OldRacingCars.com

Pocono 500

Pocono International Raceway, 26 Jun 1977

ResultsLapsTime/Speed
1 Tom Sneva McLaren M24 [004] - Cosworth DFX V8
#8 Norton Spirit [Penske Racing]
(see note 1)
200 3h 17m 11.900s
2 Mario Andretti McLaren M24 [002] - Cosworth DFX V8
#9 CAM2 Motor Oil [Penske Racing]
(see note 2)
200 Finished
3 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#20 STP Double Oil Filter [Patrick Racing]
(see note 3)
199 Flagged
4 Wally Dallenbach Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#40 STP Oil Treatment [Patrick Racing]
(see note 4)
199 Flagged
5 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M24 [003?] - Cosworth DFX V8
#2 1st National Travel Check [Team McLaren]
193 Flagged
6 Lee Kunzman Eagle 74 [7405] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#65 City of Syracuse [Patrick Santello]
190 Flagged
7 Gary Bettenhausen Dragon 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#98 Agajanian-Knievel [Agajanian/King]
(see note 5)
188 Flagged
8 Mike Mosley Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#5 Sugaripe Prune [Jerry O'Connell/Jud Phillips]
(see note 6)
183 Wrecked
9 Billy Vukovich Dragon 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#97 Genesee Beer [Agajanian/King]
(see note 7)
160 Ignition
10 Joe Saldana Eagle 74 [7417] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#23 Thermo-King [Leader Card] (see note 8)
159 Valve
11 Johnny Parsons Jr Eagle 72 [7228] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#92 McIntire Chevy [Vatis Enterprises]
(see note 9)
149 Piston
12 David "Salt" Walther McLaren M16C/D [6] - DGS 158 ci turbo
#77 Dayton-Walther [George Walther]
(see note 10)
149 Ring & pinion
13 Jerry Grant Eagle 72 [7221] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#69 Hoffman Racing (see note 11)
145 Flagged
14 John Mahler Eagle 72 [7204] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#42 Mergard Racing [Donald Mergard]
(see note 12)
130 Stalled
15 AJ Foyt Coyote 74 ['74-2'] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
#14 Gilmore Racing [Foyt Enterprises]
(see note 13)
118 Piston
16 Dick Simon Vollstedt 77 [14] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#17 Bryant Air Conditioning [Vollstedt Enterprises]
95 Transmission
17 Janet Guthrie Lightning 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#27 Bryant Air Conditioning [Rolla Vollstedt]
(see note 14)
77 Engine
18 Jerry Sneva McLaren M16A [4?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#36 21st Amendment [James C. Bidwell]
(see note 15)
64 Broken shift fork
19 Bobby Unser Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#6 Cobre/Clayton [Fletcher Racing]
(see note 16)
54 Engine
20 Duane "Pancho" Carter Eagle 77 [7701] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#48 Jorgensen Steel [AAR] (see note 17)
54 Engine
21 Vern Schuppan Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#15 Alex Foods [Alex Morales] (see note 18)
44 Wrecked
22 Steve Krisiloff Eagle 72 [7225] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#90 Eastside Cafe [Art Sugai] (see note 19)
32 Piston
23 Danny Ongais Parnelli VPJ-6B [002-2?] - Cosworth DFX V8
#25 Interscope Racing (see note 20)
30 Piston
24 Jim McElreath Eagle 74/76 - AMC 209 ci turbo V8
#73 Carillo Rods [Fred W. Carrillo]
(see note 21)
27 Broken rocker arm
25 Al Unser Parnelli VPJ-6B [001] - Cosworth DFX V8
#21 American Racing [Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing]
(see note 22)
25 Clutch
26 Roger McCluskey Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#11 First National Travelers Check [Lindsey Hopkins]
(see note 23)
16 Engine
27 Chuck Gurney Eagle 72 [7205] - Crower 160 ci f8
#57 Crower [Bruce H. Crower] (see note 24)
15 Spun out
28 Al Loquasto McLaren M16C [M16-1?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#86 Frostie Root Beer [Al Loquasto Sr.]
(see note 25)
14 Piston
29 Tom Bigelow Watson 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#24 Thermo King [Leader Card] (see note 26)
13 Oil leak
30 Rick Mears McLaren M16C [4] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#38 Theodore Racing (see note 27)
7 Valve
31 James McElreath Eagle 74 [7306] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#26 AMAX Coal [McElreath] (see note 28)
3 Piston
32 Bobby Olivero Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#78 Alex Foods [Alex Morales] (see note 29)
2 Lost oil pressure
33 George Snider Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#18 Longhorn Racing [Bobby Hillin]
(see note 30)
1 Valve
DNS Todd Gibson Eagle 74 [7406] - DGS 158 ci turbo
#22 Baja Boats [Richard Routh] (see note 31)
Did not start
(Blew engine practice)
DNS Larry McCoy Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#85 Wildcat Racing [Frank Curtis]
(see note 32)
Did not start
(Withdrew)
DNSC Spike Gehlhausen McLaren M16B [2] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#19 PV Corp [Carl Gehlhausen] (see note 33)
Did not start (crashed)
AP Larry McCoy Eagle 72 [7204] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#42 Mergard Racing [Donald Mergard]
(see note 34)
Also practiced
T Al Unser Parnelli VPJ-6C - Cosworth DFX V8
#21 American Racing [Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing]
(see note 35)
(Only used in practice)
Qualifying
1 AJ Foyt Coyote 74 ['74-2'] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
2 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M24 [003?] - Cosworth DFX V8
3 Mario Andretti McLaren M24 [002] - Cosworth DFX V8
4 Tom Sneva McLaren M24 [004] - Cosworth DFX V8
5 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
6 Danny Ongais Parnelli VPJ-6B [002-2?] - Cosworth DFX V8
7 Al Unser Parnelli VPJ-6B [001] - Cosworth DFX V8
8 Mike Mosley Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
9 Bobby Unser Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
10 Roger McCluskey Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
11 Duane "Pancho" Carter Eagle 77 [7701] - Offy 159 ci turbo
12 George Snider Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo
13 Wally Dallenbach Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
14 Al Loquasto McLaren M16C [M16-1?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
15 David "Salt" Walther McLaren M16C/D [6] - DGS 158 ci turbo
16 Rick Mears McLaren M16C [4] - Offy 159 ci turbo
17 Dick Simon Vollstedt 77 [14] - Offy 159 ci turbo
18 Tom Bigelow Watson 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
19 Johnny Parsons Jr Eagle 72 [7228] - Offy 159 ci turbo
20 Lee Kunzman Eagle 74 [7405] - Offy 159 ci turbo
21 Gary Bettenhausen Dragon 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
22 Janet Guthrie Lightning 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
23 Jerry Sneva McLaren M16A [4?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
24 James McElreath Eagle 74 [7306] - Offy 159 ci turbo
25 Vern Schuppan Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
26 Joe Saldana Eagle 74 [7417] - Offy 159 ci turbo
27 Bobby Olivero Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
28 Steve Krisiloff Eagle 72 [7225] - Offy 159 ci turbo
29 Jerry Grant Eagle 72 [7221] - Offy 159 ci turbo
30 Chuck Gurney Eagle 72 [7205] - Crower 160 ci f8
31 Billy Vukovich Dragon 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
32 Jim McElreath Eagle 74/76 - AMC 209 ci turbo V8
33 John Mahler Eagle 72 [7204] - Offy 159 ci turbo
35 Spike Gehlhausen * McLaren M16B [2] - Offy 159 ci turbo
36 Todd Gibson * Eagle 74 [7406] - DGS 158 ci turbo
37 Larry McCoy * Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo
 
* Did not start

Notes on the cars:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Wildcat Mk 2 (Wally Dallenbach): Wally Dallenbach had a Wildcat Mk 2 for the 1976 season but we cannot be certain when he drove the Mk 2 that season and when he may have used an older Mk 1. The Mk 3s were produced for 1977 but were only used at a handful of races and Dallenbach drove his 1976 Mk 2 at most races. At the end of 1977, the Dallenbach Mk 2 was sold to Sherman Armstrong's Armstrong Mould team and driven by Tom Bigelow through the 1978 season. It was loaned back to Patrick Racing for Steve Krisiloff to drive at Trenton in September after his usual Mk 2 had been wrecked at Ontario three weeks earlier and the alternative Mk 4 had been shipped to England for the two British races. Retained by Armstrong and driven by Gary Bettenhausen and Howdy Holmes in 1979 and by Bettenhausen in 1980. Used briefly by Rich Vogler as an Armstrong Mould entry in Indy 500 practice in 1981. Subsequent history unknown
  5. 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".
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Eagle 74 [7417] (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.
  9. Eagle 72 [7228] (Johnny Parsons Jr): Supplied as a monocoque to Lloyd Ruby and his chief crew Mike Devin after Ruby had crashed chassis 7224 at Ontario. Chassis 7228 was built up using the components of 7224 and raced as Ruby's #18 Commander Motor Homes for the rest of the season. Retained in 1974 as a backup car to Ruby's new 1974 Eagle, but actually raced more often than the '74 that season. Sold to Anastassios "Tassi" Vatis, a Greek shipping tycoon and veteran Indy car owner, and run by Vatis's faithful chief mechanic Bill Finley for Johnny Parsons Jr in 1975. In 1976, the team had a "new" car built on an "unused" chassis, presumably 7224 as it still carries the 7224 plate today. However, 7228 remained the main car, Parsons' #93 Ayr-Way/Vatis entry in 1976 and 1977. In 1978, 7228 was modified with straight sidepods and radiators repositioned to the rear of the tub, matching the specification of 7224, after which they are hard to tell apart. John Mahler (Bettendorf, Iowa) bought the Vatis team in November 1978 with the support of longtime backer Richard Deutsch, and it is believed that 7228 was the #92 car that Mahler had bumped after qualifying. Retained as a backup in 1980 and 1981, then sold to Rick DeLorto (Wood Dale, IL) who attempted to qualify for several CART races in 1982. Then to John Griffith (Chicago, IL) 1983, then Steve Burgner (Chicago, IL) 1984, after which it was sold to Mountain View Motorsport Park in Colorado. It then passed to a dealer in Connecticut, from which Eric Camiel (Danbury, CT) bought it in 1991. Then unknown until acquired from Chuck Haines (St Louis, MO) by John Mueller (Fresno, CA) in late 2005. Chuck is believed to have got it from Lilo Zicron (Burbank, CA). Extensively rebuilt by Mueller to standard specification. Sold to Rick and Alison Dresang (Hartford, WI) in May 2016.
  10. 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.
  11. Eagle 72 [7221] (Jerry Grant): New to Leader Card Racers in time for the TWS race at the start of 1973. Raced by Mike Mosley as the #98 Leader Card entry. Then taken to the Indy 500 as a backup, renumbered #97, and qualified by Rick Muther. It was then Mosley's short track car, and raced by Muther at Pocono and by Johnny Parsons Jr at Ontario and at the late-season races. Presumably for Parsons again at Ontario in March 1974. Then Mosley's short track car when he wasn't using his new 1974 Eagle. Signs of repairs to the left side of this car allow it to be identified from 1975 onwards. It was raced by George Snider as the #97 at Ontario at the start of 1975, then by Steve Krisiloff in the Indy 500 as the #98 and later in the season as the #98 and then the #10. For 1976, the car was sold to Patrick Santello and was his #65 City of Syracuse or S&M Electric entry that season for Larry Dickson and Lee Kunzman. Then to Gus and Richard Hoffman (Milford, OH) of Hoffman Racing for 1977 and entered for Jerry Grant and later Joe Saldana as the #69. Driven again by Saldana in 1978 and 1979. Also appeared once for Bob Frey in 1980. Reappeared briefly in 1982 when it was entered by George T. Smith's GTS Racing as the #86 Empress Traveler for Al Loquasto. Sold by Smith to Chuck Haines (St Louis, MO) who sold it to Bob Colllings (Boston, MA) in April 1985. Retained by Collings and now forms part of the auto collection in The Collings Foundation (Stow, MA).
  12. Eagle 72 [7204] (John Mahler): 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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).
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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).
  26. Watson 77 (Tom Bigelow): New for Tom Bigelow to drive as the Leader Card #24 Thermo King entry at the 1977 Indy 500. He qualified 22nd and finished sixth. Bigelow raced the Watson at six more races that season, but used one of the team's old Eagles at Mosport Park and at the short-track races. He was replaced by Sheldon Kinser for 1978, and he raced this car at the opening races before moving to the new 1978 car. Tom Bagley then took over the 1977 car for the rest of the season at was at his best on road courses, qualifying fifth at Mosport, seventh at Silverstone and eighth at Brands Hatch. Billy Vukovich took over the car for 1979, the year of the CART/USAC schism and achived several good placing in the poorly-supported USAC races, including second place at Milwaukee in June. The car was only seen a few times in 1980 and was then sold to Harry Schwartz' Rattlesnake Racing for Billy Vukovich to drive in 1981.
  27. 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.
  28. 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).
  29. 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.
  30. 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".
  31. 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.
  32. Wildcat Mk 1 (Larry McCoy): 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.
  33. 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.
  34. Eagle 72 [7204] (Larry McCoy): 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.
  35. Parnelli VPJ-6C (Al Unser): At the Pocono 500 in June 1977, Al Unser had a new transverse-gearbox VPJ6C "replacing the car written-off during Indianapolis practice" (Formula Sep 1977 p42). He didn't race it there but in between Pocono and Ontario, Unser may have raced the VPJ6C one or more times. This appears to have been only the third in the Parnelli VPJ6 series although an article in Formula (Feb 1977 p24) makes reference to the construction of second and third chassis during 1976.

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.