1978 USAC Championship Car season

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1978 USAC Championship Car season
USAC National Championship Citicorp Cup
Season
Races 18
Start date March 18
End date October 28
Awards
National champion United States Tom Sneva
Indianapolis 500 winner United States Al Unser
Chronology
Previous season Next season
1977 1979 (USAC)
1979 (CART)

The 1978 USAC Championship Car season consisted of 18 races, beginning in Avondale, Arizona on March 18 and concluding at the same location on October 28. The USAC National Champion was Tom Sneva and the Indianapolis 500 winner was Al Unser. This was the last year before the majority of car owners left the USAC to form CART.

By winning the Indianapolis 500, Pocono 500, and California 500, Al Unser swept the Indy car "triple crown," the only driver in history to do so. Sneva became the second driver to win the USAC championship without winning a race during the season, after Tony Bettenhausen in 1958.

Schedule and results[edit]


Rnd Date Race Name Length Track Location Pole Position Winning Driver
1 March 18 United States Jimmy Bryan 150 150 mi (240 km) Phoenix International Raceway Avondale, Arizona United States Danny Ongais United States Gordon Johncock
2 March 26 United States Datsun Twin 200 200 mi (320 km) Ontario Motor Speedway Ontario, California United States Tom Sneva United States Danny Ongais
3 April 15 United States Coors 200 200 mi (320 km) Texas World Speedway College Station, Texas United States Danny Ongais United States Danny Ongais
4 April 23 United States Gabriel 200 200 mi (320 km) Trenton International Speedway Trenton, New Jersey United States Tom Sneva United States Gordon Johncock
5 May 28 United States International 500 Mile Sweepstakes 500 mi (800 km) Indianapolis Motor Speedway Speedway, Indiana United States Tom Sneva United States Al Unser
6 June 11 Canada Molson Diamond Indy 186.884 mi (300.761 km) Mosport Park Bowmanville, Ontario United States Danny Ongais United States Danny Ongais
7 June 18 United States Rex Mays Classic 150 mi (240 km) Wisconsin State Fair Park Speedway West Allis, Wisconsin United States Danny Ongais United States Rick Mears
8 June 25 United States Schaefer 500 500 mi (800 km) Pocono International Raceway Long Pond, Pennsylvania United States Danny Ongais United States Al Unser
9 July 16 United States Norton Twin 200 200 mi (320 km) Michigan International Speedway Brooklyn, Michigan United States Tom Sneva United States Johnny Rutherford
10 July 23 United States Gould Twin Dixie 152.2 mi (244.9 km) Atlanta International Raceway Hampton, Georgia United States Tom Sneva United States Rick Mears
11 August 6 United States Texas Grand Prix 200 mi (320 km) Texas World Speedway College Station, Texas United States Tom Sneva United States A. J. Foyt
12 August 20 United States Tony Bettenhausen 200 200 mi (320 km) Wisconsin State Fair Park Speedway West Allis, Wisconsin United States Danny Ongais United States Danny Ongais
13 September 3 United States California 500 500 mi (800 km) Ontario Motor Speedway Ontario, California United States Tom Sneva United States Al Unser
14 September 16 United States Gould Grand Prix 150 mi (240 km) Michigan International Speedway Brooklyn, Michigan United States Johnny Rutherford United States Danny Ongais
15 September 23 United States Machinist Union 150 150 mi (240 km) Trenton International Speedway Trenton, New Jersey United States A. J. Foyt United States Mario Andretti
16 October 1 United Kingdom Daily Empress Indy Silverstone 111.416 mi (179.307 km) Silverstone Circuit Silverstone, England United States Danny Ongais United States A. J. Foyt
17 October 7 United Kingdom Daily Mail Indy Trophy 120 mi (190 km) Brands Hatch (Indy Circuit) Fawkham, England United States Al Unser United States Rick Mears
18 October 29 United States Miller High Life Bobby Ball Memorial 150 150 mi (240 km) Phoenix International Raceway Avondale, Arizona United States Danny Ongais United States Johnny Rutherford
  Oval/Speedway
  Road Course/Street Circuit

Final points standings[edit]

Pos Driver PHX1
United States
ONT1
United States
TXS1
United States
TRE1
United States
INDY
United States
MOS
Canada
MIL1
United States
POC
United States
MIC1
United States
ATL
United States
TXS2
United States
MIL2
United States
ONT2
United States
MIC2
United States
TRE2
United States
SIL
United Kingdom
BRH
United Kingdom
PHX2
United States
Pts
1 United States Tom Sneva 22 2 2 3 2 4 15 3 2 8 5 15 23 2 3 3 2 16 4153
2 United States Al Unser 10 3 DNQ 1 12 8 1 17 14 17 5 1 17 4 10 15 5 4031
3 United States Gordon Johncock 1 19 3 1 3 DNQ 22 14 19 7 7 3 3 3 14 4 11 3 3548
4 United States Johnny Rutherford 16 13 19 10 13 8 2 2 1 2 2 8 11 13 11 5 3 1 3067
5 United States A. J. Foyt 3 4 17 2 7 16 19 8 16 4 1 4 28 5 19 1 4 2 3024
6 United States Wally Dallenbach 14 9 4 11 5 11 3 4 3 9 4 7 10 11 6 14 5 6 2966
7 United States Steve Krisiloff 2 14 8 5 4 3 4 32 14 5 3 6 7 15 5 6 DNQ 8 2874
8 United States Danny Ongais 12 1 1 4 18 1 16 19 6 21 DNS 1 12 1 15 15 9 4 2662
9 United States Rick Mears 5 23 2 1 22 1 9 2 9 2 1 2171
10 United States Pancho Carter 24 15 21 10 DNQ 11 11 2 18 7 9 1206
11 United States Tom Bagley 8 17 10 12 27 17 7 26 12 6 16 DNS 4 6 12 13 14 14 1188
12 United States Bobby Unser 18 16 13 20 6 19 17 20 5 3 8 20 13 8 13 11 1122
13 United States Larry Dickson 17 5 14 22 5 5 5 11 1121
14 United States Johnny Parsons, Jr. Wth 18 11 17 10 9 9 22 4 20 18 19 15 7 2 DNQ 978
15 United States George Snider 8 6 15 DNS 27 11 8 20 766
16 United States Tom Bigelow 15 7 12 8 21 14 6 15 8 10 4 18 764
17 United States Mario Andretti DNS 15 5 13 12 23 DNS 20 1 7 681
18 United States Dick Simon 4 6 19 18 30 13 18 6 21 27 12 7 22 670
19 United States Jim McElreath 6 7 20 25 7 13 12 12 20 9 DNQ 12 573
20 United States Salt Walther 13 11 7 15 28 7 11 13 18 29 7 6 DNQ 562
21 Canada Cliff Hucul 7 33 10 17 DNQ 21 9 8 13 519
22 United States Lee Kunzman DNQ 33 DNQ 18 5 513
23 United States Sheldon Kinser 6 8 15 14 32 12 DNQ 17 19 11 17 8 10 19 495
24 United States Mike Mosley 17 DNQ 14 7 DNQ 13 DNQ 16 8 10 483
25 United States Roger Mears 6 DNQ 400
26 United States Bobby Olivero 9 10 9 6 DNQ 360
27 United States Al Loquasto DNQ 13 12 9 10 19 13 19 321
28 United States Joe Saldana 15 21 9 10 10 DNQ 10 DNQ 16 10 314
29 United States Gary Bettenhausen 21 12 19 16 6 DNQ 29 22 9 21 294
30 United States Spike Gehlhausen 20 23 16 18 29 DNQ 13 31 20 22 14 16 21 16 17 9 12 17 188
31 United States Larry Cannon DNQ 10 11 DNQ 15 17 22 19 DNQ DNQ 184
32 United States Larry Rice DNQ 9 11 DNQ DNQ 180
33 United States Jerry Karl 11 21 21 22 14 18 DNS 20 104
34 United States Jerry Sneva 31 16 DNQ 16 25 14 18 DNQ 62
35 United States Roger McCluskey 19 20 20 21 25 24 13 61
36 United States Phil Threshie 30 18 20 24 21 DNQ 30 45
37 United States Todd Gibson 15 14 16 15 34
38 Australia Vern Schuppan 18 16 DNQ 20 26
39 United States Bob Harkey 22 DNQ 18 26
40 United States Bill Vukovich, Jr. DNQ 28 26 20
41 Canada Eldon Rasmussen DNQ DNQ 12 DNQ 15
42 United States Roger Rager DNQ DNQ DNQ DNQ 12 15
43 United States John Mahler 26 10
44 United States Bubby Jones DNQ 27 10
45 United States Chuck Gurney DNQ 24 DNQ 6
- United States Janet Guthrie 9 0
- United States Ed Finley DNQ DNQ 0
- United States Tom Gloy DNQ DNQ 0
- United States Mike Hiss DNQ 0
- United States Jim Hurtubise DNQ 0
- United States Gary Irvin DNQ 0
- United States Mel Kenyon DNQ 0
- United States John Martin DNQ 0
- New Zealand Graham McRae DNQ 0
- Canada Frank Weiss DNQ 0
Pos Driver PHX1
United States
ONT1
United States
TXS1
United States
TRE1
United States
INDY
United States
MOS
Canada
MIL1
United States
POC
United States
MIC1
United States
ATL
United States
TXS2
United States
MIL2
United States
ONT2
United States
MIC2
United States
TRE2
United States
SIL
United Kingdom
BRH
United Kingdom
PHX2
United States
Pts
Color Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green 4th & 5th place
Light Blue 6th-10th place
Dark Blue Finished
(Outside Top 10)
Purple Did not finish
(Ret)
Red Did not qualify
(DNQ)
Brown Withdrawn
(Wth)
Black Disqualified
(DSQ)
White Did not start
(DNS)
Blank Did not
participate
(DNP)
Not competing
In-line notation
Bold Pole position
Italics Ran fastest race lap
* Led most race laps
Rookie of the Year
Rookie

Note: Janet Guthrie not eligible for points.

References[edit]

See also[edit]