OldRacingCars.com

California 500

Ontario Motor Speedway, 4 Sep 1977

ResultsLapsTime/Speed
1 Al Unser Parnelli VPJ-6B [001] - Cosworth DFX V8
#21 American Racing [Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing]
(see note 1)
200 3h 17m 16.370s
2 AJ Foyt Coyote 75 ['75-1'] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
#14 Gilmore Racing Team [A. J. Foyt Ent.]
(see note 2)
200 Finished
3 Tom Sneva Penske PC5 [001?] - Cosworth DFX V8
#8 Norton Spirit [Penske Racing]
(see note 3)
199 Flagged
4 Mario Andretti McLaren M24 [002] - Cosworth DFX V8
#9 CAM2 Motor Oil [Penske Racing]
(see note 4)
197 Flagged
5 Bobby Olivero Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#78 Alex Foods [Alex Morales] (see note 5)
195 Flagged
6 Vern Schuppan Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#15 Alex Foods [Alex Morales] (see note 6)
195 Flagged
7 Larry Dickson McLaren M16E [001] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#80 WKYG Radio Station-Polak [Russ Polak]
(see note 7)
193 Flagged
8 Danny Ongais Parnelli VPJ-6B [002-2?] - Cosworth DFX V8
#25 Interscope Racing [Interscope Racing]
(see note 8)
192 Flagged
9 Jim McElreath Eagle 74/76 - AMC 209 ci turbo V8
#74 AMC Experimental [Warner Hodgdon]
(see note 9)
186 Flagged
10 John Martin Eagle 72 [7219] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#28 American Kids Racer [Wheel Center Inc = Richard Beith]
(see note 10)
186 Flagged
11 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#20 STP Double Oil Filter [Patrick Racing Team]
(see note 11)
174 Wrecked (turn 1)
12 Larry Cannon Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#85 Cannon Brothers [Larry Cannon]
(see note 12)
168 Flagged
13 Spike Gehlhausen Eagle 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#19 P. V. Corporation [Marge Gehlhausen]
(see note 13)
163 Transmission
14 Duane "Pancho" Carter Eagle 77 [7701] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#48 Jorgensen [Earle M. Jorgensen Co. = AAR]
(see note 14)
154 Overheated
15 Lee Kunzman Eagle 74 [7405] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#65 City of Syracuse-S & M Electric [Pat Santello]
138 Turbocharger
16 Mike Mosley Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#5 Sugaripe Prune [Jerry O'Connell/Jud Phillips]
(see note 15)
135 Engine
17 Gary Bettenhausen Dragon 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#98 Agajanian-Evel Knievel [Agajanian-King]
(see note 16)
117 Water pump
18 Al Loquasto McLaren M16C [M16-1?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#86 Frostie Root Beer [Al Loquasto Sr.]
(see note 17)
112 Manifold
19 Janet Guthrie Lightning 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#27 Payne Day-Night Heating & Cooling [Vollstedt Enterprise]
(see note 18)
112 Engine
19 Dick Simon Lightning 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#27 Payne Day-Night Heating & Cooling [Vollstedt Enterprise]
(see note 19)
Relieved Guthrie 64-112
20 Wally Dallenbach Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#40 STP Oil Treatment [Patrick Racing Team]
(see note 20)
78 Engine
21 Eldon Rasmussen RasCar-Atlanta 74 - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
#58 C-W Cleaner [Rasmussen Racing Products]
(see note 21)
75 Engine
22 Roger McCluskey Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#11 First National Travelers Checks [Lindsey Hopkins]
(see note 22)
57 Piston
23 James McElreath Eagle 74 [7306] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#26 AMAX Energy [McElreath Enterprises]
(see note 23)
48 Engine
24 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M24 [003?] - Cosworth DFX V8
#2 First National Travelers Checks [Team McLaren Ltd]
46 Valve
25 David "Salt" Walther McLaren M16C/D [6] - DGS 158 ci turbo
#77 Dayton-Walther [Walmotors Inc=George Walther]
(see note 24)
45 Engine
26 Rick Mears McLaren M16C [4] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#38 Theodore Racing Hong Kong [Theodore Racing]
(see note 25)
42 Engine
27 Steve Krisiloff Eagle 72 [7207] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#91 Eastside Cafe & Lounge [Midori Sugai]
(see note 26)
27 Engine
28 Tom Bigelow Watson 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#24 Thermo King [Leader Cards, Inc]
(see note 27)
23 Valve
29 Johnny Parsons Jr McLaren M16B/A [B-3/A-2] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#30 Caesar's Palace-BRE Ent.[Bill Freeman Racing]
(see note 28)
23 Piston
30 Bobby Unser Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#6 Cobre Tire-Clayton Dyno Tune [Fletcher Racing]
(see note 29)
18 Suspension
31 Billy Vukovich Dragon 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#97 Genesee Beer [Hammond-Agajanian-King]
(see note 30)
14 Engine
32 George Snider Eagle 74 [7411] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#18 Longhorn Racing [Bobby Hillin]
(see note 31)
8 Gearbox
33 Dick Simon Vollstedt 77 [14] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#17 Payne Day-Night Heating & Cooling [Vollstedt Enterprise]
3 Piston
DNSC Joe Saldana Eagle 74 [7403?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#23 Thermo King [Leader Cards, Inc]
(see note 32)
Did not start (crashed)
DNSC Phil Threshie Eagle 72 [7212] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
#44 Mr. Golden Sunflower [Nick Krantz]
(see note 33)
Did not start (crashed)
DNSC Chuck Gurney Eagle 72 [7205] - Crower 160 ci f8
#57 Crower [Bruce Crower] (see note 34)
Did not start (crashed)
DNQ Jerry Sneva Eagle 72 [7201?] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
#67 Crombie Brothers Racing [Crombie Enterprises Ltd]
(see note 35)
Did not qualify
DNQ Bob Harkey Eagle 73 [7302?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#99 Joe Hunt Magneto [Joe Hunt]
(see note 36)
Did not qualify
T Roger McCluskey Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci laydown turbo
#71 First National Travelers Checks [Lindsey Hopkins]
(see note 37)
(Only used in practice)
DNA Todd Gibson Eagle 74 [7406] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#22 Baja Boat [Richard Routh] (see note 38)
Did not arrive
DNA Bobby Unser Lightning 77 - Cosworth DFX V8
#61 Cobre Tire-Clayton Dyno Tune [Fletcher Racing]
(see note 39)
Did not arrive
  Lloyd Ruby Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#10 First National Travelers Checks [Lindsey Hopkins]
(see note 40)
On entry list
  TBA McLaren M24 - Cosworth DFX V8
#12 First National Travelers Checks [Team McLaren Ltd]
On entry list
  Cliff Hucul McLaren M16E [002] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#29 Team Canada [Hucul, Hunter & Arndt]
(see note 41)
On entry list
  TBA Eagle 74 [7407] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#32 Sugaripe Prune [Jerry O'Connell/Jud Phillips]
(see note 42)
On entry list
  Jerry Sneva McLaren M16A [4?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#36 Spirit of America Racers [James & Robert Bidwell]
(see note 43)
On entry list
  Bob Harkey Eagle 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#79 P. V. Corporation [Carl Gehlhausen]
(see note 44)
On entry list
  Steve Krisiloff Eagle 72 [7225] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#90 Eastside Cafe & Lounge [Art Sugai]
(see note 45)
On entry list
Qualifying
1 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M24 [003?] - Cosworth DFX V8 195.111 mph
2 Mario Andretti McLaren M24 [002] - Cosworth DFX V8 194.900 mph
3 Al Unser Parnelli VPJ-6B [001] - Cosworth DFX V8 194.774 mph
4 Tom Sneva Penske PC5 [001?] - Cosworth DFX V8 193.736 mph
5 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo 193.684 mph
6 AJ Foyt Coyote 75 ['75-1'] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8 191.887 mph
7 Bobby Unser Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo 191.042 mph
8 Bobby Olivero Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo 189.274 mph
9 Mike Mosley Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo 188.029 mph
10 Roger McCluskey Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo 187.441 mph
11 Jim McElreath Eagle 74/76 - AMC 209 ci turbo V8 187.295 mph
12 Dick Simon Vollstedt 77 [14] - Offy 159 ci turbo 186.994 mph
13 Spike Gehlhausen Eagle 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo 185.835 mph
14 George Snider Eagle 74 [7411] - Offy 159 ci turbo 185.816 mph
15 Lee Kunzman Eagle 74 [7405] - Offy 159 ci turbo 184.976 mph
16 Johnny Parsons Jr McLaren M16B/A [B-3/A-2] - Offy 159 ci turbo 184.096 mph
17 Rick Mears McLaren M16C [4] - Offy 159 ci turbo 184.049 mph
18 James McElreath Eagle 74 [7306] - Offy 159 ci turbo 182.741 mph
19 Steve Krisiloff Eagle 72 [7207] - Offy 159 ci turbo 180.551 mph
20 Danny Ongais Parnelli VPJ-6B [002-2?] - Cosworth DFX V8 196.389 mph
21 Wally Dallenbach Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo 189.334 mph
22 Vern Schuppan Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo 185.519 mph
23 Tom Bigelow Watson 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo 184.833 mph
24 Duane "Pancho" Carter Eagle 77 [7701] - Offy 159 ci turbo 184.776 mph
25 Janet Guthrie Lightning 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo 184.021 mph
26 Gary Bettenhausen Dragon 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo 182.371 mph
27 Al Loquasto McLaren M16C [M16-1?] - Offy 159 ci turbo 182.251 mph
28 David "Salt" Walther McLaren M16C/D [6] - DGS 158 ci turbo 180.252 mph
29 Larry Dickson McLaren M16E [001] - Offy 159 ci turbo 179.042 mph
30 John Martin Eagle 72 [7219] - Offy 159 ci turbo 178.882 mph
31 Billy Vukovich Dragon 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo 176.151 mph
32 Larry Cannon Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo 174.995 mph
33 Eldon Rasmussen RasCar-Atlanta 74 - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8 drew
34 Jerry Sneva * Eagle 72 [7201?] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8 1st alternate
35 Bob Harkey * Eagle 73 [7302?] - Offy 159 ci turbo 2nd alternate
 
* Did not start

Notes on the cars:

  1. 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.
  2. Coyote 75 ['75-1'] (AJ Foyt): New for AJ Foyt at the 1975 Indy 500 as Foyt Enterprises' #14 Gilmore Racing entry. This car was allegedly slimmer and lower than previous cars in this series. Photographs show that the next times Foyt raced this car were to win the Pocono 500 in June 1975, finish second at the Indy 500 in May 1976, and then to win the Indy 500 in 1977, Foyt's fourth win at the Speedway. Foyt then announced that the car had been donated to the IMS Museum, but it was later reclaimed and Foyt took it to second place at the California 500 at Ontario in September. The following year it was raced more often: by Foyt at the Ontario 200 in March and the Texas 200 in April, then it was George Snider's #84 entry at the 1978 Indy 500, was raced by Foyt at Michigan in July, then Foyt's winning ride at the 200-mile Texas Grand Prix at TWS in August that year, and finally Snider's #14 at the Ontario 500. After it was retired, the car was on display in the Indy Museum during the 1980s, but returned to Foyt to be auctioned in 1992. It was acquired by Tony George for $410,000, and returned to the IMS Museum. It has remained in the museum collection since then.
  3. Penske PC5 [001?] (Tom Sneva): Said to have been present at the 1977 Indy 500, but locked in the team's transporter throughout. First raced by Tom Sneva as Penske Racing's #8 Norton Spirit entry at the Michigan 200 in July 1977. Later raced by Sneva at Texas World Speedway two weeks later, and in the California 500 at Ontario in early September. Sold to Russel Polak (Noblesville, IN) and entered for three-time USAC sprint car champion Larry Dickson to race in 1978 and 1979, with Chuck Looper as crew chief. Last seen when Dickson crashed it in practice at Milwaukee in August 1979. Entered for Indy in 1980, but the car did not arrive. This is presumably the car acquired by Joe Hunt and extensively rebuilt for Phil Krueger to race at the start of 1982. Crashed at Phoenix in March 1982 and very heavily damaged. Its suspension was used to build up new car using McLaren M24 tub, and the resulting car used the identity of the McLaren.
  4. McLaren M24 [002] (Mario Andretti): New to Penske Racing for Mario Andretti to drive as the #9 CAM2 Motor Oil entry at eight races in 1977. Sold to George Walther's Dayton-Walther team for his son Salt Walther to drive in 1978. The ex-Andretti car was Salt's intended race car at the Indy 500, but he swapped to his ex-Tom Sneva car for qualifying and the race. Photographs indicate that Walther raced the ex-Andretti car at Pocono and Ontario in 1978. Walther acquired a new Penske PC6 for 1979, but one of the M24s was retained as a backup. The ex-Andretti car was sold to Tom Frantz (Littleton, CO) for 1980, but only appeared at the Indy 500, where he did not qualify, and was then sold to Don Mergard (Cincinatti, OH), whose crew chief Eddie Meinking fitted a Chevrolet stock block engine. Mergard entered it for Phil Threshie at the Indy 500 in 1981, and for Teddy Pilette in 1982, but both failed to qualify. Mergard advertised the car in February 1982 as being "ex-Andretti". The movements of the car are unknown after that date, but at some point it was restored to the livery Sneva's 1977 pole position car and put on display in the Historic Auto Attractions Museum in Roscoe, Illinois. However, it still had its M24-002 chassis plate, its USAC sticker from when Tom Frantz ran it in 1980, and the Chevrolet stock block engine from the Mergard era.
  5. Lightning 77 (Bobby Olivero): New to Alex Morales for 1977 and entered as the #78 Alex Foods car for Bobby Olivero. Presumably his #78 car for the rest of the season but it is possible that the sister #15 car was also used as the #78 at some points during 1977. Then the #78 Alex Foods car for Max Mosley in 1978 and presumed to be the same #78 car he uses all season but it is again quite likely that the sister car was used somewhere. This was then Pancho Carter's Offy-powered #10 Alex XLNT Foods car at the 1979 Indy 500 and as the sister car had been converted to Drake V8 power, this is presumably the Offy car he used through 1979. As the Drake car was converted to a Cosworth DFX and retained for 1980, this Offy car would be the car sold to John Menard's team and entered as the #28 for Herm Johnson in 1980, still with Offy power. For 1981, the Menard team, led by ex-Parnelli mechanic Dan Cota, extensively modified the car with new ground-effect sidepods and fitted a normally-aspirated Chevrolet stock block engine. The car went well at the Indy 500 but Herm Johnson was bumped. To Larry Walker (Indianapolis, IN) for 1982, and entered by his Timberwood Racers at the Indy 500 in 1982 and 1983 as the #88 Frito-Lay Racer, for Billy Scott in 1982 and Roger Rager in 1983, but did not qualify. Subsequent history unknown.
  6. Lightning 77 (Vern Schuppan): Chassis 'ROMLIN/4' was new to Alex Morales' Alex Foods team for 1977 as part of a two-car team of Lightnings for Bobby Olivero. This was Olivero's #15 car at the Indy 500 but he raced the #78 backup. This #15 car was then raced by Vern Schuppan later in the season, and also by Pancho Carter at Phoenix. Retained for 1978 and raced by Olivero and then by Mike Mosley, but exactly how the two cars were used that season is unclear. For 1979, this car was fitted with a Drake V8, replacing the original Offy turbo, and was raced by new team driver Pancho Carter as the #10 Alex Foods entry on several occasions. It was then converted to a Cosworth DFX later in 1979, the sister car retaining its original Offy turbo. Morales acquired a Penske PC7 for Carter to drive in 1980 but the Lightning-DFX was retained as a backup and was raced at Pocono in 1980 after the Penske was damaged in practice, at Milwaukee in 1981 and at Watkins Glen in October 1981. Photographs may reveal that it was used more often than this. It was used as a show car thereafter, and was still in the livery of Morales' 1983 #21 entry when acquired by Toney Edwards (Greenwood, Indiana). In January 2016, the car was being restored by Peter Jamie and was to be fitted with a Drake V8.
  7. 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.
  8. Parnelli VPJ-6B [002-2?] (Danny Ongais): Danny Ongais' original Parnelli VPJ6B was written off at Milwaukee in June 1977 and he had a new car for the Pocono 500 later that month. This new car is presumed to be the one he used for the rest of 1977 and is also presumed to be the 1977 Parnelli that was one of Ongais' two cars at the Speedway in 1978 (Autosport 25 May 1978 p31) and his race car (Hungness). However, Ongais is said to have wrecked his older car and resumed in his regular car (Autosport), which casts doubt on the Hungness identification of the 1977 car as his race car.
  9. Eagle 74/76 (Jim McElreath): 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.
  10. Eagle 72 [7219] (John Martin): 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.
  11. Wildcat Mk 2 (Gordon Johncock): Built by Patrick Racing during 1976, but not run for the first time until the 1977 Indy 500, where it was Gordon Johncock's #20 STP entry. It is believed to have been his regular long-track car in 1977, but he also had his 1976 Mk 2 for short tracks early in the season, and had a Mk 3 which was used at Mosport and at least one short track later in the season. This car became Steve Krisiloff's #40 Foreman Industries car in 1978 until he wrecked it at Ontario in September, in a collision with Cliff Hucul's older Wildcat sent Krisiloff into the wall. Krisiloff had to use the unloved Drake V8-powered Mk 4 for the rest of the season, indicating that Patrick Racing had no Mk 2s left and that this car was not rebuilt.
  12. Wildcat Mk 1 (Larry Cannon): 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.
  13. Eagle 74 (Spike Gehlhausen): 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Lightning 77 (Mike Mosley): New to Jerry O'Connell's team for 1977 and entered as the #5 Sugaripe Prune car for Mike Mosley, with Jud Phillips as chief mechanic. The team used an older 1974 Eagle at some events that year and the Lightning was also raced by Johnny Parsons at Texas. It was fitted with a Cosworth DFX and became the team's spare car for 1978 after O'Connell acquired a McLaren M24 for Wally Dallenbach and would be the Lightning-DFX driven by Billy Vukovich (#32 Sugaripe Prune) as a second team entry at Ontario and finally by Dallenbach (#6 Sugaripe Prune) at Trenton at the end of 1978. Subsequent history unknown.
  16. Dragon 76 (Gary Bettenhausen): New for John Martin to drive at the 1976 Indy 500 as JC Agajanian & Grant King's #98 Genesee Beer entry. Also driven by Martin at Milwaukee, Pocono, Michigan, Trenton, Milwaukee again and Ontario, but it is possible that he was using the sister car at the short track races. Entered by Agajanian and Evel Knievel for Gary Bettenhausen to drive in 1977, but he used an old 1973 Kingfish at least once at short track events. For Bettenhausen again in 1978, now entered by Agajanian, King and JC Purcell, and with Oberdorfer Foundries as title sponsor. The car was retired from racing at the end of 1978, and crew member Bill Throckmorton recalls that "the Evel Knievel car hung upstairs with the orange Oberdorfer colors on it until Grant restored it".
  17. 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).
  18. 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).
  19. Lightning 76 (Dick Simon): 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).
  20. 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
  21. RasCar-Atlanta 74 (Eldon Rasmussen): New for Lloyd Ruby at the Jimmy Bryan 150 at Phoenix in March 1972, where it was Gene White Racing's #5 Wynns entry, and then used by him at the Indy 500, where he finished sixth. Ruby then tried the team's Lola T270 at Milwaukee, and tried both cars in practice at Pocono before it was rained off. He then crashed the Atlanta before the race at Michigan in July, and used the Lola for the rest of the season. Almost certainly the Atlanta-Ford sold to Loyd Meek's Quality Racing Team for 1973, where it was due to be enginered and raced by Eldon Rasmussen, but Rasmussen did not appear in the car until Texas in October, where it went very well. Rebuilt by Rasmussen as a "Ras-Car", and thereafter described as a 1974 car. Raced by Rasmussen in the 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1978 seasons, although he generally only appeared for the longer races at Indianapolis, Ontario, Pocono and Michigan. This is believed to be the car that was demolished in Rasmussen's huge accident at Pocono in 1979.
  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. Eagle 74 [7306] (James McElreath): 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).
  24. 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 with Frank Fiore as chief mechanic and a #89 RasCar/Atlanta as his backup. How this car was used later is currently unclear. Sold with M16C/2 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.
  25. McLaren M16C [4] (Rick Mears): 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.
  26. Eagle 72 [7207] (Steve Krisiloff): 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.
  27. Watson 77 (Tom Bigelow): Sheldon Kinser started 1978 with the only Watson, presumably the team's 1977 car. Kinser then took the 1978 car for the Indy 500 but only Bagley drove the next race (Mosport) and by the time Kinser returned at Pocono, he was in the 77 car (ditto at Ontario). Assumed to have been driven by Kinser for the rest of the year. Maybe then Kinser's #24 through 1979 and then maybe the basis of his #24 Watson-DFX through 1980.
  28. McLaren M16B/A [B-3/A-2] (Johnny Parsons Jr): McLaren Cars 1972 for Gordy Johncock (#24) and 'wrecked' at Ontario. Repaired and sold to John Martin 1973 (#89) and 1974 and 1975. Wrecked at Milwaukee June 1975 and tub "thrown in dumpster". Rebuilt using a M16A monocoque bought from Lindsey Hopkins, first appearing in this form at Pocono three weeks later, and raced by Martin to the end of 1975. This M16B/A was acquired by Danny Jones and Roy Dickinson in 1976 and rebuilt for the 1977 Indy 500. They were then joined by Bill Freeman Racing, appearing on the 1977 Indy 500 entry list as #30 Caesars Palace entry. Bob Harkey failed to qualify the car at Indy and it was raced by Johnny Parsons Jr later in the 1977 season. To Fred Ruth for 1978 and qualified for the Indy 500 by Jerry Sneva in 1978 as the #30 Smock Material entry. Ruth was joined and at some point as co-owner by Marv Schmidt. Returned again in 1979, entered by Thunder Racing and with Molly Mate sponsorship. It was next seen in 1981 when John Martin qualified at the Indy 500 but was bumped. Cliff Hucul ran it later that year as the #57. Then unknown until 1991 when it was owned by Chuck Haines (St Louis, MO) and still in Hucul livery.
  29. 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.
  30. Dragon 76 (Billy Vukovich): New for Sheldon Kinser to drive at the 1976 Indy 500 as JC Agajanian & Grant King's #97 entry sponsored by TheBottomhalf, a local men's clothing store. Also driven by Kinser at Pocono and Ontario, and it is possible this car was John Martin's #98 entry at short track races in 1976. For Kinser at the 1977 Indy 500 as the #97 Genesee Beer entry, then driven by Billy Vukovich with the same sponsor at Pocono, Mosport Park, Michigan and Ontario later that year. For Roger Rager at the 1978 Indy 500, entered by Agajanian/King and sponsored by Daily Queen but wrecked during practice.
  31. 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.
  32. Eagle 74 [7403?] (Joe Saldana): 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.
  33. Eagle 72 [7212] (Phil Threshie): 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.
  34. Eagle 72 [7205] (Chuck Gurney): 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.
  35. Eagle 72 [7201?] (Jerry Sneva): 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.
  36. Eagle 73 [7302?] (Bob Harkey): 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.
  37. Lightning 77 (Roger McCluskey): Designed by Roman Slobodynskyj to have the Offy engine laid on its side, angled just 12 degrees from the horizontal, the 'laydown' Offy was first seen in public at the 1977 California 500. The car required a completely new transmission, designed by Pete Weismmann, and this proved troublesome. Despite the car's speed, Roger McCluskey raced the conventional car at Ontario. New team driver Johnny Parsons drove the car at Ontario and Trenton in early 1978, retiring both times, and then ran it at 197.889 mph in practice at the Speedway before another transmission failure. Photographs show it was at Michigan in September but the car Parsons used to finish in seventh place is now believed to have been his conventional car. Then team focused on the Drake V8 in 1979, but at Indy in May Parsons took the laydown off Hurley Haywood during practice and qualified it ninth. He also qualified it third at Pocono and then - remarkably - finished fourth in it at Milwaukee. Parsons qualified it well again in 1980 but after another retirement, he focused on Hopkins' new ground-effect design. In 1986, the car was donated to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, and remained with the museum, unrestored, until it was offered for sale in April 2021.
  38. 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.
  39. Lightning 77 (Bobby Unser): Bob Fletcher's Cobre Tire team had a second 1977 Lightning for Bobby Unser in 1977, but exactly how it was used that season is currently undetermined. This second car was very probably the one converted to take a Cosworth DFX engine later in 1977 and took pole position at Phoenix in October. New driver Pancho Carter then crashed the Lightning-DFX heavily in testing at Phoenix in early December, suffering major injuries. Although it was repaired in time to be entered in the 1978 Indy 500 as the #55 for Vern Schuppan, it did not appear on track. It returned to service at Milwaukee in June after Carter had damaged his other car at Mosport and was his regular car from then until the end of the season. It was raced by Steve Krisiloff at the start of 1979 and was his intended car at the Indy 500 but was withdrawn and he raced his backup. This car did not appear again in the team until Krisloff left the team prior to the Ontario 500. It then became the #55 Fletcher entry for Spike Gehlhausen from Ontario onwards. Fletcher bought a Penske PC7 for 1980 and neither Fletcher Lightning was seen that season. The other Fletcher Lightning went to Phil Caliva for 1981, but the fate of this second car remains unknown.
  40. Lightning 77 (Lloyd Ruby): New for Lindsey Hopkins' team and appeared as the team's second entry at the 1977 Indy 500, the #10 '1st National Travel Check' Lightning as raced by Lloyd Ruby. This car was retained for 1978 alongside the Laydown and it was Hopkins' #16 entry for Johnny Parsons at the 1978 Indy 500. Photographs show that Parsons used it at most races that season, with the Laydown only being raced three times. At the final race of the season at Phoenix, Parsons damaged his primary car in practice, and photographs have not yet been found to determine which car he crashed. It is likely to have been this car, with the Laydown by then serving as his backup. It is then distinctly possible that this car was rebuilt as the team's Drake V8 car for 1979, but that remains unproven.
  41. 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).
  42. Eagle 74 [7407] (TBA): 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 Iskül 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.
  43. McLaren M16A [4?] (Jerry Sneva): Roger Penske 1971 for Mark Donohue (#66 Sunoco) at Pocono and Ontario, replacing M16/1 destroyed at the Indy 500. Also for Donohue in the early races of 1972 and probably the #8 backup entry at the Indy 500. It was then sold to George Walther and raced by Salt Walther later in 1972. The Walthers bought other McLarens over the winter and this was retained as an unused backup in 1973. Walther raced it at Trenton in April 1974 and may have used it at other short-track events in 1974 and 1975. For 1976, it was sold to James C Bidwell (Indianapolis, IN) and Robert Bidwell (Lauderhill, FL) and entered as the #36 Shurfine Foods for Jerry Karl after Indy in 1976 and for Jerry Sneva in 1977. To Frank Fiore (#88 Machinists Union) late season 1978 for Tom Gloy; and Ontario only 1979 for Ken Nichols. Then sold to Buddy Boys (Calgary, Alberta) and entered as the #68 at the Indy 1980 for fellow Canadian Frank Weiss to drive, but crashed heavily during practice. The Hungness Yearbook describes the impact as having been on the left front and the car as "extensively damaged", adding that the injured Weiss had to be released using a Hurst rescue tool, the so-called "jaws of life" which could have done significant damage to the monocoque.
  44. Eagle 74 (Bob Harkey): 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.
  45. Eagle 72 [7225] (Steve Krisiloff): 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.

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.