OldRacingCars.com

Texas 200

Texas World Speedway, 15 Apr 1978

ResultsLapsTime/Speed
1 Danny Ongais Parnelli VPJ-6B - Cosworth DFX V8
#25 Interscope
100 1h 09m 07.620s
2 Tom Sneva Penske PC6 - Cosworth DFX V8
#1 Norton Spirit [Penske Racing]
100 Finished
3 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#20 North American Van Lines [Patrick Racing Team]
(see note 1)
99 Flagged
4 Wally Dallenbach McLaren M24 - Cosworth DFX V8
#6 Sugaripe Prune [Jerry O'Connell/Jud Phillips]
99 Flagged
5 Mario Andretti Penske PC6 [003] - Cosworth DFX V8
#7 Gould Charge [Penske Racing]
98 Flagged
6 Jim McElreath Eagle 74 [7306] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#26 McElreath (see note 2)
95 Flagged
7 David "Salt" Walther McLaren M16C [5] - DGS 158 ci turbo
#77 Dayton-Walther [George Walther]
(see note 3)
93 Flagged
8 Steve Krisiloff Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#40 Goodyear/Patrick [Patrick Racing Team]
(see note 4)
93 Flagged
9 Bobby Olivero Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#78 Alex Foods [Alex Morales] (see note 5)
91 Flagged
10 Tom Bagley Eagle 74 [7403?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#22 Kent Oil [Leader Card] (see note 6)
90 Flagged
11 Johnny Parsons Jr Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#16 First National City Travelers Check [Lindsey Hopkins]
(see note 7)
90 Broken suspension
12 Tom Bigelow Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#43 Armstrong Mould [Sherman E. Armstrong]
(see note 8)
90 Out of fuel
13 Bobby Unser Lightning 77 - Cosworth DFX V8
#48 ARCOgraphite [AAR/Dan Gurney]
(see note 9)
81 Transmission
14 Larry Dickson Penske PC5 [001?] - Cosworth DFX V8
#80 Polak Construction [Russel Polak]
(see note 10)
79 Fuel pump
15 Sheldon Kinser Watson 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#24 Thermo King [Leader Card] (see note 11)
63 Broken hub
16 Spike Gehlhausen Eagle 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#19 PV Corp [Carl Gehlhausen] (see note 12)
48 Broken suspension
17 AJ Foyt Coyote 75 ['75-1'] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
#14 Gilmore/1st National [Foyt Enterprises]
(see note 13)
38 Steering
18 Vern Schuppan Lightning 77 - Cosworth DFX V8
#8 Budweiser [Fletcher Racing Team]
(see note 14)
28 Broken header
19 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M24 [005?] - Cosworth DFX V8
#4 First National City Travelers Check [Team McLaren]
(see note 15)
18 Wrecked
20 Roger McCluskey Eagle 74/76 - AMC 209 ci turbo V8
#74 National Engineering [Warner Hodgdon]
(see note 16)
13 Vibration
21 Jerry Karl RasCar-Atlanta 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#87 Machinists Union [Frank Fiore]
(see note 17)
10 Broken valve
DNSC Al Unser Lola T500 [HU1] - Cosworth DFX V8
#2 First National City Travelers Checks [Chaparral Racing]
(see note 18)
Did not start (crashed)
Qualifying
1 Danny Ongais Parnelli VPJ-6B - Cosworth DFX V8
2 Mario Andretti Penske PC6 [003] - Cosworth DFX V8
3 AJ Foyt Coyote 75 ['75-1'] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
4 Tom Sneva Penske PC6 - Cosworth DFX V8
5 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M24 [005?] - Cosworth DFX V8
6 Bobby Unser Lightning 77 - Cosworth DFX V8
7 Wally Dallenbach McLaren M24 - Cosworth DFX V8
8 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
9 Johnny Parsons Jr Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
10 Roger McCluskey Eagle 74/76 - AMC 209 ci turbo V8
11 Larry Dickson Penske PC5 [001?] - Cosworth DFX V8
12 Steve Krisiloff Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
13 Tom Bigelow Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
14 Vern Schuppan Lightning 77 - Cosworth DFX V8
15 Bobby Olivero Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
16 David "Salt" Walther McLaren M16C [5] - DGS 158 ci turbo
17 Tom Bagley Eagle 74 [7403?] - Offy 159 ci turbo
18 Sheldon Kinser Watson 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
19 Jim McElreath Eagle 74 [7306] - Offy 159 ci turbo
20 Jerry Karl RasCar-Atlanta 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo
21 Spike Gehlhausen Eagle 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo

Notes on the cars:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. McLaren M16C [5] (David "Salt" Walther): New for McLaren Cars to be driven by Johnny Rutherford as the #7 Gulf entry in 1973. He used this car at the Indy 500 but may have used M16C/2 (or even M16C/4) at other races that season. Raced again by Rutherford in 1974 as the #3 car, winning the Indy 500, but he used another M16C at short track events that year. This car then became Rutherford's short-track car in 1975 and 1976. Sold to George Walther to be Salt Walther #33 backup car at Indy in 1977 but how it was used that season is unknown. Entered by Walther at the 1978 Indy 500 as the #34 for Graham McRae but he was bumped. Sold by Walther to Rick Carroll (Jensen Beach, FL) and restored. Sold by Carroll's estate in 1990 via Sotherby's Palm Springs Auction for $495,000 to Patrick S. Ryan (Montgomery, AL). Loaned by Ryan to the IMS Museum but also attended various concours events while owned by Ryan. Repainted by Paintergeek Paintworks (Indianapolis, IN) in May 2013. Sold by Ryan through RM Auctions at Monterey in August 2013 for $3,250,000 to web entrepreneur Bill Oesterle (Indianapolis, IN).
  4. 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.
  5. Lightning 77 (Bobby Olivero): New to Alex Morales for 1977 and entered as the #78 Alex Foods car for Bobby Olivero. Presumably his #78 car for the rest of the season but it is possible that the sister #15 car was also used as the #78 at some points during 1977. Then the #78 Alex Foods car for Max Mosley in 1978 and presumed to be the same #78 car he uses all season but it is again quite likely that the sister car was used somewhere. This was then Pancho Carter's Offy-powered #10 Alex XLNT Foods car at the 1979 Indy 500 and as the sister car had been converted to Drake V8 power, this is presumably the Offy car he used through 1979. As the Drake car was converted to a Cosworth DFX and retained for 1980, this Offy car would be the car sold to John Menard's team and entered as the #28 for Herm Johnson in 1980, still with Offy power. For 1981, the Menard team, led by ex-Parnelli mechanic Dan Cota, extensively modified the car with new ground-effect sidepods and fitted a normally-aspirated Chevrolet stock block engine. The car went well at the Indy 500 but Herm Johnson was bumped. To Larry Walker (Indianapolis, IN) for 1982, and entered by his Timberwood Racers at the Indy 500 in 1982 and 1983 as the #88 Frito-Lay Racer, for Billy Scott in 1982 and Roger Rager in 1983, but did not qualify. Subsequent history unknown.
  6. Eagle 74 [7403?] (Tom Bagley): 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. Lightning 77 (Bobby Unser): Chassis "ROMLIN/7" was one of the 1977 Lightnings but its history before it was raced by Bobby Unser for the Teddy Yip/Dan Gurney AAR team in early 1978 is unresolved. It was used for the opening four races of 1978 before being replaced by the team's new Eagle. To Richard Hoffman (Milford, OH) for 1979 and raced by Joe Saldana as the #59 or #69 car during 1979 and 1980. These entry numbers were also used by the team's old 1972 Eagle and exactly how the two cars were used is still to be determined. The Lightning was run in practice at the 1981 Indy 500 with modified sidepods and nose but was crashed by Saldana. It was acquired by Dean Vetrock (Racine, WI) for 1982, but he failed to qualify for the Indy 500 and did not appear in the series again. Vetrock raced this car briefly in the CAT (ex-Can-Am) series in 1987. Four years later, the car was acquired from a Monterey area dealer by a client of Tom Tatalovich Racing Services (Golden Valley, AZ). Tatlovich restored the car to AAR livery, and it was sold at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona in January 1992. Tom recalls that the buyer was from?Hilton Head. Subsequent history unknown.
  10. 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.
  11. Watson 77 (Sheldon Kinser): 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Coyote 75 ['75-1'] (AJ Foyt): New for AJ Foyt at the 1975 Indy 500 as Foyt Enterprises' #14 Gilmore Racing entry. This car was allegedly slimmer and lower than previous cars in this series. Photographs show that the next times Foyt raced this car were to win the Pocono 500 in June 1975, finish second at the Indy 500 in May 1976, and then to win the Indy 500 in 1977, Foyt's fourth win at the Speedway. Foyt then announced that the car had been donated to the IMS Museum, but it was later reclaimed and Foyt took it to second place at the California 500 at Ontario in September. The following year it was raced more often: by Foyt at the Ontario 200 in March and the Texas 200 in April, then it was George Snider's #84 entry at the 1978 Indy 500, was raced by Foyt at Michigan in July, then Foyt's winning ride at the 200-mile Texas Grand Prix at TWS in August that year, and finally Snider's #14 at the Ontario 500. After it was retired, the car was on display in the Indy Museum during the 1980s, but returned to Foyt to be auctioned in 1992. It was acquired by Tony George for $410,000, and returned to the IMS Museum. It has remained in the museum collection since then.
  14. Lightning 77 (Vern Schuppan): 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.
  15. McLaren M24 [005?] (Johnny Rutherford): Believed to be Johnny Rutherford's third 1977 McLaren M24, raced as his #2 Team McLaren entry at least once late in the 1977 season after chassis 001 had been damaged. Rutherford had three cars for 1978, two M24s and a M24B, and it is unclear how the two M24s were used.
  16. Eagle 74/76 (Roger McCluskey): 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.
  17. RasCar-Atlanta 74 (Jerry Karl): Completed by Gene White Racing after Atlanta Cars closed, and first seen as the team's #21 Bill Daniels GOP for Cale Yarborough at the 1972 Indy 500. Yarborough was then "asked to step down", and the car was converted from Ford to Offy power for team leader Lloyd Ruby to try in practice at Pocono. It was raced by Jimmy Caruthers as the #52 Wynn's Special at Ontario in September. Almost certainly the Atlanta-Offy sold to Larry McCoy Sr's Eastern Racing for his son Larry McCoy to drive in 1973, backed by James Bidwell's Shurfine Foods. Converted by Eldon Rasmussen to Ras-Car specification for 1974, and raced by McCoy and others up to 1977. To Frank Fiore for 1978, and his #87 Machinists Union entry for Jerry Karl, Phil Threshie and Al Loquasto that season. Then to Buddie Boys, a Calgary trucking magnate, and entered for Bob Harkey at the 1980 Indy 500, but he could not get enough speed out of it. The last that was heard of the car was just before the Milwaukee race, when the engine was said to have blown up during testing.
  18. Lola T500 [HU1] (Al Unser): The first Lola T500 was written off in a spectacular crash in Texas in April 1978 (Autosport 25 May 1978 p30). As Tom Erwin's notebook says that T500 HU1 and HU2 were still with Hall in 1979, this car must have been rebuilt. Presumably HU1.

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.