OldRacingCars.com

Pocono 500

Pocono International Raceway, 25 Jun 1978

ResultsLapsTime/Speed
1 Al Unser Lola T500 - Cosworth DFX V8
#2 First National City Travelers Checks [Chaparral Racing]
(see note 1)
200 3h 30m 52.780s
2 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M24B [001] - Cosworth DFX V8
#4 First National City Travelers Check [Team McLaren]
(see note 2)
200 Finished
3 Tom Sneva Penske PC6B - Cosworth DFX V8
#1 Norton Spirit [Penske Racing]
(see note 3)
200 Finished
4 Wally Dallenbach McLaren M24 - Cosworth DFX V8
#6 Sugaripe Prune [Jerry O'Connell/Jud Phillips]
198 Flagged
5 Larry Dickson Penske PC5 [001?] - Cosworth DFX V8
#80 Polak Construction [Russel Polak]
(see note 4)
196 Cylinder head
6 George Snider Coyote 74 ['74-2'] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
#84 Gilmore/Citicorp [Foyt Enterprises]
(see note 5)
196 Flagged
7 Mike Mosley Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#78 Alex Foods [Alex Morales] (see note 6)
193 Flagged
8 AJ Foyt Coyote 78 ['78-1'] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
#14 Gilmore/Citicorp [Foyt Enterprises]
(see note 7)
190 Engine
9 Al Loquasto Finley Eagle ['72 7224?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#92 T&L McCord [Tassi Vatis] (see note 8)
189 Flagged
10 Duane "Pancho" Carter Lightning 77 - Cosworth DFX V8
#8 Budweiser [Fletcher Racing Team]
(see note 9)
188 Broken gearbox
11 Larry Cannon Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#85 Natural Lite Beer [Cannon] (see note 10)
188 Engine
12 Sheldon Kinser Watson 78 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#24 Thermo King [Leader Card] (see note 11)
185 Flagged
13 David "Salt" Walther McLaren M24 [002] - Cosworth DFX V8
#77 Dayton-Walther [George Walther]
(see note 12)
175 Transmission
14 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#20 North American Van Lines [Patrick Racing Team]
(see note 13)
165 Piston
15 Tom Bigelow Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#43 Armstrong Mould [Sherman E. Armstrong]
(see note 14)
161 Flagged
16 Jerry Sneva McLaren M16B/A [B-3/A-2] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#30 Smock Material [Fred Ruth] (see note 15)
159 Turbocharger
17 Cliff Hucul McLaren M16E [002] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#29 Wendy's Hamburgers [Cliff Hucul]
(see note 16)
158 Fuel pump
18 Jerry Karl McLaren M16C [6] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#38 Besel Construction [Jerry Karl]
(see note 17)
149 Engine
19 Danny Ongais Parnelli VPJ-6B - Cosworth DFX V8
#25 Interscope
130 Transmission
20 Bobby Unser Eagle 78 [7801] - Cosworth DFX V8
#48 ARCOgraphite [AAR/Dan Gurney]
116 Broken suspension
21 Joe Saldana Eagle 72 [7221] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#69 Team 69 [Hoffman] (see note 18)
112 Broken valve
22 Johnny Parsons Jr Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#16 First National City Travelers Check [Lindsey Hopkins]
(see note 19)
83 Overheated
23 Mario Andretti Penske PC6 [003] - Cosworth DFX V8
#7 Gould Charge [Penske Racing]
73 Broken gearbox
24 Phil Threshie Lightning 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#87 Machinists Union [Frank Fiore]
(see note 20)
63 Engine
25 Jim McElreath Eagle 74 [7306] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#26 Circle City Coal [Jimmy McElreath]
(see note 21)
58 Wrecked
26 Tom Bagley Watson 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#22 Kent Oil [Leader Card] (see note 22)
55 Wrecked
27 Bubby Jones Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#18 Simon Shopping Centers [Longhorn Racing (Bobby Hillin)]
(see note 23)
52 Turbocharger
28 Billy Vukovich Eagle 74 [7411] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#81 Dairy Queen [Wayne Woodward]
(see note 24)
52 Piston
29 Gary Bettenhausen Dragon 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#98 Oberdorfer [Agajanian/King/JC Purcell]
(see note 25)
46 Stalled
30 Dick Simon Vollstedt 77 [14] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#17 La Machine [Vollstedt Enterprises]
36 Piston
31 Spike Gehlhausen Eagle 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#19 Tibon [Carl Gehlhausen] (see note 26)
34 Valve
32 Steve Krisiloff Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#40 Foreman Industries [Patrick Racing Team]
(see note 27)
13 Wrecked
33 Lee Kunzman Sugai Fox 78 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#90 Hank's Datsun [Sugai] (see note 28)
1 Lost oil pressure
DNS Roger Rager Eagle 72 [7204] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#42 Dairy Queen [Donald Mergard]
(see note 29)
Did not start
(Blew engine practice)
DNSC Larry Rice Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#35 [Patrick Santello] (see note 30)
Did not start (crashed)
DNSC Gary Irvin Finley Eagle ['72 7228?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#92 Tassi Vatis (see note 31)
Did not start (crashed)
  Johnny Rutherford McLaren M24 [003?] - Cosworth DFX V8
#4T First National City Travelers Check [Team McLaren]
On entry list
  Mario Andretti Penske PC6 - Cosworth DFX V8
#7T Gould Charge [Penske Racing]
(see note 32)
On entry list
  Johnny Parsons Jr Lightning 77 - Cosworth DFX V8
#16T First National City Travelers Check [Lindsey Hopkins]
On entry list
  Gordon Johncock Wildcat 'Mk 4' - Drake DT 160 V8
#20T North American Van Lines [Patrick Racing Team]
(see note 33)
On entry list
  Danny Ongais Parnelli VPJ-6C - Cosworth DFX V8
#25T Interscope
On entry list
  Phil Threshie Lightning 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#47 Circle Chevy [Phil Threshie]
(see note 34)
On entry list
  David "Salt" Walther McLaren M24 [004] - Cosworth DFX V8
#77T Dayton-Walther [George Walther]
(see note 35)
On entry list
Qualifying
1 Danny Ongais Parnelli VPJ-6B - Cosworth DFX V8
2 Tom Sneva Penske PC6B - Cosworth DFX V8
3 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M24B [001] - Cosworth DFX V8
4 AJ Foyt Coyote 78 ['78-1'] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
5 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
6 Mario Andretti Penske PC6 [003] - Cosworth DFX V8
7 Bobby Unser Eagle 78 [7801] - Cosworth DFX V8
8 David "Salt" Walther McLaren M24 [002] - Cosworth DFX V8
9 Duane "Pancho" Carter Lightning 77 - Cosworth DFX V8
10 Al Unser Lola T500 - Cosworth DFX V8
11 Johnny Parsons Jr Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
12 Wally Dallenbach McLaren M24 - Cosworth DFX V8
13 Steve Krisiloff Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
14 Larry Dickson Penske PC5 [001?] - Cosworth DFX V8
15 Tom Bagley Watson 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
16 George Snider Coyote 74 ['74-2'] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
17 Joe Saldana Eagle 72 [7221] - Offy 159 ci turbo
18 Tom Bigelow Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
19 Cliff Hucul McLaren M16E [002] - Offy 159 ci turbo
20 Spike Gehlhausen Eagle 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo
21 Dick Simon Vollstedt 77 [14] - Offy 159 ci turbo
22 Mike Mosley Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
23 Larry Cannon Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo
24 Jerry Sneva McLaren M16B/A [B-3/A-2] - Offy 159 ci turbo
25 Jim McElreath Eagle 74 [7306] - Offy 159 ci turbo
26 Bubby Jones Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo
27 Sheldon Kinser Watson 78 - Offy 159 ci turbo
28 Jerry Karl McLaren M16C [6] - Offy 159 ci turbo
29 Al Loquasto Finley Eagle ['72 7224?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
30 Gary Bettenhausen Dragon 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
31 Billy Vukovich Eagle 74 [7411] - Offy 159 ci turbo
32 Phil Threshie Lightning 76 - Offy 159 ci turbo
33 Lee Kunzman Sugai Fox 78 - Offy 159 ci turbo
34 Roger Rager * Eagle 72 [7204] - Offy 159 ci turbo
 
* Did not start

Notes on the cars:

  1. Lola T500 (Al Unser): Al Unser's Pocono 500 winner, "first raced at Milwaukee" (Autosport 6 Jul 1978 p30). As only two T500 chassis numbers were used in 1978 (HU3 was a 1979 car), and as this car replaced the Mosport wreck, it would appear to have been a second version of HU1.
  2. McLaren M24B [001] (Johnny Rutherford): Johnny Rutherford's intended #4 Team McLaren entry at the 1978 Indy 500 but not run. First used at Milwaukee and Pocono in June 1978 (Autosport 6 Jul 1978 p29) and presumably used for the rest of the season. Definitely used at Ontario (Autosport 14 Sep 1978 p21), Silverstone (Autosport 5 Oct 1978 p19) and Brands Hatch (Autosport 12 Oct 1978 p21). This was presumably Rutherford's backup car during the 1979 season, and is believed to be the car he raced at Trenton in June, at Trenton again in August, and at Michigan in September. It is also likely to have been the #94 car raced by Don Whittington at Ontario's California 500 in September.
  3. Penske PC6B (Tom Sneva): Sneva's late season PC6B. Said (Autosport 14 Sep 1978 p20) to be the car used since Pocono. The Harms/Ferner data calls Sneva's car a PC6/78 all season but this PC6B assumed to be used through to the end of 1978 (despite the wreck at Ontario and the rebuild in time for Michigan).
  4. Penske PC5 [001?] (Larry Dickson): Said to have been present at the 1977 Indy 500, but locked in the team's transporter throughout. First raced by Tom Sneva as Penske Racing's #8 Norton Spirit entry at the Michigan 200 in July 1977. Later raced by Sneva at Texas World Speedway two weeks later, and in the California 500 at Ontario in early September. Sold to Russel Polak (Noblesville, IN) and entered for three-time USAC sprint car champion Larry Dickson to race in 1978 and 1979, with Chuck Looper as crew chief. Last seen when Dickson crashed it in practice at Milwaukee in August 1979. Entered for Indy in 1980, but the car did not arrive. This is presumably the car acquired by Joe Hunt and extensively rebuilt for Phil Krueger to race at the start of 1982. Crashed at Phoenix in March 1982 and very heavily damaged. Its suspension was used to build up new car using McLaren M24 tub, and the resulting car used the identity of the McLaren.
  5. Coyote 74 ['74-2'] (George Snider): 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.
  6. Lightning 77 (Mike Mosley): 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.
  7. Coyote 78 ['78-1'] (AJ Foyt): New for AJ Foyt at the 1978 Indy 500 as Foyt Enterprises' #14 Gilmore Racing entry. It was also raced by Foyt at Pocono in June, at Silverstone and Brands Hatch in October, and at Texas World Speedway in April 1979, the last race appearance of one of the 1973 series Coyotes. With two wins from five starts, it had an even greater record of success than the 1975 car. It was retained by Foyt and appeared to be almost completely unchanged when it was sold at the Foyt auction in 1992 to Tony George, who acquired it on behalf of the IMS Museum.
  8. Finley Eagle ['72 7224?] (Al Loquasto): As well as their regular #92 car, the Vatis/Finley team ran a very similar #93 car for Bill Vukovich at the Indy 500. It would be fair to assume that one is the old 1972 Eagle the team acquired in 1975 (chassis 7228) and the other is the new-old Eagle built for the 1976 season. The implication is that the #93 car is the 1976-built car.
  9. Lightning 77 (Duane "Pancho" Carter): 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Watson 78 (Sheldon Kinser): Driven by Sheldon Kinser at the Indy 500 but Kinser goes missing for a couple of races and Bagley takes over the 78 (as at Pocono, Ontario, Michigan, Brands and Silverstone according to Autosport). Assumed to have been driven by Bagley everywhere except at the Indy 500.
  12. McLaren M24 [002] (David "Salt" Walther): New to Penske Racing for Mario Andretti to drive as the #9 CAM2 Motor Oil entry at eight races in 1977. Sold to George Walther's Dayton-Walther team for his son Salt Walther to drive in 1978. The ex-Andretti car was Salt's intended race car at the Indy 500, but he swapped to his ex-Tom Sneva car for qualifying and the race. Photographs indicate that Walther raced the ex-Andretti car at Pocono and Ontario in 1978. Walther acquired a new Penske PC6 for 1979, but one of the M24s was retained as a backup. The ex-Andretti car was sold to Tom Frantz (Littleton, CO) for 1980, but only appeared at the Indy 500, where he did not qualify, and was then sold to Don Mergard (Cincinatti, OH), whose crew chief Eddie Meinking fitted a Chevrolet stock block engine. Mergard entered it for Phil Threshie at the Indy 500 in 1981, and for Teddy Pilette in 1982, but both failed to qualify. Mergard advertised the car in February 1982 as being "ex-Andretti". The movements of the car are unknown after that date, but at some point it was restored to the livery Sneva's 1977 pole position car and put on display in the Historic Auto Attractions Museum in Roscoe, Illinois. However, it still had its M24-002 chassis plate, its USAC sticker from when Tom Frantz ran it in 1980, and the Chevrolet stock block engine from the Mergard era.
  13. Wildcat Mk 2 (Gordon Johncock): Another new Mk 2 was built for Gordon Johncock to use in 1978 and he used this car throughout the 1978 season, the Mk 3 and Mk 4 having been effectively abandoned. Sold to Herb & Rose Wysard for 1979 and became their #34 Wysard Motors entry for Vern Schuppan. Retained for 1980 and raced by Pete Halsmer and Schuppan up to Watkins Glen in August, after which it was sold to Larry Cannon to replace his Mk 1. Probably the car raced by Cannon in the last few races of 1980 and then entered for Dick Ferguson and Herm Johnson in early 1981. 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.
  14. Wildcat Mk 2 (Tom Bigelow): 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
  15. McLaren M16B/A [B-3/A-2] (Jerry Sneva): McLaren Cars 1972 for Gordy Johncock (#24) and 'wrecked' at Ontario. Repaired and sold to John Martin 1973 (#89) and 1974 and 1975. Wrecked at Milwaukee June 1975 and tub "thrown in dumpster". Rebuilt using a M16A monocoque bought from Lindsey Hopkins, first appearing in this form at Pocono three weeks later, and raced by Martin to the end of 1975. This M16B/A was acquired by Danny Jones and Roy Dickinson in 1976 and rebuilt for the 1977 Indy 500. They were then joined by Bill Freeman Racing, appearing on the 1977 Indy 500 entry list as #30 Caesars Palace entry. Bob Harkey failed to qualify the car at Indy and it was raced by Johnny Parsons Jr later in the 1977 season. To Fred Ruth for 1978 and qualified for the Indy 500 by Jerry Sneva in 1978 as the #30 Smock Material entry. Ruth was joined and at some point as co-owner by Marv Schmidt. Returned again in 1979, entered by Thunder Racing and with Molly Mate sponsorship. It was next seen in 1981 when John Martin qualified at the Indy 500 but was bumped. Cliff Hucul ran it later that year as the #57. Then unknown until 1991 when it was owned by Chuck Haines (St Louis, MO) and still in Hucul livery.
  16. 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).
  17. McLaren M16C [6] (Jerry Karl): New in 1974 for McLaren Cars as a M16C/D for David Hobbs to drive at the 1974 Indy 500 as the #73 Carling Black Label entry. Sold to George Walther by early July for Salt Walther to drive and used as his main #77 car at the Indy 500 in 1975, 1976 and 1977. Walther had other McLarens during this time and he is likely to have used those on short tracks. Sold with M16C/2 to Jerry Karl for 1978 and entered as his #88 Offy car with Frank Fiore as chief mechanic and a #89 RasCar/Atlanta as his backup. How this car was used later is currently unclear. Sold with M16C/2 to Chuck Haines (St Louis, MO) and stored for some years, before undergoing a complete restoration in 2015. Appeared at the Historic Indycar Exhibition in May 2016 in immaculate Carling livery. To Rob Dyson (Millbrook, NY) of Dyson Racing c2017.
  18. Eagle 72 [7221] (Joe Saldana): 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).
  19. Lightning 77 (Johnny Parsons Jr): New for Lindsey Hopkins' team and appeared as the team's second entry at the 1977 Indy 500, the #10 '1st National Travel Check' Lightning as raced by Lloyd Ruby. This car was retained for 1978 alongside the Laydown and it was Hopkins' #16 entry for Johnny Parsons at the 1978 Indy 500. Photographs show that Parsons used it at most races that season, with the Laydown only being raced three times. At the final race of the season at Phoenix, Parsons damaged his primary car in practice, and photographs have not yet been found to determine which car he crashed. It is likely to have been this car, with the Laydown by then serving as his backup. It is then distinctly possible that this car was rebuilt as the team's Drake V8 car for 1979, but that remains unproven.
  20. Lightning 76 (Phil Threshie): 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).
  21. Eagle 74 [7306] (Jim 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).
  22. Watson 77 (Tom Bagley): Sheldon Kinser started 1978 with the only Watson, presumably the team's 1977 car. Kinser then took the 1978 car for the Indy 500 but only Bagley drove the next race (Mosport) and by the time Kinser returned at Pocono, he was in the 77 car (ditto at Ontario). Assumed to have been driven by Kinser for the rest of the year. Maybe then Kinser's #24 through 1979 and then maybe the basis of his #24 Watson-DFX through 1980.
  23. Wildcat Mk 1 (Bubby Jones): 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".
  24. Eagle 74 [7411] (Billy Vukovich): New to Mike Devin's Unlimited Racing Team, who was expecting to be Lloyd Ruby's chief mechanic on the car as part of the Parnelli team, but was sold on to Mike Slater's Commander Motor Homes, still with Ruby as driver and Devin as chief mechanic. Ruby also owned a 1973 car, chassis 7228, which was his short track car in 1974. Entered by Devin for Sammy Sessions at the 1975 Indy 500, then Bob Fendler (Phoenix, AZ) bought the '74 Eagle, setting up a new team in Phoenix, with Devin relocating to be chief mechanic, and Ruby again as driver in the November 1975 Phoenix 150. Fendler's empire then collapsed, and the Eagle returned to Devin. After Ruby's last Indy 500 appearance in the car the following May, Devin joined Lindsey Hopkins' team in July 1976, and leased the Eagle to Bobby Hillin's Longhorn Racing, later selling the car to Hillin in 1977. It was Hillin's #18 Spirit of Truth entry in 1976 for Jan Opperman and George Snider, then Hillin's #72 entry for Bubby Jones at Indy 1977, and then the #18 again for Snider later in the year. It was entered by Hillin for the 1978 Indy 500, but only as a backup. This was then the 1974 Eagle entered as the #81 Dairy Queen car for Billy Vukovich and Roger Rager later in 1978, in what became the John O'Hanlon/Wayne Woodward Shade Tree Racing, although whether O'Hanlon and Woodward had joined forces as early as 1978 is unclear. It was run for Dick Ferguson and Jerry Sneva in 1979 and then appeared at two more races for Michel Jourdain in 1980. It was next seen when Steve Culp (Shreveport, LA) bought it from Mike Gue of Essex Racing some time between 1982 and 1984. Gue was an English dealer who moved his operation to Connecticut in 1981, then to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1983. Culp moved the car to Shreveport about 1985, where it remained, still in Jourdain's livery. It was bought by Danny Aiello (Marshall, TX) in 2020.
  25. 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".
  26. 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.
  27. Wildcat Mk 2 (Steve Krisiloff): 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.
  28. Sugai Fox 78 (Lee Kunzman): Built by John Thompson's TC Prototypes in England for customer Art Sugai (Ontario, OR), and entered for Lee Kunzman to drive in the 1978 Indy 500 as the #90 Sugai Fox. Chief mechanic was Tom Fox, who had been in the same role for Sugai in 1977. The car arrived too late for Kunzman to sort out and was not allowed to attempt to qualify as Kunzman had not managed a lap over 180 mph (qualifying times ranged from 187 to 202 mph). Hank Alders (Bismark, ND) then took a controlling interest in the car, renaming it the Hank's Datsun Chisel, and Danny Jones took over as crew chief. Due to lack of entries, Kunzman was allowed to start the Pocono 500 in June in the Sugai Fox despite not setting a time during qualifying, but only completed one lap. After failing to qualify in Atlanta, Kunzman qualified 20th out of 22 at Milwaukee in August, and ran as high as 11th before retiring. In early 1979, supermodified racer Don Mack (East Grand Forks, Minn.) bought out Sugai's share. Alders and Mack planned to enter the 1979 Indy 500, but could not muster the finance. They were said to have two cars and five engines. Subsequent history unknown. The car was advertised by Albers in January 1981, and sold to Joe Archuleta (Santa Fe, NM) who entered it for the Phoenix race in March 1981, but could not get it to start. After testing it and spinning off at a local Sante Fe track, Archuleta realised he was out of his depth, and put the car up for sale in March 1982. Subsequent history unknown, but by 2011, the car was on display in the Barber Museum, still wearing Archuleta's #44.
  29. Eagle 72 [7204] (Roger Rager): 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.
  30. Lightning 77 (Larry Rice): 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.
  31. Finley Eagle ['72 7228?] (Gary Irvin): The Vatis/Finley team's #92 in 1978 looks much the same as the #93 car used by Bill Vukovich at the Indy 500. It would be fair to assume that one is the old 1972 Eagle the team acquired in 1975 (chassis 7228) and the other is the new-old Eagle built for the 1976 season. The implication is that the #92 car is the 1972 Eagle.
  32. Penske PC6 (Mario Andretti): There were four Penske PC6s at the Indy 500 (Autosport 25 May 1978 p31) so all Penske Racing entries during 1978 are presumably PC6s. The pair of PC5s also appear to have been sold to Dickson at the start of the year.
  33. Wildcat 'Mk 4' (Gordon Johncock): New for 1978 for the new Drake DT-160 V8 engine. First raced at Trenton in April, where Roger McCluskey raced it as the #60 entry, then used in practice by Gordon Johncock at the Indy 500, and then converted for road racing at Mosport in June but crashed heavily by Johncock in practice and "written off".
  34. Lightning 76 (Phil Threshie): 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).
  35. McLaren M24 [004] (David "Salt" Walther): 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.

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.