessions as the #9 in 1973 then reappeared at the 1974 Indy 500 for Denny Zimmerman and at the 1975 Indy 500 for various drivers but did not qualify for either race. Then almost certainly the #72 Custom Motor Home car raced by Tom Frantz (Littleton, CO) in 1976 which went to Ed Crombie (Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada) for 1977, when it was driven by Larry Cannon and Jerry Sneva. Crombie still had the car in 1983 when he ran it at the Knox hillclimb (Kelowna, British Columbia). History then unknown until advertised by Bob Jordan's Investment Motorsport Inc (Glenview, IL) in June 1990, when it still had its Ford engine and was said to be unraced since 1976. At some point the car was restored by former AAR fabricator Mike Lewis to its 1972 livery and with an Offy engine. It appeared in this specification at the Amelia Island concours in 2002, and was raced by Bob Jordan (Winnetka, IL) at Road America in July 2006. It was offered at the Gooding & Co Pebble Beach auction in August 2008 but did not sell. In 2010, the car was featured on a 'The Motorcar Society' video.
  27. Parnelli VPJ-6B [001] (Al Unser): The original 1975 Parnelli was also Unser's primary car at the 1976 Indy 500 and the 1977 Indy 500 (Hungness yearbooks) and wore #21 throughout. Assumed to be Unser's #21 car throughout 1976 and, as Formula refers to the cars "remaining much as was last season", presumed to be the car used in the early 1977 races. Unser had a backup (also #21) at the 1977 Indy 500 but, with this backup written off, Unser must have used this car at Milwaukee and also, according to race reports, at the Pocono 500 (Formula Sep 1977 p42), California 500 (Formula Nov 1977 p35 where the winner is listed in the results as a VPJ6B), Michigan (Autocourse p238) and Phoenix (Autocourse). In between Pocono and Ontario, Unser may have driven the VPJ6C.
  28. Vollstedt 72/75 [12] (Janet Guthrie): New for 1972 as the #27 Vollstedt Enterprises entry for Denny Zimmerman but arrived too late to qualify. Raced by Zimmerman at Pocono and Ontario in 1972 and then retained for 1973 as a backup to the new "bunkbeds" car and raced as the #27 by Tom Bigelow. It was Bigelow's intended #27 car at Indy in 1974 but crashed heavily on the second day of practice. Extensively rebuilt for 1975 with the radiators moved from McLaren-style sidepods to the nose. Bigelow preferred the 1973 car in McLaren form at the Indy 500, but raced the revised 1972 car at the Pocono 500. Used by Janet Guthrie as the #27 in 1976 but then retired. Donated to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum in May 1982.
  29. Eagle 72 [7219] (Mike Hiss): New to Patrick Racing for 1973 and identified as their #60 STP entry at the 1973 Indy 500 for Graham McRae. Then became Wally Dallenbach's #40 car after the Indy 500, winning at Milwaukee and Ontario. Sold to Richard Beith (Danville, CA) for 1974 and entered as the #18 American Kids Racer car for Steve Krisiloff and Bill Simpson. Returned in 1975 for George Follmer, now as the #28, but only at Ontario and Indy. Leased from Beith by Warner Hodgdon (San Bernardino, CA) for 1976 and raced by Billy Scott at the Indy 500 before returning to Beith for three more seasons, appearing mainly at the 500-mile races at Ontario and Indianapolis. Retained by Beith until sold to Chuck Haines (St Louis, MO) in October 2005. Haines advertised it in early 2006 still in Beith's American Kids livery. Bought from Haines by Aaron Lewis (Cessnock, NSW, Australia) in September 2008 and restored for him by Walter Goodwin between 2008 and 2011 to McRae's 1973 livery. Ran at the vintage demonstration at the Indy 500 in 2011 and 2012 and then on display at the Riverside International Automotive Museum. Sold at the RM Auctions sale at Monterey in August 2014 to Milton Verret (Austin, TX), but bought back by Lewis in 2018. Sold to Carlos de Quesada (Tampa, FL) at Indy in May 2019.
  30. Eagle 72 [7212] (Roger Rager): To Dick Simon, fitted with a Foyt-Ford V8 turbo engine and first raced as his #44 Travelodge entry at Phoenix in November 1972, where he was second fastest in Friday practice. Raced by Simon through 1973 and 1974 as the #44, retaining its Travelodge sponsorship until mid-1974. Returned in 1975 with Bruce Cogle Ford backing and in 1976 with Lan Hairpieces and later Robyn CB sponsorship when it was driven by Roger Rager. Not at Indy in 1977 but later in the year it was acquired by Nick Krantz and entered for Phil Threshie, still as the #44 but now with Mr. Golden Sunflower sponsorship. Crashed by Threshie in practice for the 1977 California 500 at Ontario and not seen again.
  31. McLaren M16C/D [6] (David "Salt" Walther): New in 1974 for McLaren Cars as a M16C/D for David Hobbs to drive at the 1974 Indy 500 as the #73 Carling Black Label entry. Sold to George Walther by early July for Salt Walther to drive and used as his main #77 car at the Indy 500 in 1975, 1976 and 1977. Walther had other McLarens during this time and he is likely to have used those on short tracks. Sold with M16C/2 to Jerry Karl for 1978 and entered as his #88 Offy car at the 1978 Indy 500 with Frank Fiore as chief mechanic and a #89 RasCar/Atlanta as his backup. This was Karl's car at Pocono, Ontario and Trenton later in 1978, and again at five races in 1979. It was modified as a "McLaren-Karl" for 1980 and 1981 but was wrecked at Riverside in August 1981. Karl then used his backup M16C/2 in the last few races of the season. Both M16Cs were sold to Chuck Haines (St Louis, MO) and stored for some years, before undergoing a complete restoration in 2015. Appeared at the Historic Indycar Exhibition in May 2016 in immaculate Carling livery. To Rob Dyson (Millbrook, NY) of Dyson Racing c2017.
  32. Eagle 73 [7302?] (Gary Bettenhausen): Built in time for Bobby Unser to drive as AAR's #8 Olsonite entry at Texas World Speedway in April. He then used the same car at Trenton, but had a further new car, chassis 7304, for Indianapolis. Exactly how 7302 was then used is still being resolved, but it is assumed for now to be the car he crashed at Milwaukee in August. The unrepaired chassis then sat on pallets at AAR until the autumn of 1975 when it was bought by Joe Hunt (Torrance, CA), repaired, and run by him as the #99 Joe Hunt Magneto entry starting when John Martin drove it in the final race of the 1975 season. Hunt continued to run it at Indy races at Ontario and at Phoenix through the next five seasons. It was taken to the Indy 500 in 1981 for Phil Krueger to drive and was crashed heavily during practice, but rebuilt yet again, and raced until 1982. Subsequent history unknown, but it was acquired by Jack Danko (Laurel Run, PA) in January 2004, and rebuilt to be used in Pensylvania hillclimbs by his son Darryl Danko from 2005 to at least 2011.

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.