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The 1972 USAC Championship Car season consisted of ten races, beginning in Avondale, Arizona on March 18 and concluding at the same location on November 4. The USAC National Champion was Joe Leonard and the Indianapolis 500 winner was Mark Donohue. Jim Malloy was killed at Indianapolis in practice; he was 40 years old.

1972 USAC Championship Car season
USAC National Championship Trail
Season
Races10
Start dateMarch 18
End dateNovember 4
Awards
National championUnited States Joe Leonard
Indianapolis 500 winnerUnited States Mark Donohue
← 1971
1973 →

After sponsoring the USAC Championship Trail in 1970-1971, Marlboro dropped out of the sport for 1972. After only two seasons as title sponsor, the company became angered when rival Viceroy was signed on to sponsor Vel's Parnelli Jones Racing, at the time dubbed the "super team" of the series. Without any exclusivity clause, managers at Marlboro deemed the situation "impractical and untenable,"[1] and abruptly quit. Marlboro would not return to Indy car racing until 1986.

Contents

Schedule and resultsEdit

All races running on Oval/Speedway.

Rnd Date Race Name Track Location Pole Position Winning Driver
1 March 18 Jimmy Bryan 150 Phoenix International Raceway Avondale, Arizona   Bobby Unser   Bobby Unser
2 April 23 Trentonian 200 Trenton International Speedway Trenton, New Jersey   Bobby Unser   Gary Bettenhausen
3 May 27 International 500 Mile Sweepstakes Indianapolis Motor Speedway Speedway, Indiana   Bobby Unser   Mark Donohue
4 June 4 Rex Mays Classic Wisconsin State Fair Park Speedway West Allis, Wisconsin   Bobby Unser   Bobby Unser
5 July 16 Michigan 200 Michigan International Speedway Brooklyn, Michigan   Bobby Unser   Joe Leonard
6 July 29 Schaefer 500 Pocono International Raceway Long Pond, Pennsylvania   Bobby Unser   Joe Leonard
7 August 13 Tony Bettenhausen 200 Wisconsin State Fair Park Speedway West Allis, Wisconsin   Mario Andretti   Joe Leonard
8 September 3 California 500 Ontario Motor Speedway Ontario, California   Jerry Grant   Roger McCluskey
9 September 24 Trenton 300 Trenton International Speedway Trenton, New Jersey   Bobby Unser   Bobby Unser
10 November 4 Best Western 150 Phoenix International Raceway Avondale, Arizona   Mark Donohue   Bobby Unser

In the fall of 1971, a tentative schedule held the possibility of returning road courses to the championship schedule. Races at Colorado, Donnybrook, Bridgehampton, Road Atlanta, Mosport, as well as a return to Rafaela, Argentina, and a new "Florida 500" at the proposed "Florida International Raceway", were all part of an early press release.[2] However, all road courses were ultimately left off, the Argentina race was discontinued, and the Florida race course was never built.

Final points standingsEdit

Note: Peter Revson not eligible for points.

Pos Driver PHX
TRE
INDY
MIL
MIC
POC
MIL
ONT
TRE
PHX
Pts
1   Joe Leonard 5 4 3 5 1 1 1 15 3 DNQ 3460
2   Bill Vukovich, Jr. 20 18 28 4 11 4 2 3 4 15 2200
3   Roger McCluskey 7 2 24 7 8 11 19 1 8 6 1970
4   Al Unser 6 20 2 19 15 3 15 31 23 4 1800
5   Mark Donohue 17 19 1 2 2 16 1720
6   Mike Hiss 10 7 7 13 26 6 2 14 DNQ 1665
7   Johnny Rutherford 13 DNQ 27 21 16 2 3 10 6 5 1620
8   Bobby Unser 1 17 30 1 14 20 Wth 24 1 1 1500
9   Sam Sessions 4 4 15 4 1440
10   Mike Mosley 3 13 26 DNQ 5 5 2 1250
11   Mario Andretti 2 22 8 8 12 7 11 27 28 3 1135
12   Gary Bettenhausen 4 1 14 3 24 19 DNQ 790
13   Wally Dallenbach 9 6 15 DNQ 2 14 DNQ 21 7 24 720
14   Salt Walther 11 33 DNQ 8 6 27 690
15   Lee Kunzman 22 17 18 5 9 4 26 12 23 670
16   George Snider 16 DNQ 11 23 6 21 18 8 10 10 517
17   Sam Posey 5 5 19 500
18   Lloyd Ruby 21 6 22 26 DNQ 17 18 7 490
19   Mel Kenyon 23 10 18 15 3 13 16 28 11 9 460
20   Art Pollard 14 DNQ 7 9 11 450
21   Jimmy Caruthers 9 12 22 10 12 415
22   Gordon Johncock 3 20 9 22 22 13 20 360
23   Rick Muther DNQ 24 20 12 5 15 22 250
24   Jim Malloy 15 5 DNQ 200
25   Swede Savage 19 16 32 6 17 23 9 20 19 19 200
26   Dick Simon 18 14 13 9 7 16 12 DNP 16 14 200
27   Bill Simpson 24 DNQ 13 24 24 9 17 200
28   Johnny Parsons, Jr. 6 22 17 DNS 160
29   Cale Yarborough 10 DNQ 150
30   John Mahler 8 22 11 27 25 18 130
31   Jerry Grant 12 20 33 21 8 125
32   Tom Bigelow DNQ 21 DNQ 7 DNP 13 120
33   Steve Krisiloff 12 21 18 32 14 11 15 18 120
34   John Hubbard 8 100
35   Al Loquasto 9 DNQ DNQ DNQ 80
36   A. J. Foyt 8 25 Wth 30 22 21 75
37   Bentley Warren DNQ DNQ 14 18 10 26 20 60
38   Lee Brayton DNQ 10 DNQ 17 DNQ 60
39   Jim McElreath DNQ DNQ 10 DNQ DNS 45
40   George Eaton 11 DNQ 30
41   Jim Hurtubise 12 21 23 DNQ 23 DNQ 15
42   Greg Weld 33 DNQ 12 6
-   John Martin 16 17 17 20 32 13 0
-   Dee Jones 13 0
-   Carl Williams 29 16 30 14 0
-   Joe Tetz 15 23 0
-   Larry McCoy DNQ 19 21 24 0
-   Denny Zimmerman 19 25 25 0
-   Peter Revson 31 31 23 0
-   Gig Stephens 23 0
-   Merle Bettenhausen DNQ 25 0
-   Arnie Knepper DNQ 25 0
-   Jerry Karl DNQ 28 29 0
-   Bob Harkey DNQ 29 0
-   George Follmer DNS 0
-   Larry Dickson DNQ DNQ 0
-   David Hobbs DNP DNQ 0
-   Eldon Rasmussen DNQ DNP 0
-   Bill Puterbaugh DNQ 0
-   Jigger Sirois DNQ 0
-   Bud Tingelstad DNQ 0
-   Bruce Walkup DNQ 0
-   Parnelli Jones DNP 0
-   Don Brown DNP 0
-   Dennis Ott DNP 0
-   Tom Sneva DNP 0
-   Ned Spath DNP 0
Pos Driver PHX
TRE
INDY
MIL
MIC
POC
MIL
ONT
TRE
PHX
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

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Marlboro Bowing Out As Auto Racing Angel". The Indianapolis Star. December 17, 1971. p. 54. Retrieved January 22, 2019 – via Newspapers.com. 
  2. ^ "USAC Lines Up 17-Event Slate". The Indianapolis Star. September 15, 1971. p. 37. Retrieved January 22, 2019 – via Newspapers.com. 

See alsoEdit