OldRacingCars.com

Texas Grand Prix

Texas World Speedway, 6 Aug 1978

ResultsLapsTime/Speed
1 AJ Foyt Coyote 75 ['75-1'] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
#14 Gilmore/Citicorp [Foyt Enterprises]
(see note 1)
100 1h 15m 26.590s
2 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M24B [001?] - Cosworth DFX V8
#4 First National City Travelers Check [Team McLaren]
(see note 2)
100 Finished
3 Steve Krisiloff Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#40 Foreman Industries [Patrick Racing Team]
(see note 3)
98 Flagged
4 Wally Dallenbach McLaren M24 - Cosworth DFX V8
#6 Sugaripe Prune [Jerry O'Connell/Jud Phillips]
98 Flagged
5 Tom Sneva Penske PC6B - Cosworth DFX V8
#1 Norton Spirit [Penske Racing]
(see note 4)
96 Flagged
6 Dick Simon Vollstedt 77 [14] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#17 La Machine [Vollstedt Enterprises]
92 Flagged
7 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#20 North American Van Lines [Patrick Racing Team]
(see note 5)
74 Engine
8 Bobby Unser Eagle 78 [7801] - Cosworth DFX V8
#48 ARCOgraphite [AAR/Dan Gurney]
70 Transmission
9 Rick Mears Penske PC6 - Cosworth DFX V8
#7 Gould Charge [Penske Racing]
63 Broken suspension
10 Joe Saldana Eagle 72 [7221] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#69 Team 69 [Hoffman] (see note 6)
61 Flagged
11 Duane "Pancho" Carter Lightning 77 - Cosworth DFX V8
#8 Budweiser [Fletcher Racing Team]
(see note 7)
48 Wrecked
12 Jim McElreath Eagle 74 [7407] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#26 Circle City Coal [Jimmy McElreath]
(see note 8)
46 Electrical
13 Mike Mosley Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#78 Alex Foods [Alex Morales] (see note 9)
44 Engine
14 Spike Gehlhausen Eagle 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#19 Tibon [Carl Gehlhausen] (see note 10)
26 Engine
15 Larry Cannon Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo
#85 Cannon Racing (see note 11)
19 Transmission
16 Tom Bagley Watson 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#22 Kent Oil [Leader Card] (see note 12)
18 Turbocharger
17 Al Unser Lola T500 - Cosworth DFX V8
#2 First National City Travelers Checks [Chaparral Racing]
11 Broken suspension
18 Johnny Parsons Jr Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#16 First National City Travelers Check [Lindsey Hopkins]
(see note 13)
9 Engine
19 Sheldon Kinser Watson 78 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#24 Thermo King [Leader Card] (see note 14)
6 Cooling system
20 Vern Schuppan Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
#35 S&M Electric [Patrick Santello]
(see note 15)
5 Broken fuel line
21 Cliff Hucul McLaren M16E [002] - Offy 159 ci turbo
#29 Longhorn Racing [Cliff Hucul]
(see note 16)
0 Turbocharger
DNS Danny Ongais Parnelli VPJ-6B - Cosworth DFX V8
#25 Interscope
Did not start
(Did not start)
DNS George Snider Penske PC6 - Cosworth DFX V8
#71 Gould Charge [Penske Racing]
Did not start
(Did not start)
Qualifying
1 Tom Sneva Penske PC6B - Cosworth DFX V8
2 AJ Foyt Coyote 75 ['75-1'] - Foyt-Ford 159 ci quad cam turbo V8
3 Rick Mears Penske PC6 - Cosworth DFX V8
4 Johnny Rutherford McLaren M24B [001?] - Cosworth DFX V8
5 Wally Dallenbach McLaren M24 - Cosworth DFX V8
6 Bobby Unser Eagle 78 [7801] - Cosworth DFX V8
7 Duane "Pancho" Carter Lightning 77 - Cosworth DFX V8
8 Al Unser Lola T500 - Cosworth DFX V8
9 Dick Simon Vollstedt 77 [14] - Offy 159 ci turbo
10 Johnny Parsons Jr Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
11 Jim McElreath Eagle 74 [7407] - Offy 159 ci turbo
12 Vern Schuppan Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
13 Mike Mosley Lightning 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
14 Gordon Johncock Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
15 Larry Cannon Wildcat Mk 1 - DGS 158 ci turbo
16 Tom Bagley Watson 77 - Offy 159 ci turbo
17 Spike Gehlhausen Eagle 74 - Offy 159 ci turbo
18 Cliff Hucul McLaren M16E [002] - Offy 159 ci turbo
19 Steve Krisiloff Wildcat Mk 2 - DGS 158 ci turbo
20 Joe Saldana Eagle 72 [7221] - Offy 159 ci turbo
21 Sheldon Kinser Watson 78 - Offy 159 ci turbo
22 George Snider * Penske PC6 - Cosworth DFX V8
23 Danny Ongais * Parnelli VPJ-6B - Cosworth DFX V8
 
* Did not start

Notes on the cars:

  1. 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.
  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. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. Eagle 74 [7407] (Jim McElreath): 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Lightning 77 (Vern Schuppan): 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.
  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).

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.