Sunday, June 27, 2010

June 27 - This day in Schaefer racing history

1976 Schaefer 500
USAC Indy car race
Pocono International Raceway
Pocono, Pennsylvania
Winning driver: Al Unser, Sr.
Full results:

Some notables from the race:
  • Unser's victory was his first win since 1974. I'm guessing Big Al thought nothing quenched a two-year drought better than a cold Schaefer.
  • Wally Dallenbach finished 3rd. He is the father of Wally Dallenbach, Jr. who once raced in NASCAR (including for Petty Enterprises) and now works as a color announcer for TNT.
  • Al Loquasto, who later drove a Schaefer Buick in the 1981 Mountain Dew 500 NASCAR Cup race at Pocono, finished 15th driving for himself.
  • Johnny Parsons won the pole but finished 22nd in the race.  Ten years later, Parsons became part of the small Schaefer fraternity when he got a shot in a Schaefer / Machinists Union Indy car.
Photo courtesy of Russ Thompson
In scouring the web for information about the race, I ran across the blog Life of a Small Town Photographer. As fate would have it, he blogged about some of his experiences at the Pocono Indy races back in the 1970s. He was kind enough to give me permission to share his pictures for these next two trivia nuggets.
  • A.J. Foyt, "Super Tex", had a Sucky Day and finished 31st out of 33 starters. I'm guessing this photo was made before the race vs. afterwards.
  • Janet Guthrie, a racing pioneer as the first woman to drive in both the Indy 500 and the Daytona 500, finished 24th. On race day 1976, however, she had the unfortunate timing of being photographed next to the iconic Miss Hurst Shifter, Linda Vaughn.
The engine cowling cover for Unser's Cosworth engine...

Credit: brooklandsspeedway on Flickr
...and the nose of his American Racing Wheels sponsored Parnelli Jones chassis.

Credit: jkracing50 on Flickr
Source: Spartanburg Herald via Google News Archive
Race report from The Beaver County Times - including some candid language from Parnelli Jones about his former driver, Mario Andretti. Yowza.

I like this headline from the Spartanburg Herald better. The wording is more emblematic of some race day memories of the Schaefer Hall of Fame after a late Saturday night.

Edited June 26, 2014

No comments:

Post a Comment