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1979 Arizona Republic / Jimmy Bryan 150

The 1979 Arizona Republic / Jimmy Bryan 150 was the first round of the 1979 IndyCar season, held on March 11, at Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Arizona. It marked the debut of the new Championship Automobile Racing Teams, or CART, era of IndyCar racing.

United States 1979 Phoenix 1
Race details
Race 1 of 14 in the 1979 IndyCar season
Phoenix-international-raceway-2011.svg
Map of the Track
DateMarch 11, 1979
Official nameArizona Republic / Jimmy Bryan 150
LocationPhoenix International Raceway
Avondale, Arizona, United States
CourseTri-Oval
1.000 mi / 1.610 km
Distance150 laps
150.000 mi / 241.500 km
WeatherTemperatures reaching up to 80.1 °F (26.7 °C); wind speeds reaching up to 12.7 miles per hour (20.4 km/h)[1]
Pole position
DriverBobby Unser (Roger Penske)
Time24.714
Podium
FirstGordon Johncock (Pat Patrick)
SecondRick Mears (Roger Penske)
ThirdJohnny Rutherford (Bruce McLaren)

RaceEdit

SummaryEdit

In the inaugural race for the new series, Bobby Unser won the pole with Tom Sneva starting in second. Johnny Rutherford started third, Danny Ongais started fourth, and Rick Mears rounded out the top five starters.

From his pole position, Bobby Unser led almost all of the first 86 laps, only giving up the lead for pit stops. The first caution of the day flew on lap 2, after Vern Schuppan broke a joint and went off track in the first turn.[2] The second caution flew due to a stalled car at lap 15, and the third due to debris picked up when Gordon Johncock left the pits on lap 69. After Unser was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop due to tire problems, Danny Ongais took the lead on lap 87, and held it for the next 33 laps, but soon after giving up the lead to Johncock retired with a blown engine, bringing out the final caution of the day.[3] Johncock went on to win the race, with Rick Mears finishing second, Johnny Rutherford third, Al Unser fourth, and Bobby Unser rounding out the top five.

There was some confusion in the final few laps, with Al Unser listed as running higher than he actually was.[4]

ResultsEdit

Pos Sta # Driver Owner Laps Time/Retired Led Pts
1 2 20   Gordon Johncock Pat Patrick 150 1:15:23.016 33 300
2 5 9   Rick Mears Roger Penske 150 - 0 240
3 3 4   Johnny Rutherford Bruce McLaren 150 - 0 210
4 10 2   Al Unser Chaparral Cars 150 - 0 180
5 1 12   Bobby Unser Roger Penske 149 + 1 Lap 84 150
6 7 36   Mike Mosley Dan Gurney 148 + 2 Laps 0 120
7 6 40   Wally Dallenbach Pat Patrick 147 + 3 Laps 0 90
8 9 11   Tom Bagley Bobby Hillin 145 + 5 Laps 0 75
9 17 21   Lee Kunzman Conqueste Racing Team 143 + 7 Laps 0 60
10 19 35   Larry Rice Private 143 + 7 Laps 0 45
11 21 41   Bill Alsup Bill Alsup 141 + 9 Laps 0 30
12 15 77   Salt Walther Walmotors 139 + 11 Laps 0 15
13 13 69   Joe Saldana Hoffman Racing 139b + 11 Laps 0 8
14 18 28   Tom Frantz Tom Frantz 139 + 11 Laps 0 8
15 4 25   Danny Ongais Ted Field 128 Engine 33 8
16 11 7   Steve Krisiloff Fletcher Racing 63 Gearbox 0 8
17 2 1   Tom Sneva Jerry O'Connell Racing 43 Engine 0 6
18 14 19   Spike Gehlhausen Carl Gehlhausen 12 Water Line 0 6
19 16 92   John Mahler Intercomp 12 Piston 0 6
20 12 10   Pancho Carter Alex Morales 7 Gearbox 0 6
21 20 34   Vern Schuppan Herb Wysard 2 U-Joint 0 5

Caution flag breakdownEdit

Condition From Lap To Lap # Of Laps Reason
Green 1 2 2
Yellow 3 6 4 Vern Schuppan off at turn 1
Green 7 14 8
Yellow 15 16 2 stalled car
Green 17 68 52
Yellow 69 76 8 debris
Green 77 128 52
Yellow 129 139 11 Danny Ongais oil on track
Green 140 150 11

16.7% of race run under caution.

Lap leader breakdownEdit

Leader From Lap To Lap # Of Laps
Bobby Unser 1 64 64
Gordon Johncock 65 66 2
Bobby Unser 67 86 20
Danny Ongais 87 119 33
Gordon Johncock 120 150 31

Points standings after this raceEdit

Note: Only the top ten positions are listed.

Rank Driver Points Diff
1 Gordon Johncock 300
2 Rick Mears 240 -60
3 Johnny Rutherford 210 -90
4 Al Unser 180 -120
5 Bobby Unser 150 -150
6 Mike Mosley 120 -180
7 Wally Dallenbach 90 -210
8 Tom Bagley 75 -225
9 Lee Kunzman 60 -240
10 Larry Rice 45 -255

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Weather information for the 1979 Arizona Republic / Jimmy Bryan 150 at The Old Farmers' Almanac
  2. ^ "Historical: CART's first race at Phoenix". Motorsports Tribune. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  3. ^ "The Morning Call from Allentown, Pennsylvania on March 12, 1979 · 19". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  4. ^ "Lansing State Journal from Lansing, Michigan on March 12, 1979 · Page 22". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2018-10-01.

External linksEdit