Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June 30 - This day in Schaefer racing history

1974 Schaefer 500
USAC Indy car race
Pocono International Raceway
Pocono, Pennsylvania
Winning driver: "JR" Johnny Rutherford
Full results:

TV commercial for the race.

Indianapolis 500 multi-time winner Bobby Unser captured the pole position. A trio of STP-sponsored drivers qualified second, third and fourth: Steve Krisiloff, Wally Dallenbach Sr. and Gordon Johncock. Race winner Rutherford lined up fifth.

Source: Lawrence Journal World via Google News Archive
Source: Reading Eagle via Google News Archive
Pre-race scoring pylon showing the top five starters of Unser (48), Krisiloff (60), Johncock (40), Dallenbach (20) and Rutherford (3).

Credit: Frank Hadl at Picassa
Thanks for the pics Frank and especially for your service in Vietnam!
Unser, Dallenbach, and Mario Andretti hogged most of the laps. The three of them combined to lead 171 of the race's 200 laps. Rutherford led 18 laps himself, however, including the final 13.

Rutherford's opportunity to take the lead came at the expense of others. Dallenbach had engine problems while leading with a baker's dozen laps to go, and Johncock ran out of gas while leading - though he did eke out a third place finish one lap down to Rutherford.

But as has been the case many times throughout the history of racing, it's often better to be lucky than good.

Source: The Hour via Google News Archive
Credit: Frank Hadl at Picassa

Source: Reading Eagle via Google News Archive
Some notables from June 30, 1974:
  • Al Loquasto, who later drove a Schaefer-sponsored Buick in the 1981 Mountain Dew 500 NASCAR Cup race at Pocono, finished 11th.
  • Sam Sessions finished 30th driving for legendary NASCAR innovator and trickster Smokey Yunick.
  • Rookie Tom Bigelow finished 19th. No special trivia here. I just enjoy the thought of introducing myself as "Tom. Tom Bigelow. Yes, I'm just a Bigelow".
  • Though the Pocono 500-mile race was only three years old, JR became the first driver to win the Indianapolis 500 and Schaefer 500 in the same season.
Source: Spartanburg Herald via Google News Archive

Edited June 28, 2014


  1. Is the pic of the #30 Schaefer car real? If so, who drove it, where, and when?

    1. Car is a fictional a friend designed for me. Asked him to number it 30 based on the packaging for Schaefer cans up north. Ha. Thx for reading.