Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June 29 - This day in Schaefer racing history

1975 Schaefer 500
USAC Indy car race
Pocono International Raceway
Pocono, Pennsylvania
Winning driver: "Super Tex" A.J. Foyt
Shortened by rain after 170 laps and 425 miles
Full results: Racing-Reference.info

Gordon Johncock won the pole in his #20 Pat Patrick-owned Wildcat. Foyt took the outside of the front row. Jerry Grant, Bobby Unser and Johnny Rutherford rounded out the top 5 starters. The start of the race was delayed two hours as rains pelted the track - a common occurrence for Pocono races.

Credit: Frank Hadl at Picassa
Thanks for use of the pic Frank and especially for your service in Vietnam!
The race was a competitive one with multiple drivers taking their turn at the front for a limited number of laps. Lap leaders included Johncock, Rutherford, Pancho Carter, and Mario Andretti. Each time a driver took the lead, however, it wasn't long before Super Tex passed them back for an extended stint.

Source: Reading Eagle archives June 30, 1975
When the day was done, A.J. tallied 115 laps as the leader. Johncock led the second most laps with 29 and was perhaps the only other car capable of hanging with Foyt for the win. But while running second and trying to overtake another car, Gordo simply lost it and backed it into the wall ending his day at lap 140.

The end of the race was affected the same way as the start of it - with rain. With 32 laps to go, showers returned to bring out the caution. Two laps later as it intensified, the race was called and Foyt was shown the checkered flag.

Credit: Frank Hadl at Picassa
Some notables from the race:
  • Johncock's teammate, Wally Dallenbach finished 2nd. 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 12th driving for himself.
Credit: jkracing50 at Flickr
  • NASCAR's Bobby Allison, driving for Roger Penske, jumped the fire line to USAC Indy cars and finished 27th.
  • Tom Bigelow finished 21st. No special trivia here - I just like saying "Bigelow".
Foyt arrives to a soggy victory lane with gloomy clouds still lingering above the track.

Source: Palm Beach Post via Google News Archive
Race highlights

Edited June 28, 2014

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