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The 1973 USAC Championship Car season consisted of 16 races, beginning in College Station, Texas on April 7 and concluding in Avondale, Arizona on November 3. The first race of the season, in Avondale, Arizona on March 17, was postponed by rain and eventually cancelled due to infrastructure damage caused by the rain and scheduling conflicts. Bob Criss was killed in a private test at Phoenix before he could enter another event. He was 35 years old. The USAC National Champion was Roger McCluskey and the Indianapolis 500 winner was Gordon Johncock.

1973 USAC Championship Car season
USAC National Championship Trail
Season
Races16
Start dateApril 7
End dateNovember 3
Awards
National championUnited States Roger McCluskey
Indianapolis 500 winnerUnited States Gordon Johncock
← 1972
1974 →

In this tragic season, two drivers were killed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Art Pollard died in an accident while practicing for the Indy 500 while Swede Savage, who crashed during the race, died by complications one month lather. Another driver, Salt Walther, suffered serious burns surviving a crash at the start of the race. In response to those accidents, USAC revised the rules in time for the Pocono 500. The rear wing width was cut back from 64 inches to 55, fuel tank capacity was drastically reduced (from 75 gallons to 40) and the allowable fuel to be consumed in a 500-mile race was reduced from 375 gallons to 340.

Contents

Schedule and resultsEdit

All races running on Oval/Speedway.

Rnd Date Race Name Track Location Pole Position Winning Driver
- March 17 & 31A Phoenix 150 Phoenix International Raceway Avondale, Arizona Race postponed twice; eventually cancelled
1 April 7 Texas 200 Texas World Speedway College Station, Texas   Bobby Unser   Al Unser
2 April 15 Trentonian 300 Heat #1 Trenton International Speedway Trenton, New Jersey   Gordon Johncock   A. J. Foyt
3 Trentonian 300 Heat #2   A. J. Foyt   Mario Andretti
4 May 28, 29 & 30B International 500 Mile Sweepstakes Indianapolis Motor Speedway Speedway, Indiana   Johnny Rutherford   Gordon Johncock
5 June 10 Rex Mays Classic Wisconsin State Fair Park Speedway West Allis, Wisconsin   Bobby Unser   Bobby Unser
6 July 1 Schaefer 500 Pocono International Raceway Long Pond, Pennsylvania   Peter Revson   A. J. Foyt
7 July 15 Michigan 200 Michigan International Speedway Brooklyn, Michigan   Bobby Unser   Roger McCluskey
8 August 12 Tony Bettenhausen 200 Wisconsin State Fair Park Speedway West Allis, Wisconsin   Wally Dallenbach   Wally Dallenbach
9 August 26 California 500 Qualification Heat 1 Ontario Motor Speedway Ontario, California   Gordon Johncock   Wally Dallenbach
10 California 500 Qualification Heat 2   Johnny Rutherford   Johnny Rutherford
11 September 2 California 500   Peter Revson   Wally Dallenbach
12 September 16 Michigan Twin 125s #1 Michigan International Speedway Brooklyn, Michigan   Gordon Johncock   Bill Vukovich, Jr.
13 Michigan Twin 125s #2   Gary Bettenhausen   Johnny Rutherford
14 September 23 Trenton 200 Trenton International Speedway Trenton, New Jersey   Gordon Johncock   Gordon Johncock
15 October 6 Texas 200 Texas World Speedway College Station, Texas   Mario Andretti   Gary Bettenhausen
16 November 3 Arizona 150 Phoenix International Raceway Avondale, Arizona   Gordon Johncock   Gordon Johncock
^A Postponed due to infrastructure damage, and again on March 28 due to continued flooding. Eventually cancelled due to scheduling conflicts.
^B Scheduled for 500 miles, stopped early due to rain. See 1973 Indy 500

Final points standingsEdit

Note: Sam Posey, Peter Revson, Mark Donohue, David Hobbs, Jerry Grant, John Cannon, Graham McRae and Bobby Allison were not eligible for points. The Rookie of the Year was not awarded, because every rookie was not eligible for points.

Pos Driver TXS TRE INDY MIL POC MIC MIL ONT MIC TRE TXS PHX Pts
200 150 500 150 500 200 200 Q-H1 Q-H2 500 125 200 200 150
1   Roger McCluskey 7 8 6 3 2 2 1 6 2 4 4 13 18 4 3075
2   Wally Dallenbach DNQ DNQ 24 4 29 6 1 1 1 23 3 6 2 2620
3   Johnny Rutherford 4 15 9 5 5 2 18 1 31 3 1 4 2 DNQ 2595
4   Bill Vukovich, Jr. 15 3 2 2 22 24 3 3 12 24 1 15 6 20 3 2440
5   Mario Andretti 25 4 1 30 8 7 5 19 12 2 5 2 7 17 7 2400
6   Mike Mosley 3 9 8 10 24 4 10 2 5 3 18 14 23 20 2345
7   Gordon Johncock 23 2 21 1 18 14 9 17 5 32 16 1 7 1 2240
8   Gary Bettenhausen 2 6 17 5 3 27 24 20 2 19 2 8 24 1 6 2093
9   Lloyd Ruby DNQ 27 21 3 4 DNQ 8 28 6 4 8 4 11 1610
10   A. J. Foyt 11 1 11 25 Wth 1 13 25 10 13 14 20 10 DNS 1580
11   Lee Kunzman 8 11 9 7 6 20 12 3 13 20 10 3 5 1260
12   Bobby Unser 20 19 15 13 1 10 20 DNQ 7 10 16 2 15 18 1108
13   Al Unser 1 7 3 20 9 33 22 26 4 9 21 25 16 19 1080
14   Mike Hiss 22 14 13 17 10 6 25 5 3 27 9 3 21 11 1050
15   Joe Leonard 5 13 5 18 7 8 23 7 9 21 12 7 9 19 15 1018
16   Mel Kenyon 12 12 10 4 18 8 9 16 DNQ 9 940
17   John Martin 8 13 28 7 13 5 870
18   Steve Krisiloff DNS 18 6 16 22 18 21 6 12 7 6 11 8 21 845
19   Jim McElreath 23 11 11 4 6 20 5 16 650
20   Dick Simon 6 10 7 14 17 12 17 22 11 22 DNS 23 21 8 440
21   Jimmy Caruthers 21 16 21 12 16 19 8 4 15 8 9 22 DNS 9 408
22   Johnny Parsons, Jr. DNQ 30 14 13 9 25 11 5 15 5 22 390
23   Bentley Warren 21 16 DNQ DNQ 16 7 8 DNQ 12 22 10 375
24   Swede Savage 13 5 4 22 330
25   Tom Bigelow DNQ 14 32 15 7 11 160
26   Lee Brayton 10 17 12 DNQ 15 DNQ 15 10 16 12 17 133
27   Sam Sessions 9 DNQ 28 13 11 23 DNQ 120
28   John Hubbard DNQ 19 DNQ 10 14 12 73
29   John Mahler DNQ 8 26 50
30   Jerry Karl 26 23 26 11 18 DNQ 40
31   Tom Sneva 26 DNQ DNQ DNQ 21 14 10 17 19 14 30
32   George Snider 12 25 14 12 29
33   Larry Cannon DNQ DNQ 16 11 17 14 25
34   Jigger Sirois DNQ Wth 12 DNS 13 DNQ 20
-   Sam Posey DNQ 9 11 6 0
-   John Cannon 10 30 0
-   David Hobbs 11 31 13 DNQ 0
-   Bob Harkey 29 15 DNQ 13 0
-   Eldon Rasmussen DNQ DNQ DNQ 13 0
-   Larry McCoy 14 20 14 DNQ DNQ DNQ 26 15 22 26 24 0
-   Bill Simpson DNQ 14 DNQ 26 0
-   Mark Donohue 15 17 DNQ 29 0
-   Al Loquasto DNQ DNQ DNQ 16 24 DNQ 19 18 0
-   Salt Walther 16 22 33 0
-   Graham McRae 16 DNQ 0
-   Dee Jones 17 24 19 DNQ 0
-   Rick Muther 18 Wth 19 DNQ DNQ 25 0
-   Crockey Peterson 23 18 DNQ 20 0
-   Jerry Grant 19 33 0
-   Art Pollard 19 DNQ DNQ 0
-   Joe Tetz DNQ 20 0
-   Peter Revson 31 21 23 0
-   Jim Hurtubise DNQ 23 DNQ 0
-   Larry Dickson 24 DNQ 0
-   Bobby Allison 32 0
-   Gig Stephens DNS 0
-   Billy Shuman DNQ DNQ 0
-   Bruce Jacobi DNQ 0
-   Arnie Knepper DNQ 0
-   Bill Puterbaugh DNQ 0
-   Greg Weld DNQ 0
-   Dan Murphy DNQ 0
-   Benny Rapp DNQ 0
Pos Driver TXS1

200
TRE1

150
TRE2

150
INDY

500
MIL1

150
POC

500
MIC1

200
MIL2

200
ONT

Q-H1
ONT

Q-H2
ONT

500
MIC2

125
MIC3

125
TRE3

200
TXS2

200
PHX

150
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

  • Åberg, Andreas. "USAC National Championship 1973". Driver Database. Archived from the original on 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
  • Harms, Phil; Ferner, Michael; Measures, Gerry; Brown, Allen. "Indy 500 and USAC racing (1971-1978)". OldRacingCars.com. Archived from the original on 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
  • "1973 USAC National Championship Trail". ChampCarStats.com. Archived from the original on 2009-05-13. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
  • Harms, Phil. "1973 Championship Driver Summary" (PDF). Motorsport.com. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2011-05-04. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
  • http://media.indycar.com/pdf/2011/IICS_2011_Historical_Record_Book_INT6.pdf (p. 225-227)
  • http://www.champcarstats.com/drivers/CrissBob.htm

See alsoEdit