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1988 CART PPG Indy Car World Series

  (Redirected from 1988 IndyCar season)

The 1988 CART PPG Indy Car World Series season was the 10th national championship season of American open wheel racing sanctioned by CART. The season consisted of 15 races, and one non-points exhibition event. Danny Sullivan was the national champion, winning for Team Penske. The rookie of the year was John Jones. The 1988 Indianapolis 500 was sanctioned by USAC, but counted towards the CART points championship. Rick Mears won the Indy 500, his third victory at Indy.

1988 CART season
PPG Indy Car World Series
Season
Races16
Start dateApril 10
End dateNovember 6
Awards
Drivers' championUnited States Danny Sullivan
Constructors' CupUnited Kingdom Lola
Manufacturers' CupUnited States Chevrolet
Nations' CupUnited States United States
Rookie of the YearCanada John Jones
Indianapolis 500 winnerUnited States Rick Mears
← 1987
1989 →

The 1988 season was the breakout year for the Ilmor Chevrolet Indy V-8 engine. After being introduced in 1986, and earning its first victory in 1987, the Ilmor Chevy dominated the series in 1988, and established itself as the best powerplant on the circuit. Chevy won 14 of the 15 races, and all 15 pole positions. Along the way, the Ilmor Chevy earned its first victory at Indianapolis in 1988, with Rick Mears winning from the pole.

Season recapEdit

Danny Sullivan won four races, nine pole positions, and had 11 top five finishes en route to the championship title. Sullivan got off to a slow start, but at Indy, he and his Penske teammates (Rick Mears and Al Unser, Sr.) dominated the month of May. The Penske team swept all three spots on the front row, and led 192 of the 200 laps. Sullivan himself qualified second and dominated the first half of the race. He dropped out just beyond the halfway point when a wing adjuster failed and sent his car into the wall. He rebounded over the next six races, posting two wins and no finish worse than 4th.

Sullivan's nearest competitors during the season were Al Unser, Jr. and Bobby Rahal. Unser, Jr. left Doug Shierson Racing and returned to Galles Racing for 1988, and also got use of the coveted Chevrolet engine. Unser won at Long Beach and Toronto, then won a controversial race at the Meadowlands. Battling for the lead in the late stages of the race, he tangled with Emerson Fittipaldi, sending Fittipaldi into the tire barrier.

Back-to-back defending CART champion, and 1986 Indy winner Bobby Rahal returned for his last season at Truesports. The team dropped the Cosworth DFX and the took up development of the Judd AV engine. The engine was known to be down on horsepower, but excelled in fuel mileage and reliability, particularly in the 500-mile races. Rahal finished 4th at Indy, second at the Michigan 500, and won the Pocono 500. His ten top five finishes kept him in contention for the title, but with only one win, he was struggling to keep pace with the Chevy-powered teams.

After winning the Michigan 500, Danny Sullivan took the points lead for the first time all year. The lead was short-lived, however, as he wrecked at Pocono. Rahal and Unser, Jr. finished 1-2 at Pocono, and the top three in the standings were separated by only 5 points with five races remaining.

At Mid-Ohio, Rahal crashed out, and his title hopes began to fade. Sullivan and Unser were separated by 1 point with four races to go. All three drivers finished strong at Road America, and the championship battle pushed on. The turning point of the season came at Nazareth. Al Unser, Jr. blew his engine, Rahal was not a factor, but Sullivan dominated. Sullivan started from the pole, and led the final 74 laps to score a crucial victory. With only two races left, Sullivan had a commanding 25-point lead. At the second-to-last race of the season at Laguna Seca, Sullivan won the pole, led the most laps, and won the race. With still one race left, Sullivan clinched the 1988 CART title, holding an insurmountable 35-point lead. It was Sullivan's first championship title and Penske's first since 1985.

With the championship decided for Sullivan, the season finale at Miami became a race to see who would finish second in points. Rahal held an 8-point lead over Al Unser, Jr., with Mario Andretti and Rick Mears also lurking in 4th and 5th, respectively. Unser, Jr. dominated the race, leading 82 (of 112) laps and winning for the second time at the Tamiami Park circuit. Rahal blew an engine, Mario Andretti dropped out, and Mears finished second. The results saw a shake up in the standings, with Unser, Jr. finishing second in points, Rahal third, and Mears slipping ahead of Andretti by 3 points for 4th and 5th.

Other stories from 1988 included A. J. Foyt returning to a full-time schedule (from 1980-1987, he only ran a partial schedule), and the Porsche Indy car team expanding to full-time with driver Teo Fabi. Rookie John Andretti suffered a devastating crash at the Pocono 500, but would recover before the end of the season. Jim Crawford, who suffered serious leg injuries in a crash in 1987, returned to the cockpit with a notable run at Indianapolis where he led 8 laps and finished 6th, the best result to-date for the Buick V-6 engine.

Drivers and constructorsEdit

The following teams and drivers competed for the 1988 Indy Car World Series.

Team Chassis Engine Tires No Drivers Rounds
Full-time
  Newman/Haas Racing Lola Chevrolet G 6   Mario Andretti All
  Patrick Racing March/Lola Chevrolet G 20   Emerson Fittipaldi All
  Galles Racing March Chevrolet/Cosworth G 3   Al Unser, Jr. All
  Team Penske Penske Chevrolet G 5   Rick Mears All
9   Danny Sullivan All
1/60   Al Unser 3, 9-10
  Porsche North America March Porsche G 8   Teo Fabi All
  Truesports Lola Judd/Cosworth G 1/4   Bobby Rahal All
  Kraco Racing March/Lola Cosworth G 18   Michael Andretti All
  Doug Shierson Racing March/Lola Cosworth G 30   Raul Boesel All
  Raynor Racing Lola Cosworth G 10   Derek Daly All
  Arciero Racing March Cosworth G 12   John Jones All
  Vince Granatelli Racing Lola/March Cosworth G 2/4   Roberto Guerrero All except 7-8
2/4   Al Unser 7-8
58/71/85   Gordon Johncock 3, 9-10
  Machinists Union Racing March Cosworth G 11   Kevin Cogan All except 8-11
  Scott Pruett 8, 11
55   Scott Atchison 3, 13
29/11   Rich Vogler 3, 9-10
Buick 28   Pancho Carter 3
  Dick Simon Racing Lola Cosworth G 7   Arie Luyendyk All
22   Dick Simon 1, 3-4, 9-10, 13
  Scott Pruett 2
  Didier Theys 5-8, 11-12, 14-15
23   Fulvio Ballabio 2, 11-12
  Tero Palmroth 3, 5
  Jean-Pierre Frey 14-15
  A. J. Foyt Enterprises Lola Cosworth G 14   A. J. Foyt All except 9
  Johnny Rutherford 9
March 48   Rocky Moran 3
Chevrolet 84   Stan Fox 3
  Bettenhausen Motorsports Lola/March Cosworth/Judd G 16   Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. All except 5 and 15
  Dennis Vitolo 15
  Alex Morales Motorsports March Cosworth G 21   Howdy Holmes All
  Hemelgarn Racing Lola Judd/Cosworth/Buick G 91   Scott Brayton All except 11-12 and 14
71   Ludwig Heimrath 2-3, 5-8, 11-12, 15
  Ken Johnson 14
81/71   Tom Sneva 3, 9
  Gohr Racing March Cosworth G 56   Rocky Moran 2, 5-8, 11-12, 14-15
  Billy Vukovich III 1, 3, 9-10
  Curb Racing Lola Cosworth G 98   John Andretti All except 11-12 and 14-15
  Leader Card Racing Lola Cosworth G 24   Randy Lewis All except 13
16   Dominic Dobson 5
Part-time
  Dobson Motorsports Lola Cosworth G 17/92   Dominic Dobson 3, 14
  Dale Coyne Racing March Chevrolet G 19   Dale Coyne 3-11, 13-15
  Dominic Dobson 2
  Los Angeles Drywall March Cosworth G 27   Dick Ferguson 2
  Ed Pimm 3
  Bernstein Racing Lola Buick G 15   Jim Crawford 3
17   Johnny Rutherford 3
  KargoStopper Lola Cosworth G 88   Darin Brassfield 11, 14
  BDR Racing March Cosworth G 43   Steve Bren 14
  Gary Trout Motorsports March Cosworth G 33   Steve Chassey 3
35   Ed Pimm 11-12
  Andale Racing March Cosworth G 69   Bernard Jourdain 14-15
  U.S. Engineering March Cosworth G 77   Phil Krueger 6, 9-10
  Kent Baker Racing March Cosworth G 97   Phil Krueger 3
  Scheid Tire Centers March Cosworth G 46   Gary Bettenhausen 3
  Calumet Farms March Chevrolet G 84   George Snider 3
  GF Racing March Cosworth G 25   Giupponi Franca 11, 14
  José Romano 12, 15
  Indiana Carbon March Cosworth G 87   Spike Gehlhausen 3
  Mergard March Cosworth G 36   Harry Sauce 3
  Performers, Inc. March Cosworth G 77   Tom Bigelow 3

Season SummaryEdit

ScheduleEdit

Rd Date Race Name Track City
1 April 10 Checker 200 Phoenix International Raceway (O) Phoenix, Arizona
2 April 17 Grand Prix of Long Beach Long Beach Street Circuit (S) Long Beach, California
3 May 29 Indianapolis 500 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (O) Speedway, Indiana
4 June 5 Miller High Life 200 Milwaukee Mile (O) West Allis, Wisconsin
5 June 19 Budweiser/G.I.Joe's 200 Portland International Raceway (R) Portland, Oregon
6 July 3 Budweiser Grand Prix of Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport (S) Cleveland, Ohio
7 July 17 Molson Indy Toronto Exhibition Place (S) Toronto, Ontario
8 July 24 Marlboro Grand Prix Meadowlands Street Circuit (S) East Rutherford, New Jersey
9 August 7 Marlboro 500 Michigan International Speedway (O) Brooklyn, Michigan
10 August 21 Quaker State 500 Pocono International Raceway (O) Long Pond, Pennsylvania
11 September 4 Escort Radar Warning 200 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (R) Lexington, Ohio
12 September 11 Briggs And Stratton 200 Road America (R) Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
13 September 25 Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix Nazareth Speedway (O) Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
14 October 16 Champion Spark Plug 300k Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (R) Monterey, California
NC November 5 Marlboro Challenge Tamiami Park (S) Miami, Florida
15 November 6 Nissan Indy Challenge Tamiami Park (S) Miami, Florida

Race resultsEdit

Rnd Race Name Pole position Winning driver Winning team Race time Report
1 Checker 200   Rick Mears   Mario Andretti Newman/Haas Racing 1:38:22 Report
2 Long Beach Grand Prix   Danny Sullivan   Al Unser, Jr. Galles Racing 1:53:47 Report
3 Indianapolis 500   Rick Mears   Rick Mears Team Penske 3:27:10 Report
4 Miller High Life 200   Michael Andretti   Rick Mears Team Penske 1:37:42 Report
5 Budweiser/G. I. Joe's 200   Danny Sullivan   Danny Sullivan Team Penske 1:57:17 Report
6 Budweiser Grand Prix of Cleveland   Danny Sullivan   Mario Andretti Newman/Haas Racing 1:35:46 Report
7 Molson Indy Toronto   Danny Sullivan   Al Unser, Jr. Galles Racing 1:59:34 Report
8 Meadowlands Grand Prix   Emerson Fittipaldi   Al Unser, Jr. Galles Racing 1:50:14 Report
9 Marlboro 500   Rick Mears   Danny Sullivan Team Penske 2:46:03 Report
10 Quaker State 500   Rick Mears   Bobby Rahal Truesports 3:44:21 Report
11 Escort Radar Warning 200   Danny Sullivan   Emerson Fittipaldi Patrick Racing 2:14:18 Report
12 Briggs And Stratton 200   Danny Sullivan   Emerson Fittipaldi Patrick Racing 1:38:11 Report
13 Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix   Danny Sullivan   Danny Sullivan Team Penske 1:20:47 Report
14 Champion Spark Plug 300   Danny Sullivan   Danny Sullivan Team Penske 1:58:35 Report
NC Marlboro Challenge   Danny Sullivan   Michael Andretti Kraco Racing 0:48:52 Report
15 Nissan Indy Challenge   Danny Sullivan   Al Unser, Jr. Galles Racing 1:58:08 Report

(R) Dedicated road course, (O) Oval/Speedway, (S) Temporary street circuit

NC Non-championship event

  • Indianapolis was USAC-sanctioned but counted towards the CART title.

Final driver standingsEdit

Pos Driver
PHX

LBH

INDY

MIL

POR

CLE

TOR

MEA

MIC

POC

MDO

ROA

NAZ

LAG

MIA
Pts
1   Danny Sullivan 23 13 23* 2 1 3* 2 4 1 18 5 4 1 1* 5 182
2   Al Unser, Jr. 18 1* 13 20 4 4 1* 1 21 2 4 7 19 6 1* 149
3   Bobby Rahal 16 2 5 6 12 2 5 5 2 1 18 2 12 4 18 136
4   Rick Mears 22 8 1 1* 6 23 6 3 13* 23 3 12 7* 5 2 129
5   Mario Andretti 1* 15 20 17 5 1 25 2 12 17 2 3 3 3 15 126
6   Michael Andretti 3 7 4 7 11 14 3 6 3 25 26 5 2 2 17 119
7   Emerson Fittipaldi 21 16 2 3 3 19 4 14* 19 21 1* 1* 8 16 20 105
8   Raul Boesel 5 4 7 4 26 5 8 9 11 5 6 14 5 21 22 89
9   Derek Daly 13 5 29 11 19 6 23 24 16 4 9 6 10 7 23 53
10   Teo Fabi 7 24 28 9 7 24 10 18 25 24 8 8 4 10 21 44
11   John Jones  RY  20 12 DNQ 14 8 7 7 7 8 8 7 13 11 11 16 44
12   Roberto Guerrero 2 19 32 DNQ 14 20 20 3 11 22 6 14 26 40
13   Kevin Cogan 8 3 11 22 20 10 24 24 15 9 4 40
14   Arie Luyendyk 9 10 10 15 2* 18 20 20 28 26 25 19 9 22 14 31
15   Didier Theys 10 9 18 21 10 23 8 3 29
16   A. J. Foyt 4 11 26 5 15 11 15 17 Wth 16 22 10 17 24 25 29
17   Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. 6 DNQ 33 19 15 17 8 4 15 16 16 13 26 25
18   Howdy Holmes 10 17 12 8 16 13 11 23 23 7 14 11 14 23 8 24
19   Al Unser 3 9 19 9 13* 23
20   Scott Atchison  R  12 9 DNQ 16 25 12 13 10 10 12 15 20 DNQ 25 9 17
21   Gordon Johncock DNQ 6 6 16
22   Phil Krueger 8 17 5 22 15
23   Scott Brayton 15 23 31 10 9 16 14 11 26 10 18 24 12
24   Dick Simon 19 9 12 7 19 20 11
25   Rocky Moran 6 16 13 22 12 15 13 17 28 13 9
26   Bernard Jourdain  R  20 6 8
27   Jim Crawford 6 8
28   Ludwig Heimrath 14 25 23 26 19 12 19 21 7 7
29   Randy Lewis 17 21 15 21 22 21 21 13 14 20 21 9 15 10 7
30   Billy Vukovich III  R  11 14 17 9 6
31   John Andretti 14 20 21 18 17 8 22 25 24 14 16 5
32   Rich Vogler 17 15 11 2
33   Dennis Vitolo  R  11 2
34   Dale Coyne DNS DNQ 13 24 25 16 22 27 DNQ 24 DNS DNQ 27 12 1
35   Ed Pimm DNQ 12 15 1
36   Ken Johnson  R  12 1
37   Jean-Pierre Frey  R  13 19 0
38   Scott Pruett  R  18 16 20 0
39   Fulvio Ballabio 25 17 18 0
40   Steve Bren 17 0
41   Dominic Dobson 26 18 21 18 0
42   Tero Palmroth  R  19 18 0
43   Johnny Rutherford 22 18 0
44   Darin Brassfield 23 19 0
45   Tom Sneva 27 22 0
46   Dick Ferguson 22 DNQ 0
47   Steve Chassey 24 0
48   Stan Fox 30 0
  Gary Bettenhausen DNQ 0
  Tom Bigelow DNQ 0
  Pancho Carter DNQ 0
  Giupponi Franca DNQ DNQ 0
  Spike Gehlhausen DNQ 0
  Johnny Parsons DNQ 0
  José Romano DNQ DNQ 0
  Harry Sauce DNQ 0
  George Snider DNQ 0
Pos Driver PHX LBH INDY MIL POR CLE TOR MEA MIC POC MDO ROA NAZ LAG 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
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
 RY  Rookie of the Year
 R  Rookie

Nation's CupEdit

  • Top result per race counts towards Nation's Cup.
Pos Country Pts
1   United States 317
2   Brazil 158
3   Italy 52
4   Canada 50
5   Ireland 45
6   Colombia 40
7   Netherlands 31
8   Belgium 29
9   Mexico 8
10   England 8
11   Switzerland 0
12   Finland 0
Pos Country Pts

Chassis Constructor's CupEdit

Pos Chassis Pts
1   Lola T8800/T8700 248
2   Penske PC-17 231
3   March 88C/87C/86C/85C 222
Pos Chassis Pts

Engine Manufacturer's CupEdit

Pos Engine Pts
1   Chevrolet A 320
2   Cosworth 206
3   Judd 131
4   Porsche 44
5   Buick 8
Pos Engine Pts

ReferencesEdit

  • "1988 CART Results". racing-reference.info. Retrieved 2015-12-21.
  • "1988 CART PPG IndyCar World Series standings". race-database.com. Retrieved 2011-01-15.
  • Åberg, Andreas. "PPG Indy Car World Series 1988". Driver Database. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
  • "1988 PPG Indy Car World Series". Champ Car Stats. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
  • "Official Box Score: 72nd Indianapolis 500-Mile Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway". Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
  • "Standings after Miami". Champ Car World Series. Archived from the original on 22 October 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-19.

See alsoEdit