Bobby Ball 150

Phoenix International Raceway, 29 Oct 1977

1 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#20 STP Double Oil Filter [Patrick Racing]
(see note 1)
150 1h 22m 52.580s
2 Al Unser Parnelli VPJ-6B [001] - Cosworth DFX V8
#21 American Racing [Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing]
(see note 2)
150 Finished
3 Duane "Pancho" Carter Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#15 Alex Foods [Alex Morales] (see note 3)
149 Flagged
4 Mario Andretti McLaren M24 [002] - Cosworth DFX V8
#9 CAM2 Motor Oil [Penske Racing]
(see note 4)
149 Flagged
5 Roger McCluskey Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#11 First National Travelers Check [Lindsey Hopkins]
(see note 5)
149 Flagged
6 Wally Dallenbach Wildcat Mk 3 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#40 STP Oil Treatment [Patrick Racing]
(see note 6)
148 Flagged
7 Spike Gehlhausen Eagle 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#19 PV Corp [Carl Gehlhausen] (see note 7)
147 Wrecked, mainstretch
8 Bobby Unser Lightning 77 - Cosworth DFX V8
#6 Cobre Tire [Fletcher Racing Team]
(see note 8)
145 Out of fuel
9 Larry Cannon Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#85 That's My Car [Cannon Brothers]
(see note 9)
141 Flagged
10 George Snider Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#18 Longhorn Racing [Bobby Hillin]
(see note 10)
137 Flagged
11 Dick Simon Lightning 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#17 Payne Air Conditioning [Rolla Vollstedt]
(see note 11)
136 Out of fuel
12 Danny Ongais Parnelli VPJ-6B [002-2?] - Cosworth DFX V8
#25 Interscope Racing (see note 12)
124 Wrecked (turn 3)
13 David "Salt" Walther McLaren M16C/D [6] - DGS 158 ci turbo
#77 Dayton-Walther [George Walther]
(see note 13)
124 Flagged
14 Gary Bettenhausen Dragon 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#98 Agajanian [Agajanian/King] (see note 14)
118 Broken ring & pinion
15 Tom Gloy Vollstedt 73/76 [13] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#27 Vollstedt (see note 15)
111 Oil in radiator
16 Al Loquasto McLaren M16C [M16-1?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#86 Frostie Root Beer [Al Loquasto Sr.]
(see note 16)
83 Lost power
17 Tom Sneva McLaren M24 [004] - Cosworth DFX V8
#8 Norton Spirit [Roger Penske]
(see note 17)
80 Wrecked (turn 4)
18 Larry Dickson McLaren M16E [001] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#80 WKYG Radio/Polak [Russ Polak]
(see note 18)
44 Gearbox
19 Tom Bigelow Eagle 74 [7403?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#24 Leader Card (see note 19)
43 Engine
20 Johnny Parsons Jr Finley Eagle ['72 7224?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#93 McIntire Centre [Vatis Enterprises]
(see note 20)
32 Engine
21 Bobby Olivero Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#78 Alex Foods [Alex Morales] (see note 21)
29 Engine
22 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M24 [005?] - Cosworth DFX V8
#2 1st National Travel Check [Team McLaren]
(see note 22)
3 Wrecked (turn 2)
DNS Bertil Roos Eagle 72 [7204] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#42 20th Century Enterprises [Donald Mergard]
(see note 23)
Did not start
(Wouldn't start)
DNS Lee Kunzman Eagle 74 [7405] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#65 S&M Electric [Patrick Santello]
Did not start
(Broken crankshaft in practice)
DNQ Mike Mosley Eagle 74 [7407] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#5 Sugaripe Prune [Jerry O'Connell/Jud Phillips]
(see note 24)
Did not qualify
DNQ Cliff Hucul McLaren M16E [002] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#29 Team Canada [Hucul, Hunter & Arndt]
(see note 25)
Did not qualify
DNQ Jerry Karl Fiore Spyder - Offy 159 ci turbo
#43 Fiore [Frank Fiore]
Did not qualify
DNQ Ed Finley Antares 72 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#70 BFM (see note 26)
Did not qualify
DNQ Bubby Jones Eagle 72 [7225] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#90 Eastside Cafe [Art Sugai] (see note 27)
Did not qualify
1 Bobby Unser Lightning 77 - Cosworth DFX V8 148.699 mph (24.21s)
2 Danny Ongais Parnelli VPJ-6B [002-2?] - Cosworth DFX V8 145.455 mph (24.75s)
3 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M24 [005?] - Cosworth DFX V8 144.636 mph (24.89s)
4 Al Unser Parnelli VPJ-6B [001] - Cosworth DFX V8 143.312 mph (25.12s)
5 Mario Andretti McLaren M24 [002] - Cosworth DFX V8 142.914 mph
6 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo 142.518 mph
7 Roger McCluskey Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo 142.180 mph
8 Dick Simon Lightning 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo 141.956 mph
9 Tom Sneva McLaren M24 [004] - Cosworth DFX V8 141.677 mph
10 Spike Gehlhausen Eagle 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo 141.621 mph
11 Wally Dallenbach Wildcat Mk 3 - DGS 158 ci turbo 141.509 mph
12 Johnny Parsons Jr Finley Eagle ['72 7224?] - Offy 159 ci turbo 141.232 mph
13 Duane "Pancho" Carter Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo 140.955 mph
14 Gary Bettenhausen Dragon 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo 140.296 mph
15 Bobby Olivero Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo 139.806 mph
16 Tom Bigelow Eagle 74 [7403?] - Offy 159 ci turbo 139.643 mph
17 George Snider Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo 139.643 mph
18 Larry Dickson McLaren M16E [001] - Offy 159 ci turbo 139.373 mph
19 Al Loquasto McLaren M16C [M16-1?] - Offy 159 ci turbo 137.720 mph
20 Larry Cannon Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo 136.830 mph
21 Tom Gloy Vollstedt 73/76 [13] - Offy 159 ci turbo 135.338 mph
22 David "Salt" Walther McLaren M16C/D [6] - DGS 158 ci turbo 134.983 mph
23 Mike Mosley * Eagle 74 [7407] - Offy 159 ci turbo
24 Bubby Jones * Eagle 72 [7225] - Offy 159 ci turbo
25 Jerry Karl * Fiore Spyder - Offy 159 ci turbo
26 Ed Finley * Antares 72 - Offy 159 ci turbo
27 Cliff Hucul * McLaren M16E [002] - Offy 159 ci turbo
28 Bertil Roos * Eagle 72 [7204] - Offy 159 ci turbo
29 Lee Kunzman * Eagle 74 [7405] - Offy 159 ci turbo
* Did not start

Notes on the cars:

  1. 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.
  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. Lightning 77 (Duane "Pancho" Carter): 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.
  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 (Cincinnati, 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 (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.
  6. Wildcat Mk 3 (Wally Dallenbach): New for Wally Dallenbach as Patrick Racing's #40 STP Oil Treatment entry in 1977, but not taken to the Indy 500 after disappointing testing results. First raced at the Mosport Park race in early July, then also used by Dallenbach at Milwaukee in August, Trenton in September and Phoenix in October. Sold to Janet Guthrie as her #51 Texaco Star entry at the 1978 Indy 500, finishing in a creditable ninth place. The car was preserved by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, and has remained in their collection ever since.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Wildcat Mk 1 (George Snider): New for Wally Dallenbach in 1975 as Patrick Racing's #40 Sinmast entry. Retained for 1976 and used by Dallenbach in practice at the 1976 Indy 500 and raced by him at Trenton in August. Sold to Bobby Hillin's Longhorn Racing for 1977, and raced by George Snider as the #18 entry at most races that season, a 1974 Eagle being used at others. Retained by Longhorn for 1978, but neither Bubby Jones nor Billy Vukovich could get the car up to speed at the Indy 500 due to a handling problem. Jones raced it at Pocono in July, and then Canadian Cliff Hucul raced it at Ontario in September, but was eliminated in a collision with Steve Krisiloff. It appears that the Longhorn Wildcat was significantly remodelled during repairs, as it looked significantly different to a standard Wildcat Mk 1 when George Snider raced it at Phoenix in October. This remodelled car was owned and driven by Tom Frantz (Littleton, CO) in 1979, again wearing #18. It was sold to Ross Davis (Grand Junction, CO) for 1980, with backing from Jim Land and Jon Abrasom. He raced it at Ontario in March, but was refused a rookie test at Indy, and the drive was taken over by John Martin, who qualified but was bumped. Martin drove the car for the rest of the season. According to Bob Sawicki, "this car was destroyed when the trailer broke away from the truck and crash down a hill in 1980".
  11. 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).
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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".
  15. Vollstedt 73/76 [13] (Tom Gloy): 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.
  16. 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).
  17. 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.
  18. McLaren M16E [001] (Larry Dickson): New in 1975 for McLaren Cars main driver Johnny Rutherford as the #2 Gatorade entry. Raced at Ontario and in the Indy 500, where he finished second, but the badly damaged when he "lost it" on the oopening lap of his qualifying run at Pocono. Rutherford then took over the less used M16E-2 that Lloyd Ruby had driven for the two Michigan races but used his older M16C/D elsewhere. At the end of the season, M16E-1 was sold to Bob Fletcher's team, but McLaren stipulated that it could not be driven by Fletcher's main driver, Bobby Unser, until the new McLaren M24s were ready. As the M24 was delayed, Fletcher sold the M16E to Russ Polak's Polak Racing for Larry Dickson to drive as the #80 entry. Raced by Dickson from Michigan in July 1976 to the the end of 1977. Not seen in 1978. 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.
  19. 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.
  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. 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.
  22. McLaren M24 [005?] (Johnny Rutherford): Believed to be Johnny Rutherford's third 1977 McLaren M24, raced as his #2 Team McLaren entry at least once late in the 1977 season after chassis 001 had been damaged. Rutherford had three cars for 1978, two M24s and a M24B, and it is unclear how the two M24s were used.
  23. Eagle 72 [7204] (Bertil Roos): One of two 1972 Eagles 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. As the later history of 7207 is known from an invoice, and as the cars have distinct differences that can be seen in photographs, 7204 can be safely identified as Vukovich's 1972 Indy 500 car, after which it swapped roles with 7207 and became his short track car. It remained his short track car in 1973, and is then believed to have raced just twice in 1974. Sold to Donald Mergard and very probably the car raced by Bob Harkey as Mergard Racing's #42 entry at Michigan late that season. Retained by Mergard for another six seasons, racing as the #42 with numerous drivers and sponsors. In 1981, this car appears to have become Tom Frantz' #71 entry for Bob Frey. Subsequent history unknown.
  24. 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.
  25. 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 crashed M16E-1 at Pocono and used it for the rest of the season as his #2 Gatorade entry. Used again at long tracks in 1976 as the #2 Hy-Gain car, and won the Indy 500 as well as finishing second at Michigan and at Ontario, and winning at TWS. Sold to Cliff Hucul and his chief mechanic Bob Katke for 1977 and run 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 fully restored M16E in Hy-Gain livery was on display in the Samsung Transportation Museum (Yongin, South Korea).
  26. Antares 72 (Ed Finley): Sold to Lindsey Hopkins and entered at the 1972 Indy 500 as the #10 Gilmore Racing car for Wally Dallenbach. Dallenbach qualified Hopkins' 1970 Eagle for the race instead of the Antares but was forced into the Antares when the Eagle was bumped. The Offy engine blew during its qualifying run so it did not make the race. According to a history written by Kevin Triplett, this car and the Swede Savage car were returned to Antares Engineering and remained there until the two cars were bought by Ed Finley, Gary Miller and Keith Shuck in 1975. This ex-Dallenbach car was not used in 1976 but returned to the Indy 500 in 1977 when Ken Mahoney and Doug Beiderstedt had joined as part owners. Raced by Ed Finley in 1977 and 1978, then in 1979 by Frank Weiss and Eldon Rasmussen who managed to qualify it for the 1979 Indy 500. Reappeared a handful of times in 1980 and 1981 and then sat at the workshop of Ken Mahoney (Peru, IL) for some years. This car and all Mahoney's other Antares bits were acquired from him at some point by Jack Layton (Howell, Michigan), and he sold this ex-Dallenbach to Bob McConnell (Urbana, OH). By 2012, the car was fully restored in 1981 Roman Wheels #87 livery.
  27. Eagle 72 [7225] (Bubby Jones): 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.


Note that 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' published 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.