1981–82 USAC Championship Car season

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1981-82 USAC Championship Car season
USAC Gold Crown Championship
Season
Races 6
Start date May 24, 1981
End date May 30, 1982
Awards
National champion United States George Snider
Indianapolis 500 winner United States Bobby Unser (1981)
United States Gordon Johncock (1982)
Chronology
Previous season Next season
1980 1982-83

The 1981–82 USAC Championship Car season consisted of six races, beginning in Speedway, Indiana on May 24, 1981 and concluding at the same location on May 30, 1982. The USAC National Champion was George Snider. The season included two Indianapolis 500 races. The 1981 winner was Bobby Unser, while the 1982 winner was Gordon Johncock. The schedule included dirt courses for the first time since 1970.

Schedule and results[edit]

The United States Auto Club formed the Gold Crown Series in 1981 which was a combination of the Indianapolis 500 and other races including races on dirt tracks. It was set up so that season would extend over the course of two years with the final race of the season being the Indianapolis 500. All races running on Oval/Speedway.

Rnd Date Race Name Length Track Location Type Pole Position Winning Driver
1 May 24 United States Indianapolis 500-Mile Race 500 mi (800 km) Indianapolis Motor Speedway Speedway, Indiana Paved United States Bobby Unser United States Bobby Unser
2 June 21 United States Van Scoy Diamond Mines 500 305 mi (491 km)A Pocono International Raceway Long Pond, Pennsylvania Paved United States A. J. Foyt United States A. J. Foyt
3 August 15 United States Tony Bettenhausen 100 100 mi (160 km) Illinois State Fairgrounds Springfield, Illinois Dirt United States Tom Bigelow United States George Snider
4 August 30 United States DuQuoin 100 100 mi (160 km) DuQuoin State Fairgrounds Du Quoin, Illinois Dirt United States Bill Engelhart United States Rich Vogler
5 September 12 United StatesHoosier Hundred 100 mi (160 km) Indiana State Fairgrounds Indianapolis, Indiana Dirt United States Larry Rice United States Larry Rice
6 May 30 United States Indianapolis 500-Mile Race 500 mi (800 km) Indianapolis Motor Speedway Speedway, Indiana Paved United States Rick Mears United States Gordon Johncock

^A Scheduled for 500 miles, stopped early due to rain.

The season opened with the 1981 Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Bobby Unser would win. Wally Dallenbach, Sr. qualified the #40 car for Mario Andretti. However, after the race USAC officials penalized Unser 1 lap and the win went to Andretti. Even if Andretti failed to win he would still go into the Van Scoy Diamond Mines 500 at Pocono International Raceway as the points leader as he was in possession of a USAC Class 1 License. The Van Scoy Diamond Mines 500 was won by A.J. Foyt getting Foyt his 67th and final USAC Gold Crown win. The race was cut from 500 miles down to 305 miles due to rain. At the Tony Bettenhausen 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds was won by George Snider for his first and only win in USAC Gold Crown competition. At the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds Rich Vogler would win his first and only race in USAC Gold Crown competition. At the Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Larry Rice would win his only USAC Gold Crown race. The 1981 Indianapolis 500 results were changed to Bobby Unser winning the race over Mario Andretti, costing Andretti 200 points. The season ending 1982 Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis 500 was marred by the death of Gordon Smiley during qualifying (he was 36 years old), and at the start 2nd place starter Kevin Cogan would spin into A.J. Foyt Jr.'s car and Mario Andretti's car, while further back in the field Roger Mears, Dale Whittington, and Bobby Rahal would collide. However, Foyt and Rahal were able to continue. Gordon Johncock would beat Rick Mears to the line to win his second Indianapolis 500.George Snider would win the championship with Geoff Brabham 2nd, Tom Bigelow 3rd, A.J. Foyt 4th, and Gordon Johncock 5th.

Final points standings[edit]

Pos Driver INDY
United States
POC
United States
SPR
United States
DQSF
United States
ISF
United States
INDY
United States
Pts
1 United States George Snider DNQ 4 1 3 8 21 1395
2 Australia Geoff Brabham 5 2 28 1310
3 United States Tom Bigelow 20 3 12* 2 5 18 1280
4 United States A. J. Foyt 13 1 19 1045
5 United States Gordon Johncock 9 1 1000
6 United States Mario Andretti 2 31 805
7 United States Rick Mears 30 2* 800
8 United States Rich Vogler DNQ 11 1* 2 DNQ 760
9 United States Larry Rice DNQ 21 2 13 1* DNQ 730
10 Australia Vern Schuppan 3 17 DNQ 720
11 United States Tom Sneva 25 16* 4 635
12 United States Jim McElreath DNQ 7 3 17 24 DNQ 594
13 United States Bill Vukovich, Jr. DNQ 6 17 6 DNQ 568
14 United States Sheldon Kinser 6 22 15 7 DNQ 536
15 United States Harry MacDonald DNQ 5 500
16 United States Jack Hewitt 12 4 4 13 490
17 United States Don Whittington, Jr. 31 6 405
18 United States Gary Bettenhausen 26 27 20 18 3 12 366
19 United States Joe Saldana 5 6 22 366
20 United States Roger Rager DNQ 8 8 DNQ DNQ 350
21 United States Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. 7 26 310
22 United States Jim Hickman 7 300
23 United States Herm Johnson DNQ 9 200
24 Australia Dennis Firestone 10 27 160
25 United States Johnny Parsons, Jr. DNQ 23 24 8 16 20 151
26 United States Bill Henderson 10 150
27 United States Greg Leffler DNQ 9 DNS 11 DNQ 100
28 United States Bobby Rahal 11 70
29 United States Mike Chandler 12 17 40
30 United States Bill Whittington 21 16 40
31 United States Larry Dickson 18 21 23 32
32 Mexico Héctor Rebaque 13 25
33 United States Steve Ball DNQ 14 25
34 United States Tim Richmond 14 DNP 25
35 United States Danny Sullivan 14 25
36 United States Jerry Karl 15 DNQ 25
37 United States Chip Ganassi 15 25
38 United States Jerry Sneva DNQ 25 23 25
39 United States Richard Hubbard 18 20
40 United States Dick Simon DNQ 20 DNQ 20
41 Mexico Josele Garza 23 29 20
42 United States Steve Chassey DNQ 26 14 DNQ 14
43 United States Danny Ongais 27 22 10
44 United States Salt Walther 26 DNQ 10
45 United States Kevin Cogan 4 30 5
46 United States Tom Klauser 29 5
47 United States Jan Sneva 29 DNQ 5
48 United States Roger Mears DNQ 32 5
49 United States Mike Mosley 33 DNQ 5
50 United States Dale Whittington DNQ 33 5
- United States Bobby Unser 1* DNQ 0
- United States Pancho Carter 28 3 0
- United States Mark Alderson 11 19 19 4 0
- United States Bill Tyler 15 DNQ 5 DNQ 0
- United States Al Unser 17 5 0
- United States Chuck Amati 6 12 0
- United States Jerry Nemire 7 9 0
- United States Johnny Coogan 7 DNP 0
- United States Johnny Rutherford 32 8 0
- United States Steve Krisiloff 8 DNQ 0
- United States Jerry Miller DNQ DNP 9 19 0
- United States Chip Mead 9 DNQ 0
- United States Paul Pitzer 24 DNP 10 17 0
- United States Larry Martin 23 10 0
- United States Art Bisch Jr. 10 DNP 0
- United States Howdy Holmes 10 0
- United States Ken Schrader 16 11 0
- United States Bill Alsup 11 DNQ 0
- United States Jerry Weeks 12 0
- United States Smokey Snellbaker 13 DNQ 15 0
- United States Gary Gray 13 DNP 0
- United States Jeff Bloom 19 14 18 0
- United States Tracy Potter 14 23 DNP 0
- United States Ron Shuman 15 DNQ 0
- United States Scott Brayton 16 DNQ 0
- United States Sleepy Tripp 16 DNQ 0
- United States Bobby Olivero 18 21 20 DNP 0
- United States Bob Lazier 19 DNQ 0
- United States Bill Engelhart DNQ DNQ 20 26 DNQ 0
- United States Chuck Gurney 21 0
- United States Gordon Smiley 22 DNQ 0
- United States Dean Vetrock 22 DNQ 0
- United States Gary Hieber DNQ 22 0
- United States Pete Halsmer 24 25 0
- United States Arnie Knepper DNQ 24 0
- United States Chet Fillip 24 0
- United States Steve Cannon DNQ 25 0
- United States Manny Rockhold 25 DNP 0
- United States Duke Cook 28 DNQ DNQ DNQ 0
- United States Steve Kinser DNQ DNS DNP 0
- United States Bill Puterbaugh DNS DNQ 0
- United States Wally Dallenbach DNS 0
- United States Bobby Adkins DNS 0
- United States Gary Patterson DNQ DNQ DNQ 0
- United States Eddie Leavitt DNQ DNQ DNP 0
- United States Al Unser, Jr. DNQ DNQ 0
- United States Patrick Bedard DNQ DNQ 0
- United States Phil Caliva DNQ DNQ 0
- United States Bob Frey DNQ DNQ 0
- United States Spike Gehlhausen DNQ DNQ 0
- United States Ken Hamilton DNQ DNQ 0
- United States Bob Harkey DNQ DNQ 0
- United States Phil Krueger DNQ DNQ 0
- United States John Mahler DNQ DNQ 0
- United States John Martin DNQ DNQ 0
- United States Lennie Waldo DNP DNQ 0
- United States Richard Powell DNQ DNP 0
- United States Mack McClellan DNQ DNP 0
- United States Jack Ziegler DNQ DNP 0
- United States Rick Hood DNP DNQ 0
- United States Tom Bagley DNQ 0
- United States Jim Buick DNQ 0
- United States Larry Cannon DNQ 0
- United States Dick Ferguson DNQ 0
- United States Jim Hurtubise DNQ 0
- United States Bubby Jones DNQ 0
- United States Bill Tempero DNQ 0
- United States Phil Threshie DNQ 0
- Canada Frank Weiss DNQ 0
- United States Billy Earl DNQ 0
- United States Tom Frantz DNQ 0
- United States Tom Gloy DNQ 0
- United States Tom Grunnah DNQ 0
- United States Hurley Haywood DNQ 0
- United States Gary Irvin DNQ 0
- United States Lee Kunzman DNQ 0
- United States Ray Lipper DNQ 0
- United States Al Loquasto DNQ 0
- Belgium Teddy Pilette DNQ 0
- United States Rusty Schmidt DNQ 0
- United States Billy Scott DNQ 0
- United States Sammy Swindell DNQ 0
- United States Leroy Van Conett DNQ 0
- South Africa Desiré Wilson DNQ 0
- United States Karl Busson DNP DNP 0
- United States Lonnie Caruthers DNP DNP 0
- United States Ron Fieller DNP DNP 0
- United States Mike Gregg DNP DNP 0
- United States Bobby Marshall DNP DNP 0
- United States Bud Wilmot DNP DNP 0
- Canada Buddie Boys DNP 0
- United States Earle Canavan DNP 0
- United States Bobby Fisher DNP 0
- United States Bill Compton DNP 0
- United States Jerry Potter DNP 0
- United States Dean Shirley DNP 0
- United States Jerry Stone DNP 0
- United States Mel Kenyon DNP 0
- United States Robert Tapply DNP 0
- United States Neil Bonnett DNP 0
Pos Driver INDY
United States
POC
United States
SPR
United States
DQSF
United States
ISF
United States
INDY
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

References[edit]

See also[edit]