Open main menu

The 1980 USAC Championship Car season consisted of five races, beginning in Ontario, California on April 13 and concluding in Lexington, Ohio on July 13. The USAC National Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner was Johnny Rutherford.

1980 USAC Championship Car season
Championship Racing League
Chaparral 2K.jpg
Champion: Johnny Rutherford
Season
Races5
Start dateApril 13
End dateJuly 13
Awards
National championUnited States Johnny Rutherford
Indianapolis 500 winnerUnited States Johnny Rutherford
← 1979
1981-82 →

CART and USAC united in 1980 under the banner of the Championship Racing League (CRL). The first five races of the season were run under CRL banner and sanction by USAC. The union dissolved after the Mid-Ohio race and USAC ended their season.

Schedule and resultsEdit

In January 1980, USAC initially released a 10-race schedule, with new venues Talladega, Charlotte, and Road Atlanta added to the schedule.[1] However, these three events were eventually scrapped when USAC entered into a joint sanctioning effort with CART. But the sanctioning effort ended after 5 races, so the following races (NC) did not count to USAC championship but the CART championship. College Station, Talladega, Charlotte, Braselton, and Mosport were removed from the schedule entirely.

Rnd Date Race Name Length Track Location Pole Position Winning Driver
1 April 13   Datsun Twin 200 200 mi (320 km)  O  Ontario Motor Speedway Ontario, California   Johnny Rutherford   Johnny Rutherford
April 26 Cancelled 200 mi (320 km)  O  Texas World Speedway College Station, Texas
2 May 26   Indianapolis 500-Mile Race 500 mi (800 km)  O  Indianapolis Motor Speedway Speedway, Indiana   Johnny Rutherford   Johnny Rutherford
3 June 8   Gould Rex Mays Classic 150 mi (240 km)  O  Wisconsin State Fair Park Speedway West Allis, Wisconsin   Gordon Johncock   Bobby Unser
4 June 22   True Value 500 500 mi (800 km)  O  Pocono International Raceway Long Pond, Pennsylvania   Bobby Unser   Bobby Unser
5 July 13   Red Roof Inns 150 150 mi (240 km)  R  Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Lexington, Ohio   Al Unser   Johnny Rutherford
NC July 20   Norton 200 200 mi (320 km)  O  Michigan International Speedway Brooklyn, Michigan   Bobby Unser   Johnny Rutherford
July 27 Cancelled 150 mi (240 km)  R  Road Atlanta Braselton, Georgia
NC August 3   Kent Oil 150 150 mi (240 km)  R  Watkins Glen International Watkins Glen, New York   Al Unser   Bobby Unser
NC August 10   Tony Bettenhausen 200 200 mi (320 km)  O  Wisconsin State Fair Park Speedway West Allis, Wisconsin   Johnny Rutherford   Johnny Rutherford
August 24 Cancelled 500 mi (800 km)  O  Alabama International Motor Speedway Talladega, Alabama
NC August 31   California 500 500 mi (800 km)  O  Ontario Motor Speedway Ontario, California   Bobby Unser   Bobby Unser
September 14 Cancelled 150 mi (240 km)  R  Mosport International Raceway Bowmanville, Ontario
NC September 20   Gould Grand Prix 150 mi (240 km)  O  Michigan International Speedway Brooklyn, Michigan   Mario Andretti   Mario Andretti
September 28 Cancelled 300 mi (480 km)  O  Charlotte Motor Speedway Charlotte, North Carolina
NC October 26   I Copa México 150 150 mi (240 km)  R  Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez Mexico City, Mexico   Bobby Unser   Rick Mears
NC November 8   Miller High Life 150 150 mi (240 km)  O  Phoenix International Raceway Avondale, Arizona   Mario Andretti   Tom Sneva
O Oval/Speedway
R Road Course/Street Circuit

Final points standingsEdit

Pos Driver ONT
 
INDY
 
MIL
 
POC
 
MDO
 
Pts
1   Johnny Rutherford 1* 1* 2 2 1 2740
2   Tom Sneva 2 2 6 3 11 1970
3   Bobby Unser 23 9 1 1* 15 1334
4   Gordon Johncock 3 4 3* DNQ 2 1330
5   Pancho Carter 18 6 4 6 7 1078
6   Bill Alsup 7 DNQ 9 4 3 990
7   Rick Mears 21 5 5 12 9* 766
8   Gary Bettenhausen 3 12 33 20 726
9   Sheldon Kinser 13 DNQ 11 7 24 345
10   Danny Ongais 7 24 18 21 330
11   Howdy Holmes DNQ 15 8 14 266
12   Tom Bigelow 8 250
13   Spike Gehlhausen 4 29 DNQ 245
14   Tom Bagley 5 28 23 29 DNS 220
15   Tim Richmond 9 DNQ DNQ 22 205
16   Larry Cannon 33 DNQ 9 DNQ 205
17   Roger Mears 9 DNQ 4 180
18   Gordon Smiley 6 25 170
19   Billy Engelhart 11 10 13 170
20   Vern Schuppan DNQ 5 5 150
21   Lee Kunzman DNQ 10 DNQ 150
22   Greg Leffler 10 DNQ 150
23   Tom Gloy 6 120
24   Jerry Sneva 17 8 14 120
25   Herm Johnson 14 DNQ 17 11 116
26   Dick Ferguson 8 31 DNQ 105
27   Roger Rager 23 26 8 100
28   Cliff Hucul 7 90
29   Bill Vukovich, Jr. 12 21 28 65
30   Jan Sneva 10 DNQ 60
31   Rick Muther 24 DNQ 18 10 57
32   Jerry Karl 21 14 15 18 54
33   Phil Caliva 15 DNQ 16 12 50
34   Al Unser 16 27 20 24 13 49
35   A. J. Foyt DNS 14 19 45
36   Ron Shuman 11 DNQ 40
37   Mario Andretti 20 17 40
38   Dick Simon 22 13 21 DNQ 38
39   Dennis Firestone 16 30 30
40   John Martin DNQ 20 16 28
41   Mike Mosley 19 32 23 28
42   John Wood 12 DNQ DNQ 23 25
43   Don Whittington, Jr. 13 DNQ 25
44   George Snider 15 DNQ 25
45   Jim McElreath 24 27 25
46   Bill Tempero 17 DNQ 16 17 22
47   Joe Saldana 25 DNQ 22 DNQ 19
48   Phil Threshie DNQ 22 25 15
49   Johnny Parsons, Jr. 26 DNQ 10
50   Billie Harvey 19 6
51   John Mahler DNQ DNQ 19 6
52   Bill Whittington 30 5
53   Al Loquasto DNQ 31 5
54   Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. DNQ DNQ 32 DNQ 5
-   Hurley Haywood 18 0
-   Pete Halsmer 20 DNQ 0
-   Ross Davis 22 0
-   Bob Frey DNQ DNQ 0
-   Janet Guthrie DNQ DNQ 0
-   Buddie Boys DNQ DNQ 0
-   Rich Vogler DNQ DNQ 0
-   Bob Harkey DNQ DNQ 0
-   Dana Carter DNQ 0
-   Larry Dickson DNQ 0
-   Tom Frantz DNQ 0
-   Jim Hurtubise DNQ 0
-   Bill Puterbaugh DNQ 0
-   Salt Walther DNQ 0
-   Frank Weiss DNQ 0
-   Bruce Hill DNQ 0
-   Milt Harper DNQ 0
Pos Driver ONT
 
INDY
 
MIL
 
POC
 
MDO
 
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 1980". Driver Database. Archived from the original on 2009-05-13. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
  • "1980 Championship Racing League". ChampCarStats.com. Archived from the original on 2009-05-13. Retrieved 2009-05-11.
  1. ^ Miller, Robin (December 27, 1979). "USAC Announces 1980 Schedule". The Indianapolis Star. p. 31. Retrieved June 29, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. 

See alsoEdit