OldRacingCars.com

Ontario 200

Ontario Motor Speedway, 6 Mar 1977

ResultsLapsTime/Speed
1 AJ Foyt Coyote 74 ['74-2'?] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
#14 Gilmore Racing [Foyt Enterprises]
(see note 1)
80 1h 17m 53.120s
2 Al Unser Parnelli VPJ-6B [001] - Cosworth DFX V8
#21 American Wheels [Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing]
(see note 2)
80 Finished
3 Duane "Pancho" Carter Eagle 77 [7701] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#48 Jorgensen Steel [AAR] (see note 3)
79 Flagged
4 Tom Bigelow Eagle 74 [7403?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#24 Thermo-King [Leader Card] (see note 4)
78 Flagged
5 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#20 Goodyear [Patrick Racing] (see note 5)
78 Flagged
6 Dick Simon Vollstedt 73/76 [13] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#17 Payne Air Conditioning [Vollstedt Enterprises]
(see note 6)
77 Flagged
7 Danny Ongais Parnelli VPJ-6B [002?] - Cosworth DFX V8
#25 Interscope (see note 7)
77 Flagged
8 Vern Schuppan Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#85 Wildcat Racing [Frank Curtis]
(see note 8)
77 Flagged
9 Bill Simpson McLaren M16C [4?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#38 Theodore Racing (see note 9)
77 Flagged
10 Gary Bettenhausen Eagle 73 [7302?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#99 Joe Hunt Magneto [Joe Hunt]
(see note 10)
76 Flagged
11 Todd Gibson Eagle 74 [7406] - DGS 158 ci turbo
#22 Routh Meat [Richard Routh] (see note 11)
76 Flagged
12 Cliff Hucul McLaren M16E [002] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#29 Katke Racing (see note 12)
75 Flagged
13 Larry Dickson McLaren M16E [001] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#80 WKYG Radio/Polak [Russ Polak]
(see note 13)
71 Burned piston
14 Tom Sneva McLaren M24 [004] - Cosworth DFX V8
#8 Norton Spirit [Penske Racing]
(see note 14)
64 Burned piston
15 Bobby Unser Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#6 Insta-Tune [Fletcher Racing]
(see note 15)
52 Poor handling
16 Mike Mosley Eagle 74 [7407] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#5 Sugaripe Prune [Jerry O'Connell/Jud Phillips]
(see note 16)
50 Burned piston
17 Lloyd Ruby Eagle 74/76 - AMC 209 ci turbo V8
#73 Hodgdon [Fred Carillo/Warner Hodgdon]
(see note 17)
47 Broken torsion bar
18 Wally Dallenbach Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#40 Goodyear [Patrick Racing] (see note 18)
46 Blown engine
19 Al Loquasto McLaren M16C [M16-1?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#86 Frostie Root Beer [Al Loquasto Sr.]
(see note 19)
45 Burned clutch
20 Billy Vukovich Eagle 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#15 Alex Foods [Alex Morales] (see note 20)
27 Magneto
21 Steve Krisiloff McLaren M16C [3] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#39 Theodore Racing (see note 21)
15 Clutch
22 Roger McCluskey Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#11 First National Travelers Check [Lindsey Hopkins]
(see note 22)
13 Blown engine
23 David "Salt" Walther McLaren M16C/D [6] - DGS 158 ci turbo
#77 Dayton-Walther [George Walther]
(see note 23)
12 Burned piston
24 Rick Mears Eagle 72 [7225] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#90 Eastside Cafe [Art Sugai] (see note 24)
11 Burned piston
25 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M24 [001] - Cosworth DFX V8
#2 1st National Travel Check [Team McLaren]
(see note 25)
8 Valve
26 Spike Gehlhausen McLaren M16B [2] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#19 PV Corp [Carl Gehlhausen] (see note 26)
2 Wrecked, backstretch
DNS Johnny Parsons Jr Eagle 74 [7403?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#23 Leader Card (see note 27)
Did not start
(Withdrew, qual 20th)
DNS Janet Guthrie Lightning 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#27 Payne Air Conditioning [Rolla Vollstedt]
(see note 28)
Did not start
(Blew engine practice)
DNSC Johnny Parsons Jr Eagle 72 [7205] - AMC Rambler
#57 Crower [Bruce H. Crower] (see note 29)
Did not start (crashed)
AP Alan Jones McLaren M16C [3] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#39 Theodore Racing (see note 30)
Also practiced
Qualifying
1 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M24 [001] - Cosworth DFX V8
2 Tom Sneva McLaren M24 [004] - Cosworth DFX V8
3 Al Unser Parnelli VPJ-6B [001] - Cosworth DFX V8
4 Roger McCluskey Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
5 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
6 AJ Foyt Coyote 74 ['74-2'?] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
7 Duane "Pancho" Carter Eagle 77 [7701] - Offy 159 ci turbo
8 Mike Mosley Eagle 74 [7407] - Offy 159 ci turbo
9 Tom Bigelow Eagle 74 [7403?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
10 Wally Dallenbach Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
11 Bobby Unser Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
12 David "Salt" Walther McLaren M16C/D [6] - DGS 158 ci turbo
13 Lloyd Ruby Eagle 74/76 - AMC 209 ci turbo V8
14 Danny Ongais Parnelli VPJ-6B [002?] - Cosworth DFX V8
15 Rick Mears Eagle 72 [7225] - Offy 159 ci turbo
16 Larry Dickson McLaren M16E [001] - Offy 159 ci turbo
17 Vern Schuppan Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo
18 Bill Simpson McLaren M16C [4?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
19 Dick Simon Vollstedt 73/76 [13] - Offy 159 ci turbo
20 Spike Gehlhausen McLaren M16B [2] - Offy 159 ci turbo
21 Gary Bettenhausen Eagle 73 [7302?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
22 Todd Gibson Eagle 74 [7406] - DGS 158 ci turbo
23 Al Loquasto McLaren M16C [M16-1?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
24 Billy Vukovich Eagle 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo
25 Steve Krisiloff McLaren M16C [3] - Offy 159 ci turbo
26 Cliff Hucul McLaren M16E [002] - Offy 159 ci turbo
28 Johnny Parsons Jr * Eagle 74 [7403?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
29 Janet Guthrie * Lightning 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
30 Johnny Parsons Jr * Eagle 72 [7205] - AMC Rambler
 
* Did not start

Notes on the cars:

  1. Coyote 74 ['74-2'?] (AJ Foyt): New for AJ Foyt at the 1974 Indy 500 as Foyt Enterprises' #14 Gilmore Racing entry. Photographs show that it was also raced by Foyt at Milwaukee in June, Pocono, Michigan in July, Milwaukee in August, probably Michigan again in September, Trenton in September and Phoenix in November. It was also used to set a new record speedway lap of 217.854 mph at Talladega on 3 August 1974. Photographs also show that this was one of three cars used by Foyt during the 1975 season: at Ontario in March, as his #10 backup car at the Indy 500, and at both Michigan races in July and September 1975. In 1976, Foyt raced the older 1974 car at early-season short track races and the newer 1975 car at the Indy 500, but used this car for every race from Pocono in June to the end of the season. In 1977, it was raced by Foyt at Ontario and Phoenix in March, TWS in April, Pocono, Mosport, and Trenton in September; and by Billy Vukovich at the Indy 500. In 1978, it was raced by Foyt at Phoenix in March, Trenton in April, Mosport, and Milwaukee in June, by Snider at Pocono, and probably at Michigan, where he hit the wall. It may be the car raced by Foyt in the August Milwaukee and by George Snider in the two races in Britain in October 1978, but this remains uncertain. Foyt then bought Parnelli VPJ6Cs, and the Coyotes were finally retired. This car passed to Foyt's long-time sponsor Jim Gilmore and was on display in his second-floor office in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and was in his living room at his home by 1985. After Gilmore died in a traffic accident in 2001, the Coyote moved to the Gilmore Museum, also in Kalamazoo, which had been founded by his uncle, Donald S. Gilmore in 1966. Its display board calls it a 1974 car, and that it was the Talladega record car.
  2. 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.
  3. Eagle 77 [7701] (Duane "Pancho" Carter): AAR's new offset chassis 1977 Eagle was driven by Duane 'Pancho' Carter as the #48 Jorgensen Steel entry that season. It soon became clear that its turbo Offy engine was no competition for the Cosworth DFX engines in the McLarens and Parnellis, and the Eagle was abandoned after the California 500. AAR used a Lightning-DFX for the first few races of 1978 before a new 1978 Eagle was completed. The 1977 car was then retained by Gurney as part of AAR's collection of racing cars and remained on display at the AAR premises in Santa Ana. By 2014 it had been restored with a genuine 19-degree AAR engine located by Eagle owner Philippe de Lespinay.
  4. Eagle 74 [7403?] (Tom Bigelow): New to Patrick Racing and identified by an Indianapolis 'Laycock card' as Wally Dallenbach's #40 STP entry in 1974. Given the early construction date, marked as January on the chassis plate, this car is assumed to be Dallenbach's ride from the start of 1974. Presumably his early-1975 car before the new Wildcats were ready. At Indy 1975 as the #60 spare. Sold to Leader Card Racers for 1976 and George Snider's #23 Hubler Chevrolet ride in that year's 500. Also for Mike Hiss at Ontario. Retained for 1977 and the #64 at the Indy 500 but thought to be the #23 at other races. Retained again for 1978 but wrecked in Tom Bigelow's accident at Mosport Park in June. Bought from AJ Watson by someone called Al in Grand Rapid, Michigan and sold by him to Bill Wiswedel (Holland, Michigan) around 2000-2004. In approximately 2017, Bill sold the car to James Long (Nevada City, CA) and he sold it to Bobby Rahal (Chicago, IL) in 2020.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Parnelli VPJ-6B [002?] (Danny Ongais): 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).
  8. Wildcat Mk 1 (Vern Schuppan): New for Gordy Johncock in 1975 as Patrick Racing's #20 Sinmast entry. Retained for 1976 and used by Johncock at short track events, winning at Trenton and twice finishing second at Milwaukee. Sold to Wildcat Racing Associates (Lynbrook, NY), a partnership of Frank Curtis, Gene Langsam and Walter Albert, with Curtis as chief mechanic and to be raced by Vern Schuppan as the #85 entry. The car was repossessed by lawyers at Pocono, and in August was sold to Danville barber Larry Cannon, who raced it for the rest of 1977 still entered as #85. Retained by Cannon for 1978, 1979 and 1980, qualifying for the Indy 500 in 1980. The car was again entered by Cannon in 1981 for guest drivers. Both Cannon's Wildcats were later bought by Maurice Kraines of Kraco and used as display cars at store openings and malls. Subsequent history unknown.
  9. McLaren M16C [4?] (Bill Simpson): 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. McLaren M16E [002] (Cliff Hucul): New in 1975 for McLaren Cars and raced by Lloyd Ruby at the Indy 500 as the #7 Allied Polymer car. Johnny Rutherford took over this car after Pocono and used it for the rest of the season as his #2 Gatorade entry. Used again at long track in 1976 as the #2 Hy-Gain car and won the Indy 500 as well as finishing second at Michigan and Ontario, and winning at TWS. To Cliff Hucul for 1977 as the #29 Hunter Racing or Team Canada entry, and in 1978 as the Wendy's Hamburgers entry. Raced again by Hucul in 1979 but described then as a M16C/D. Not raced again but seen in Aat Groenevelt's garage at Indy in 1985 still in Hucul livery. Then unknown until loaned to Ken Behring's Behring Auto Musem (Danville, CA) in 1988 but the museum, now called the Blackhawk Museum, cannot recall who owned it. It left the museum in mid-1990s and nothing further is known until 2004, when a M16E was on display in the Samsung Transportation Museum (Yongin, South Korea).
  13. 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.
  14. McLaren M24 [004] (Tom Sneva): New to Penske Racing in 1977 for Tom Sneva to drive as the #8 Norton Spirit entry. Sold to George Walther for his son Salt Walther to drive in 1978, and identified by the Hungness yearbook as the car driven by Salt Walther at the 1978 "500". Walther also had the ex-Andretti M24, and intended to use this at the Indy 500, but swapped to the ex-Sneva car for qualifying and the race. Photographs indicate that Walther raced the ex-Sneva car at all races except Pocono and Ontario in 1978, and at Phoenix and Atlanta in early 1979. Walther acquired Penske PC6s for 1979, but it appears that both his M24s were retained that year. The ex-Sneva car remained with Walther until the auction of the team's remaining equipment in October 2002. It was acquired by Penske, and restored over the next three years, first appearing back in Sneva's 1977 livery in the Penske Racing Museum in 2005.
  15. Lightning 77 (Bobby Unser): New to Bob Fletcher's Cobre Tire team for Bobby Unser to drive in 1977. After the team's second car was converted to a Cosworth DFX engine late in 1977 but then wrecked by Pancho Carter in testing, this car was also converted to Cosworth power and was raced by Vern Schuppan early in 1978 while Carter recuperated. Carter drove this car at the Indy 500 where it was said by Hungness to be the same car Unser drove in 1977 and also said in press reports to be the car raced by Schuppan at Texas and Trenton prior to Indy. Carter then wrecked this car at Mosport two weeks later and photographs suggest that it was not used again that year. It reappeared for Steve Krisiloff to race at Atlanta in early 1979 and was his intended backup car at the Indy 500, which he raced after withdrawing his primary car. He also raced it at Michigan and Watkins Glen (and probably at the two Trenton races) but Krisiloff then quit the team in frustration. It was not seen in the Fletcher team again but was given by Fletcher to Phil Caliva in 1981 after Caliva had wrecked his McLaren M16C/D in practice at the Indy 500. Caliva built up a "McLightning" combining the monocoque and front section of the Lightning with the rear of the McLaren. He raced this car in 1981, then appeared at Indianapolis, Riverside and Phoenix in 1982 without qualifying for a race, and also raced it at Riverside in August 1983. History then unknown until bought by Dave Roberts (Weddington, NC) in northern Indiana in 2011, on track at the Indianapolis historic event in May 2013, then taken to England for the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2014 in Budweiser livery. Also displayed at Indianapolis in the same livery in 2015 and at the Coronado Speed Festival in 2015, but by 2017 it had the Budweiser signage removed and Phil Caliva's name on it instead.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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).
  20. 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.
  21. McLaren M16C [3] (Steve Krisiloff): 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.
  22. Lightning 77 (Roger McCluskey): New to Lindsey Hopkins' team and entered in 1977 as the #11 First National Travelers Check car for driver Roger McCluskey. Hopkins had a second 1977 Lightning, the #10 car used by Lloyd Ruby at the Indy 500, and exactly how these two cars were used in 1977 is not known with certainty. This car was sold to Patrick Santello for 1978 and appeared at the Indy 500 as the #35 car for Larry Rice, but Rice used the team's old 1974 Eagle at other races that season, and the Lightning's only other outing in 1978 was when raced by Vern Schuppan at Texas World Speedway in August. Retained by Santello in 1979 as the #35 S&M Electric entry for Rice and Tim Richmond. Sold to Jack Lang's Pacific Coast Racing for 1980 and raced as the #86 entry by Al Loquasto at Pocono and Jeff Heywood at Ontario. Then unknown until acquired by World Speedway Champion Barry Briggs in 1988, still in "as raced" yellow #86 livery. Later restored to its 1978 #35 livery, and ran at Indy in May and June 2016. Advertised for sale in May 2018. On display at the Grant King Racers Working Race Shop Museum in May 2019.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. McLaren M24 [001] (Johnny Rutherford): Believed to be Johnny Rutherford's #2 Team McLaren entry in the opening raced of the 1977 season, before he used a newer car at the Indy 500. This car was then used at Milwaukee and Mosport, where Rutherford crashed heavily into the wall shortly before the end of the race. It is believe the car was returned to England for repairs, and missed the rest of the season.
  26. 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.
  27. Eagle 74 [7403?] (Johnny Parsons Jr): Mike Mosley's #98 1974 Indy 500 drive for the Lodestar/Leader/Agajanian/Watson combine and identified in a letter from AAR to USAC in Feb 1974 as 7417. Said to be the #98 for Steve Krisiloff in 1975 but the #98 picture in the 1975 yearbook is clearly a 1972 car. Could this be the car Krisiloff wrecked at Phoenix at the end of 1974? It might also be the one he "damaged extensively" in practice at the 1975 Indy (6 May - see trackside report); although the 14 May trackside report says this car was rebuilt, it is an older '72 car that Krisiloff races. Later in 1975, Agajanian left Lodestar/Leader/Watson taking his #97/#98 numbers with him and joined Grant King. Krisiloff's Lodestar/Leader/Watson Eagle then took #10 for the rest of 1975, then moved to the #23/#24 numbers in 1976. Krisiloff may have raced the '74 car later in 1975 but it is not yet known how long the car took to rebuild. At Indy in 1976, Tom Bigelow is bumped in the Leader Card #24 entry which looks like a '74 Eagle but is modified around the front suspension. Maybe 7417 with suitable repairs? Again, the usage of this car in 1976 cannot yet be determined. In 1977, Joe Saldana was bumped in the #64 Leader Card entry, a standard-looking Eagle 74. A picture shows that Saldana's #23 car at the next race was also a '74 Eagle. Finally, at the 1978 Indy 500, Tom Bagley is pictured in Hungness driving a '74 Eagle in practice. As late as 1980, the Leader Card team used an Eagle at short-track events. Subsequent history unknown but this may be the Eagle that Harry Schwartz's Rattlesnake Racing acquired together with a 1977 Watson chassis for 1981.
  28. Lightning 76 (Janet Guthrie): 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).
  29. Eagle 72 [7205] (Johnny Parsons Jr): 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.
  30. McLaren M16C [3] (Alan Jones): 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.

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.