OldRacingCars.com

Texas 200

Texas World Speedway, 2 Apr 1977

ResultsLapsTime/Speed
1 Tom Sneva McLaren M24 [004] - Cosworth DFX V8
#8 Norton Spirit [Penske Racing]
(see note 1)
100 1h 16m 05.300s
2 Al Unser Parnelli VPJ-6B [001] - Cosworth DFX V8
#21 American Wheels [Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing]
(see note 2)
100 Finished
3 Wally Dallenbach Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#40 Goodyear [Patrick Racing] (see note 3)
100 Finished
4 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M24 [001] - Cosworth DFX V8
#2 1st National Travel Check [Team McLaren]
(see note 4)
99 Flagged
5 Mike Mosley Eagle 74 [7407] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#5 Sugaripe Prune [Jerry O'Connell/Jud Phillips]
(see note 5)
98 Flagged
6 Todd Gibson Eagle 74 [7406] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#22 Routh Meat [Richard Routh] (see note 6)
95 Flagged
7 James McElreath Eagle 74 [7306] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#26 McElreath Racing (see note 7)
95 Flagged
8 Spike Gehlhausen Kingfish 72 ['2'] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#19 PV Corp [Carl Ghelhausen] (see note 8)
94 Flagged
9 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#20 Goodyear [Patrick Racing] (see note 9)
91 Radiator
10 Gary Irvin Eagle 74 [7417?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#23 Leader Card (see note 10)
91 Flagged
11 Duane "Pancho" Carter Eagle 77 [7701] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#48 Jorgensen Steel [AAR] (see note 11)
82 Engined
12 Tom Bigelow Eagle 74 [7403?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#24 Thermo-King [Leader Card] (see note 12)
72 Valve
13 Danny Ongais Parnelli VPJ-6B [002?] - Cosworth DFX V8
#25 Interscope Racing (see note 13)
64 Wrecked, mainstretch
14 AJ Foyt Coyote 74 ['74-2'] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
#14 Gilmore Racing [Foyt Enterprises]
(see note 14)
58 Radiator
15 Rick Mears Eagle 72 [7225] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#90 Eastside Cafe [Art Sugai] (see note 15)
25 Lost wheel
16 Vern Schuppan Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#85 Wildcat Racing [Frank Curtis]
(see note 16)
21 Transmission
17 Roger McCluskey Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#11 First National Travelers Check [Lindsey Hopkins]
(see note 17)
20 Piston
18 Larry Dickson McLaren M16E [001] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#80 WKYG Radio/Polak [Russ Polak]
(see note 18)
20 Piston
19 Cliff Hucul McLaren M16E [002] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#29 Hunter Racing (see note 19)
4 Engine
Qualifying
1 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M24 [001] - Cosworth DFX V8
2 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
3 Al Unser Parnelli VPJ-6B [001] - Cosworth DFX V8
4 Duane "Pancho" Carter Eagle 77 [7701] - Offy 159 ci turbo
5 AJ Foyt Coyote 74 ['74-2'] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
6 Tom Bigelow Eagle 74 [7403?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
7 Roger McCluskey Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
8 Tom Sneva McLaren M24 [004] - Cosworth DFX V8
9 Mike Mosley Eagle 74 [7407] - Offy 159 ci turbo
10 Danny Ongais Parnelli VPJ-6B [002?] - Cosworth DFX V8
11 Wally Dallenbach Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
12 Todd Gibson Eagle 74 [7406] - Offy 159 ci turbo
13 Vern Schuppan Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo
15 Cliff Hucul McLaren M16E [002] - Offy 159 ci turbo
16 Larry Dickson McLaren M16E [001] - Offy 159 ci turbo
16 Rick Mears Eagle 72 [7225] - Offy 159 ci turbo
17 James McElreath Eagle 74 [7306] - Offy 159 ci turbo
18 Spike Gehlhausen Kingfish 72 ['2'] - Offy 159 ci turbo
19 Gary Irvin Eagle 74 [7417?] - Offy 159 ci turbo

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. 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. 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
  4. McLaren M24 [001] (Johnny Rutherford): Believed to be Johnny Rutherford's #2 Team McLaren entry in the opening raced of the 1977 season, before he used a newer car at the Indy 500. This car was then used at Milwaukee and Mosport, where Rutherford crashed heavily into the wall shortly before the end of the race. It is believe the car was returned to England for repairs, and missed the rest of the season.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. Kingfish 72 ['2'] (Spike Gehlhausen): The second new 1972 Grant King car appeared for the first time at the Indy 500 as the #15 car for Steve Krisiloff. As the other 1972 car was destroyed in Merle Bettenhausen's accident at the 1972 Michigan 200, it would be reasonable to assume this is the 1972 Kingfish acquired by Carl Gehlhausen's Mid-West Manufacturing Dura-pot team. A Racing Pictorial photograph shows that it first appeared as the team's #58 entry at Phoenix in November 1972, but driver Larry Dickson did not start. It was raced as the #58 by Dickson at the start of 1973, and was driven by Johnny Parsons Jr, Arnie Knepper, Tom Bigelow and Tom Sneva later that season. The Gehlhausen team only made a couple of appearances with the Kingfish in 1974, but made a more concerted effort in 1975, with the Kingfish now as the #38 entry, raced initially by Jerry Karl, and then by Al Loquasto, Jerry Sneva and Mike Hiss (who crashed it) in practice for the Indy 500. Spike Gehlhausen, Carl's son, was then given his first chance in the car after the 500 and kept the drive to the end of the season. The Gehlhausens then acquired a McLaren M16 as the #19 Spirit of Indiana entry, and the Kingfish acted as backup until an Eagle was acquired in mid-1977. Subsequent history unknown but at some point the car was repainted with Sta-On Glaze livery, Gehlhausen's 1979 sponsor. By 2008, it was part of a collection of unrestored Indy cars owned by Walter Medlin.
  9. Wildcat Mk 2 (Gordon Johncock): New for Gordon Johncock in 1976 as Patrick Racing's #20 Sinmast Goodyear entry, but Johncock also had a 1975 Mk 1 for short track events, and exactly where he used the Mk 2 is not yet fully resolved. This car was retained for 1977, becoming Johncock's short track car, and was also raced by Johnny Parsons Jr at the 1977 Indy 500 as Patrick's #60 entry. The car was wrecked by Johncock at Milwaukee in June 1977 and was not seen again. As the team had to borrow a Mk 2 back from another team during 1978, it can be assumed that this car was not rebuilt.
  10. Eagle 74 [7417?] (Gary Irvin): 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Parnelli VPJ-6B [002?] (Danny Ongais): Al Unser had a backup car at the 1976 Indy 500 wearing #25. It is assumed that this (second) VPJ6B was the #25 car Unser drove at Phoenix at the start of 1976. At the 1977 Indy 500, Ongais is driving this #25 car (said by Hungness to be Unser's 1976 backup) so it assumed to be Ongais' #25 car at Ontario in 1976 and in the early 1977 races. Written off at Milwaukee June 1977 "when he hit a patch of oil thrown out by another car" (Formula Sep 1977 p42).
  14. 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.
  15. Eagle 72 [7225] (Rick Mears): To Roger Penske for Mark Donohue to drive as the #66 Sunoco DX car at the three 500 mile races in 1973. It was then driven by Gary Bettenhausen as the #5 Sunoco DX car in place of his usual McLaren M16C at Phoenix in November 1973 and again at Phoenix in March 1974. For 1976, the car was sold to Bill Simpson and raced as his #38 Nikon car until September that year when it was sold to Arthur E. 'Art' Sugai (Ontario, OR) and became the #90 Eastside Café car for Rick Mears. Raced by Mears, Steve Krisiloff and Bubby Jones in 1977. Sold to collector/dealer Chuck Haines (St Louis, MO) in May 1980 and retained by him until purchased by Rick and Alison Dresang (Hartford, WI) in August 2004. Fully restored, and maintained by Kettle Moraine Preservation & Restoration.
  16. Wildcat Mk 1 (Vern Schuppan): New for Gordy Johncock in 1975 as Patrick Racing's #20 Sinmast entry. Retained for 1976 and used by Johncock at short track events, winning at Trenton and twice finishing second at Milwaukee. Sold to Wildcat Racing Associates (Lynbrook, NY), a partnership of Frank Curtis, Gene Langsam and Walter Albert, with Curtis as chief mechanic and to be raced by Vern Schuppan as the #85 entry. The car was repossessed by lawyers at Pocono, and in August was sold to Danville barber Larry Cannon, who raced it for the rest of 1977 still entered as #85. Retained by Cannon for 1978, 1979 and 1980, qualifying for the Indy 500 in 1980. The car was again entered by Cannon in 1981 for guest drivers. Both Cannon's Wildcats were later bought by Maurice Kraines of Kraco and used as display cars at store openings and malls. Subsequent history unknown.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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).

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.