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1985 CART PPG Indy Car World Series

The 1985 CART PPG Indy Car World Series season was the 7th national championship season of American open wheel racing sanctioned by CART. The season consisted of 15 races. Al Unser, Sr. was the national champion, and the rookie of the year was Arie Luyendyk. The 1985 Indianapolis 500 was sanctioned by USAC, but counted towards the CART points championship. Danny Sullivan won the Indy 500, in dramatic fashion, a race that became known as the "Spin and Win."

1985 CART season
PPG Indy Car World Series
Season
Races15
Start dateApril 14
End dateNovember 10
Awards
Drivers' championUnited States Al Unser
Constructors' CupUnited Kingdom March
Manufacturers' CupUnited Kingdom Cosworth
Nations' CupUnited States United States
Rookie of the YearNetherlands Arie Luyendyk
Indianapolis 500 winnerUnited States Danny Sullivan
← 1984
1986 →

In the fall of 1984, Rick Mears suffered serious leg injuries in a crash at Sanair. Mears drove only a part-time schedule in 1985, racing at Indianapolis, and subsequently on ovals only. Al Unser, Sr. took Mears' full-time seat at Penske Racing as a substitute for the season. Unser, Sr. had one win, ten top fives, and one other top ten, en route to the championship, a battle that climaxed in dramatic fashion in the final race of the season.

Defending series champion Mario Andretti won the season opener, finished 2nd at Indy, and won the next two races, jumping out to the early points lead. A mid-season slump, however, saw him have only one top five finish the remainder of the year. He then broke his collarbone in a crash at Michigan, and was forced to sit out one race. The driver of the season became Al Unser, Jr., who won the next two races (Meadowlands and Cleveland), and finished the year with nine finishes in the top 4.

At the midpoint of the season, Mario Andretti's points lead had dwindled, while Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser, Sr., and Al Unser, Jr. were all closing in. At the Pocono 500, Rick Mears triumphantly returned to victory lane after his leg injuries. Finishing second and third were Al Jr. and Al Sr., respectively, with Al Sr. now taking the points lead. Unser, Jr. ate away at the points lead over the next four races, and the Unsers were neck-and-neck approaching the season finale. Meanwhile, Bobby Rahal was making a championship run of his own, winning 3 of 5 races, and closing within 13 points of the points lead.

With two races to go, Unser, Jr. led Unser, Sr. by 3 points. Father and son finished 1st and 2nd at Phoenix, and the standings were flipped. Al Sr. led Al Jr. by 3 points going into the finale at Miami. Rahal finished a distant 6th at Phoenix, and was mathematically eliminated from the championship.

The season finale at Tamiami Park ended in dramatic fashion. Danny Sullivan and Bobby Rahal finished 1st and 2nd, respectively, but the attention of the day was focused on the Unsers. Late in the race, Al Unser, Jr. was running third, and Al Unser, Sr. was running 5th. At the moment, Al Jr. was leading the hypothetical title race by one point. Unser, Sr. caught and passed Roberto Moreno for 4th place in the closing laps, and thus won the championship by 1 point over his son. Unser, Sr. afterwards expressed some regret about snatching the championship title from his son, but felt it was his responsibility to his own team and his own sponsors to race to his ability all the way to the end, and it was also in the best interests of sportsmanship to all competitors not to give favor to his son. Unser, Sr. also knew his days were numbered as a competitive driver on the circuit, while he knew Unser, Jr. had many years ahead to have another chance at the title (Al Jr. would indeed win the championship twice - 1990 and 1994).

The 1985 season saw two controversies at two separate races. The Michigan 500 had to be postponed for a week due to tire issues. In September, the race at Sanair came to a bizarre conclusion when the pace car, leading the field on the final lap under caution, suddenly veered into the pits on the final turn. Leader Johnny Rutherford was not informed, and second place Pancho Carter accelerated past him and beat him to the finish line. Officials initially awarded the victory to Carter, and Rutherford protested. After review, Rutherford was eventually restored the victory.

Contents

Drivers and teamsEdit

The following teams and drivers competed in the 1985 Indy Car World Series season. All cars used Goodyear tires.

Team Chassis Engine No* Drivers Rounds
Team Penske March 85C Cosworth 4 (5)   Danny Sullivan All
5 (1)   Rick Mears 2-3, 7, 9, 12
  Al Unser
11 All except 3
Doug Shierson Racing Lola T900 Cosworth 30   Al Unser, Jr. All
Truesports Co. March 85C Cosworth 3 (10)   Bobby Rahal All
8   Ludwig Heimrath, Jr. 10
Newman/Haas Racing Lola T900 Cosworth 1 (3)   Mario Andretti All except 8
  Alan Jones 8
Patrick Racing March 85C Cosworth 20   Bruno Giacomelli 1, 4-6, 8, 10-11, 13, 15
  Sammy Swindell 7, 9
  Don Whittington, Jr. 2-3, 12, 14
40   Emerson Fittipaldi All
60   Rich Vogler 2
All American Racers Eagle 85GC (All except 4, 11, and 13-14)

Lola T900 (4, 11, 13-14)

Cosworth 2   Tom Sneva All
Lola T900 97   Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. 2
Eagle 85GC (All except 3, 6)

Lola T900 (3)

98   Ed Pimm All except 6
Kraco Racing March 85C Cosworth 18   Kevin Cogan All
99   Michael Andretti All
Alex Morales Racing March 85C Cosworth 21   Johnny Rutherford All
Machinists Union Racing March 85C Cosworth 55   Josele Garza All
59   Pete Halsmer 2-6, 12
  Rupert Keegan 10, 13, 15
  Chip Ganassi 7
Galles Racing March 85C Buick (1-2)Cosworth (3-15) 6   Pancho Carter 2-4, 6-7, 9, 11-12, 14
  Roberto Moreno 5, 8, 10, 13, 15
Cosworth 7   Geoff Brabham All
Team Cotter March 85C Cosworth 9   Roberto Guerrero All
Forsythe Racing Lola T900 Cosworth 32/33   Howdy Holmes 1-12
  Jan Lammers 13-15
Pace Racing March 84C (1-6)

Lola T900 (7-15)

Cosworth 36   Dennis Firestone 1-13
  Jim Crawford 14-15
Dick Simon Racing March 85C Cosworth 22   Raúl Boesel 1, 4-6, 8, 10, 13, 15
  Dick Simon 2-3, 7, 9, 11-12, 14
23   Raúl Boesel 2, 7
  Dick Simon 5
Leader Card Racing March 84C (1, 5)

March 85C (4)

Cosworth 24   Rocky Moran 1, 4-5
March 84C (7)

March 85C (2-3, 9)

  Tom Bigelow 2-3, 7, 9
March 84C   Phil Krueger 6
March 85C   Herm Johnson 8, 10
March 85C   Gary Bettenhausen 11-12, 14
March 85C   Dominic Dobson 13, 15
Canadian Tire Racing March 85C Cosworth 67   Jim Crawford 11
76   Jacques Villeneuve All except 2, 7, 9, and 12
  Johnny Parsons 2
Provimi Racing Lola T900 Cosworth 61   Arie Luyendyk All except 9-10
Arciero Racing Lola T900 (All other races)

March 85C (12, 15)

Cosworth 12   Bill Whittington All except 7, 9, 11, and 14
  Randy Lanier 14
Lola T900 57 1-2, 4-6, 8, 10, 13, 15
Dale Coyne Racing Lola T800 Chevy 19   Dale Coyne All except 1 and 11
Gohr Racing March 85C Chevy 56   Steve Chassey All except 1 and 11
Hemelgarn Racing Lola T900 (All other races)

March 85C (11)

Cosworth 71   Michael Roe 1-2, 4-6
  Spike Gehlhausen 3, 7
  Enrique Mansilla 8, 10-11
  Scott Brayton 13-15
Part-time entries
Wysard Racing Lola T900 Cosworth 34   Jim Crawford 1-3, 5-6
  Darin Brassfield 15
Brayton Racing March 85C Cosworth/Buick 37   Scott Brayton 1-7, 9, 12
Interscope Racing March 85C Cosworth 25   Danny Ongais 1-2, 6-7, 9, 12, 14-15
AMI Racing March 85C Cosworth 43   John Paul, Jr. 2, 6
  Jan Lammers 4-5
Circle Bar Racing Lola T900 Cosworth 38   Chet Fillip 2-3, 6-7
Menard Cashway Lumber March 85C Cosworth 8   Herm Johnson 2
Tom Hess Racing Lola T800 Cosworth 27 (29)   Dick Ferguson 1
Lola T900   Derek Daly 2
  Jeff Wood 6
  Ian Ashley 15
Purcell Racing March 83C Cosworth 50   Tom Bigelow 2
51   Phil Krueger 2
Gilmore Racing March 85C (All other races)

Lola T900 (11)

Cosworth 14   A. J. Foyt 2, 5-7, 9, 11, 14-15
March 84C 41   Mike Nish 2, 14
March 85C Chevy 44   George Snider 2
Cosworth 84   Chip Ganassi 2
Theodore Racing Theodore Cosworth 15   Chico Serra 4
  • - The number in parenthesis is the number the car used at the Indianapolis 500, if a different number was used.

Notable team and driver changesEdit

Season summaryEdit

ScheduleEdit

Rd Date Name Circuit Location
- March 31   Dana Jimmy Bryan 150  O  Phoenix International Raceway Avondale, Arizona
1 April 14   Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach  S  Streets of Long Beach Long Beach, California
2 May 26   Indianapolis 500  O  Indianapolis Motor Speedway Indianapolis, Indiana
3 June 2   Miller American 200 in Honor of Rex Mays  O  Milwaukee Mile West Allis, Wisconsin
4 June 16   Stroh's/G.I. Joe's 200  R  Portland International Raceway Portland, Oregon
5 June 30   U.S. Grand Prix at the Meadowlands  S  Meadowlands Sports Complex East Rutherford, New Jersey
6 July 7   Budweiser Cleveland Grand Prix  S  Burke Lakefront Airport Cleveland, Ohio
7 July 28*   Michigan 500  O  Michigan International Speedway Brooklyn, Michigan
8 August 4   Provimi Veal 200  R  Road America Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
9 August 18   Domino's Pizza 500  O  Pocono International Raceway Long Pond, Pennsylvania
10 September 1   Escort Radar Warning 200  R  Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Lexington, Ohio
11 September 8   Molson Indy  O  Sanair Super Speedway Saint-Pie, Quebec
12 September 22   Detroit News 200  O  Michigan International Speedway Brooklyn, Michigan
13 October 6   Stroh's 300k  R  Laguna Seca Raceway Monterey, California
14 October 13   Dana 150  O  Phoenix International Raceway Avondale, Arizona
15 November 9   Beatrice Indy Challenge  S  Tamiami Park Miami, Florida
O Oval/Speedway
R/S Road Course/Street Circuit

The March 31st Dana Jimmy Bryan 150 was cancelled due to the general deterioration of the track. Note

*The Michigan 500 was scheduled for July 21, but postponed a week due to tire concerns.

Race resultsEdit

Rd Event Name Pole Position Winner Winning Team Race time
1 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach   Mario Andretti   Mario Andretti Newman/Haas Racing 1:42:50
2 Indianapolis 500   Pancho Carter   Danny Sullivan Team Penske 3:16:06
3 Miller American 200 in Honor of Rex Mays   Mario Andretti   Mario Andretti Newman/Haas Racing 1:36:38
4 Stroh's/G.I. Joe's 200   Danny Sullivan   Mario Andretti Newman/Haas Racing 1:51:35
5 U.S. Grand Prix at the Meadowlands   Mario Andretti   Al Unser, Jr. Doug Shierson Racing 1:51:55
6 Budweiser Cleveland Grand Prix   Bobby Rahal   Al Unser, Jr. Doug Shierson Racing 1:45:31
7 Michigan 500   Rick Mears   Emerson Fittipaldi Patrick Racing 3:53:58
8 Provimi Veal 200   Danny Sullivan   Jacques Villeneuve Sr. Canadian Tire Racing 1:45:12
9 Domino's Pizza 500   Rick Mears   Rick Mears Team Penske 3:17:47
10 Escort Radar Warning 200   Bobby Rahal   Bobby Rahal Truesports 1:52:23
11 Molson Indy   Bobby Rahal   Johnny Rutherford Alex Morales Motorsports 2:03:54
12 Detroit News 200   Bobby Rahal   Bobby Rahal Truesports 1:13:19
13 Stroh's 300k   Bobby Rahal   Bobby Rahal Truesports 1:38:56
14 Dana 150   Al Unser   Al Unser Team Penske 1:14:35
15 Beatrice Indy Challenge   Bobby Rahal   Danny Sullivan Team Penske 2:04:59
  • Indianapolis was USAC-sanctioned but counted towards the CART title.

Drivers points standingsEdit

Pos Driver LBH   INDY   MIL   POR   MEA   CLE   MIC1   ROA   POC   MDO   SAN   MIC2   LAG   PHX   MIA   Pts
1   Al Unser 5 4 4 3 3 2* 7 3 27 13* 12 2 1* 4 151
2   Al Unser Jr. 9 25 7 2* 1* 1 15 17* 2* 4 3 23 3 2 3 150
3   Bobby Rahal 27 27 9 20 25 28 6 4 4 1* 10 1* 1* 6 2* 133
4   Danny Sullivan 3 1 4 27 18 27 14 13 5 2 5 8 8 4 1 126
5   Mario Andretti 1* 2* 1* 1 26 14* 10 7 7 15 21 11 3 27 114
6   Emerson Fittipaldi 2 13 8 3 2 8 1 5 6 8 25 13 24 8 26 104
7   Tom Sneva 8 20 2 24 6 11 3 21 8 15 7 5 19 19 21 66
8   Jacques Villeneuve 7 DNQ 22 23 21 4 1 3 11 25 13 17 54
9   Michael Andretti 19 8 19 28 4 7 27 2 13 14 19 25 9 5 25 53
10   Rick Mears 21 3 30 1 2 51
11   Johnny Rutherford 10 6 23 9 14 15 4 DNS 14 22 1 9 21 26 19 51
12   Josele Garza 28 31 7 12 27 6 19 18 26 11 6 6 7 10 9 46
13   Ed Pimm 12 9 21 19 DNS 5 11 20 9 8 3 14 9 12 45
14   Kevin Cogan 23 11 16 5 7 9 7 25 17 21 9 4 17 22 24 44
15   Geoff Brabham 6 19 12 14 24 2 29 15 19 13 4 16 10 12 22 41
16   Pancho Carter 13 33 5 13 16 16 12 2 10 7 37
17   Roberto Guerrero 26 3 6 15 DNS 19 13 19 18 18 23 24 4 21 28 34
18   Arie Luyendyk  RY  17 7 17 21 10 5 Wth 6 DNS 18 15 22 25 7 33
19   Bruno Giacomelli  R  18 10 5 10 22 6 16 6 14 32
20   Jim Crawford 4 16 DNS 9 13 20 15 16 16
21   Bill Whittington 16 14 DNS 26 16 24 24 5 17 DNQ 8 15
22   Scott Brayton 11 30 DNQ 6 15 25 8 16 22 26 18 DNQ 15
23   Alan Jones 3 14
24   Danny Ongais DNQ 17 20 22 7 14 6 14
25   Howdy Holmes 14 10 11 17 13 22 9 10 21 16 21 18 DNS 12
26   Jan Lammers 16 12 5 20 13 11
27   Michael Roe  R  21 DNQ 7 8 26 11
28   Roberto Moreno  R  28 16 25 16 5 10
29   Johnny Parsons 5 10
30   Raul Boesel  R  20 18 11 11 12 28 8 23 20 23 10
31   Enrique Mansilla 9 10 12 8
32   Pete Halsmer DNQ 15 8 19 11 7
33   Dennis Firestone 22 DNQ 20 18 DNQ 21 11 20 9 17 14 DNS 23 6
34   Steve Chassey DNQ DNS DNQ 20 DNS 12 26 11 12 14 15 11 DNQ 6
35   Rupert Keegan  R  19 12 10 4
36   Dick Simon 26 13 17 25 10 17 19 DNQ 3
37   Chet Fillip DNQ 10 18 17 3
38   Dominic Dobson DNS 18 11 2
39   Herm Johnson DNQ 12 24 1
40   Derek Daly 12 1
41   Randy Lanier 24 DNQ 22 22 20 14 20 13 17 15 0
42   Spike Gehlhausen 14 18 0
43   John Paul, Jr. 15 17 0
44   Phil Krueger DNQ DNQ 21 15 0
45   Rocky Moran  R  15 DNQ DNQ 0
46   Gary Bettenhausen 22 DNS 16 0
47   Tom Bigelow DNQ 18 26 23 0
48   Ian Ashley 18 0
49   A. J. Foyt 28 23 24 24 23 20 0
50   Don Whittington, Jr. 24 DNQ 20 24 0
51   Chip Ganassi 22 22 0
52   Dale Coyne DNQ DNS DNQ DNQ DNS 24 23 27 28 DNS 27 DNQ DNQ 0
53   Sammy Swindell 23 25 0
54   Rich Vogler 23 0
55   Jeff Wood 23 0
56   Dick Ferguson 25 DNQ 0
57   Chico Serra 25 0
58   Ludwig Heimrath, Jr.  R  26 0
59   Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. 29 0
60   George Snider 32 0
  Darin Brassfield  R  DNQ -
  Frank Chianelli  R  DNQ -
  Tom Gloy DNS -
  Gordon Johncock Wth -
  Jerry Karl DNQ -
  Mike Nish  R  DNQ EX -
  Willy T. Ribbs  R  Wth -
  Ken Schrader DNP -
Pos Driver LBH   INDY   MIL   POR   MEA   CLE   MIC1   ROA   POC   MDO   SAN   MIC2   LAG   PHX   MIA   Pts
Color Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green 4th-6th place
Light Blue 7th–12th place
Dark Blue Finished
(Outside Top 12)
Purple Did not finish
(Ret)
Red Did not qualify
(DNQ)
Brown Withdrew
(WD)
Black Disqualified
(DSQ)
White Did not start
(DNS)
Blank Did not
participate
(DNP)
Driver
replacement
(Rpl)
Injured
(Inj)
Race not held
(NH)
Not competing
In-line notation
Bold Pole position
Italics Ran fastest race lap
* Led most race laps
 RY  Rookie of the Year
 R  Rookie

Sanair controversyEdit

In the Sanair race (Molson Indy Montreal), Roberto Guerrero had a strong lead until he lost control and spun. Late in the race Jacques Villeneuve collided with leader Bobby Rahal in attempt to challenge for the lead, taking both out. The race finished under a yellow flag, but the safety car entered pit lane on the final lap, and thinking there would be a final restart, Pancho Carter passed Johnny Rutherford after the safety car entered pit lane and before the finish line. CART initially declared Carter the winner, but an appeals panel later overturned the decision and confirmed Rutherford's victory. In many codes of motorsport (typically FIA Code) the safety car enters pit lane as the field is on the final lap, and the cars cross the checkered flag together without the safety car on course. However, this practice is not accepted in North America, where the safety car leads the leaders to the finish line if the safety car situation exists.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Tribune, Cooper Rollow, Chicago. "INDY SURPRISE: JOHNCOCK SAYS HE`S RETIRING". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2018-09-28.