United States Automobile Club: Wikis

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United States Auto Club
USAC
United States Auto Club logo 2009.png
Sport Auto racing
Area of jurisdiction United States
Formation date 1955[1]
Headquarters Speedway, Indiana
President Kevin Miller
Chairman John Capels
Official website
www.usacracing.com
United States

The United States Auto Club (USAC) is one of the sanctioning bodies of auto racing in the United States. From 1956 to 1979, the USAC sanctioned the United States National Championship, and from 1956 to 1997 the organization sanctioned the Indianapolis 500. Today, the USAC serves as the sanctioning body for a number of racing series, including the Silver Crown Series, National Sprint Car Series, National Midget Series, Ford Focus Series, .25 Midget Series, and Traxxas TORC Series.

Contents

History

The USAC was formed by Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony Hulman when the American Automobile Association (AAA) withdrew from auto racing following the 1955 Le Mans disaster. It became the arbiter of rules, car design, and other matters for what it termed championship auto racing. This became the term describing a car built to be used in the highest level of USAC racing. For a while there was a separate series of specifications for championship cars designed to be run on dirt, rather than paved, tracks.

The USAC’s long history as on open-wheel sanctioning body continues today with the Silver Crown Series, National Sprint Car Series, National Midget Series, Ford Focus Series, .25 Midget Series, and Traxxas TORC Series. NASCAR stars including Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, and Kasey Kahne honed their skills and captured championships while competing in various USAC series.

Alison MacLeod is currently the Winningest Female in USAC history

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The Triple Crown

The "Triple Crown" is earned in USAC racing when a driver claims all three national championships (Silver Crown, Sprint Car, and Midget Car). Only two drivers, Tony Stewart (1995) and J.J. Yeley (2003), have achieved the triple crown in a single season.

1978 plane crash

On April 23, 1978, eight key members of the USAC, plus the pilot, were killed when their 10-seat Piper Navajo Chieftain crashed during a thunderstorm 25 miles southeast of Indianapolis.[2]

Killed were:

  • Ray Marquette, USAC's vice-president of public affairs and a former sportswriter for The Indianapolis Star
  • Frank Delroy, chairman of the USAC technical committee
  • Shim Malone, starter for USAC races and head of its midget racer division
  • Judy Phillips, graphic artist and publication director of USAC's newsletter
  • Stan Worley, chief registrar
  • Ross Teeguarden, assistant technnical chairman
  • Don Peabody, head of the sprint division
  • Dr. Bruce White, assistant staff doctor
  • Don Mullendore, owner and pilot of the plane.

The effect on the USAC, and for open-wheel racing in the United States, was devastating, especially since it closely followed the death of Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony Hulman.

End of championship car sanctioning

Unfortunately, the crash came at a time when Indy Car owners and drivers were demanding changes from the USAC. Aside from the Indianapolis 500, USAC events were not well attended, and the owners felt that the USAC poorly negotiated television rights. The owners also wanted increases in payouts, especially Indy.[3]

Also unpopular were the attempts of the USAC to keep the aging Offenhauser engine competitive with the newer, and much more expensive, Cosworth DFV engine using boost-limiting "pop off valves" and limiting the amount of fuel that could be used.[4]

Finally, most car owners banded together to form Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) in 1978, with the first race to be run in 1979. USAC tried unsuccessfully to ban all CART owners from the 1979 Indianapolis 500, finally losing in court before the race began. Both the USAC and CART ran race schedules in 1979.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway president John Cooper was instrumental in forming a joint body of CART and the USAC with the creation of the Championship Racing League in March 1980. However, in mid 1980, Cooper forced USAC to renounce their agreement with the CRL if they wanted to keep officiating the Indy 500.[5] After the USAC's disastrous attempt at a 500-mile races at Pocono Raceway – which was boycotted by the CART teams, forcing USAC to fill the field with silver crown cars – USAC and CART eventually settled into a relatively peaceful co-existence, with the USAC continuing to sanction the Indianapolis 500, and CART including the race in its schedule.

USAC Championship Car Series

USAC Championship Car Season Champions (1956-1980)

USAC Gold Crown Series

USAC Gold Crown Series Champions (1981-1995)

USAC Silver Crown Series

USAC Silver Crown Series Champions

  • 1971 - George Snider Fresno, CA Wilke #4
  • 1972 - A.J. Foyt Houston, TX Foyt #3
  • 1973 - Al Unser Albuquerque, NM Miletich/Jones #2
  • 1974 - Mario Andretti Montona, Italy Miletich/Jones #2
  • 1975 - Jimmy Caruthers Anaheim, CA Middleton #55
  • 1976 - Billy Cassella Weirton, WV Seymour #29
  • 1977 - Larry Rice Crawfordsville, IN LeFevre #4
  • 1978 - Pancho Carter Racine, WI Capels #21
  • 1979 - Bobby Olivero Lakewood, CA Kurtz #30
  • 1980 - Gary Bettenhausen Tinley Park, IL Delrose/Holt #12
  • 1981 - Larry Rice Crawfordsville, IN Knepper #55
  • 1982 - Ken Schrader Fenton, MO Fortune #39
  • 1983 - Gary Bettenhausen Tinley Park, IL Delrose/Holt #9
  • 1984 - Dave Blaney Wooster, OH DePalma #58
  • 1985 - Rick Hood Phoenix, AZ Fortune #39
  • 1986 - Jack Hewitt Troy, OH Hampshire #63
  • 1987 - Jack Hewitt Troy, OH Hampshire #63
  • 1988 - Steve Butler Amarillo, TX Jarrett #10
  • 1989 - Chuck Gurney Heyward, CA Kurtz #30
  • 1990 - Jimmy Sills Placerville, CA Consani #54
  • 1991 - Jeff Gordon Vallejo, CA Ede #35
  • 1992 - Steve Butler Amarillo, TX Jarrett #10
  • 1993 - Mike Bliss Milwaukie, OR McClure #69
  • 1994 - Jimmy Sills Placerville, CA Stanton #75
  • 1995 - Tony Stewart Columbus, IN Boles #25
  • 1996 - Jimmy Sills Placerville, CA Stanton #75
  • 1997 - Dave Darland Lincoln, IN Foxco #56
  • 1998 - Jason Leffler Long Beach, CA Goetz #9
  • 1999 - Ryan Newman South Bend, IN Ede #14
  • 2000 - Tracy Hines New Castle, IN Riggs #37
  • 2001 - Paul White Temple, TX Cook #10
  • 2002 - J. J. Yeley Phoenix, AZ Stewart/East #9
  • 2003 - J. J. Yeley Phoenix, AZ Stewart/East #9
  • 2004 - Dave Steele Tampa, FL Stewart/East #9
  • 2005 - Dave Steele Tampa, FL Stewart/East #9
  • 2006 - Bud Kaeding Campbell, CA BK/Leffler #29
  • 2007 - Bud Kaeding Campbell, CA BK #29
  • 2008 - Jerry Coons, Jr. Tucson, AZ RW #27
  • 2009 - Bud Kaeding Campbell, CA BK #29

USAC Sprint Car Series

USAC Sprint Car Series Champions From 1956-1960 the USAC National Sprint Car Championship was divided into two divisions (Midwest and East).

USAC National Midget Series

USAC National Midget Series Champions

USAC Stock Cars

The USAC featured a stock car division from 1956 to 1984.

Past Champions
Year Champion 2nd Place 3rd Place Rookie Of The Year
1956* Johnny Mantz Marshall Teague Les Snow None
1957 Jerry Unser Ralph Moody Sam Hanks None
1958 Fred Lorenzen Mike Klapak Norm Nelson None
1959 Fred Lorenzen Mike Klapak Nelson Stacy None
1960 Norm Nelson Paul Goldsmith Tony Bettenhausen None
1961 Paul Goldsmith Norm Nelson Elmer Musgrave None
1962 Paul Goldsmith Don White Norm Nelson None
1963 Don White A.J. Foyt Norm Nelson Sal Tovella
1964 Parnelli Jones Norm Nelson Don White Joe Leonard
1965 Norm Nelson Paul Goldsmith Don White Billy Foster
1966 Norm Nelson Don White Billy Foster Butch Hartman
1967 Don White Parnelli Jones Jack Bowsher Al Unser
1968 A.J. Foyt Roger McCluskey Don White Dick Trickle
1969 Roger McCluskey A.J. Foyt Don White Verlin Eaker
1970 Roger McCluskey Norm Nelson A.J. Foyt Billy Reis
1971 Butch Hartman Jack Bowsher Roger McCluskey J. Booher/B. Schroyer
1972 Butch Hartman Roger McCluskey Paul Feldner Chuck McWilliams
1973 Butch Hartman Ramo Stott Bay Darnell Irv Janey
1974 Butch Hartman Norm Nelson Ramo Stott Ken Rowley
1975 Ramo Stott Butch Hartman Sal Tovella Len Gittemeier
1976 Butch Hartman Ramo Stott Sal Tovella Wayne Watercutter
1977 Paul Feldner Ramo Stott Sal Tovella Dave Watson
1978 A.J. Foyt Terry Ryan Bay Darnell Joe Ruttman
1979 A.J. Foyt Bay Darnell Rusty Wallace Rusty Wallace
1980 Joe Ruttman Rusty Wallace Bay Darnell Ken Schrader
1981 Dean Roper Sal Tovella Ken Schrader Rick Hanley
1982 Dean Roper Bay Darnell Rick O'Brien J. Schwister/J. Lindhorst
1983 Dean Roper Butch Garner Rick O'Brien Roger Drake
1984 David Goldsberry Ken Rowley Jim Hall David Goldsberry

* The inaugural season featured two subtitles: Pacific Coast (won by Sam Hanks) and Short Track (Troy Ruttman).

References

  1. ^ USAC Information insmkt.com. Retrieved on August 19, 2007.
  2. ^ Indiana plane crashes indystar.com, published May 1, 2002.
  3. ^ The battles wage on and off the tracks automedia.com.
  4. ^ The CART-USAC War: part 1 oreopolis.com. Originally published in NUVO Newsweekly - January 25, 1996.
  5. ^ The CART-USAC War: part 2 oreopolis.com. Originally published in NUVO Newsweekly - January 25, 1996.
  6. ^ "1981-82 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1981-82.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-25.  
  7. ^ "1982-83 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1982-83.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-25.  
  8. ^ "1983-84 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1983-84.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-25.  
  9. ^ "1984-85 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1985u.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-25.  
  10. ^ "1985-86 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1986u.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-25.  
  11. ^ "1986-87 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1987u.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-25.  
  12. ^ "1987-88 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1988u.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-25.  
  13. ^ "1988-89 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1989u.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-25.  
  14. ^ "1989-90 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1990u.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-25.  
  15. ^ "1990-91 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1991u.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-25.  
  16. ^ "1991-92 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1992u.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-25.  
  17. ^ "1992-93 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1993u.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-25.  
  18. ^ "1993-94 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1994u.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-25.  
  19. ^ "1994-95 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1995u.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-25.  

External links


United States Auto Club
USAC
File:United States Auto Club logo
Sport Auto racing
Area of jurisdiction United States
Formation date 1955[1]
Headquarters Speedway, Indiana
President Kevin Miller
Chairman John Capels
Official website
www.usacracing.com
Template:Country data USA

The United States Auto Club (USAC) is one of the sanctioning bodies of auto racing in the United States. From 1956 to 1979, the USAC sanctioned the United States National Championship, and from 1956 to 1997 the organization sanctioned the Indianapolis 500. Today, the USAC serves as the sanctioning body for a number of racing series, including the Silver Crown Series, National Sprint Car Series, National Midget Series, Ford Focus Series, .25 Midget Series, and TORC Series.

Contents

History

The USAC was formed by Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony Hulman when the American Automobile Association (AAA) withdrew from auto racing following the 1955 Le Mans disaster. It became the arbiter of rules, car design, and other matters for what it termed championship auto racing. This became the term describing a car built to be used in the highest level of USAC racing. For a while there was a separate series of specifications for championship cars designed to be run on dirt, rather than paved, tracks.

The USAC’s long history as on open-wheel sanctioning body continues today with the Silver Crown Series, National Sprint Car Series, National Midget Series, Ford Focus Series, .25 Midget Series, and TORC Series. NASCAR stars including Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, and Kasey Kahne honed their skills and captured championships while competing in various USAC series.

1978 plane crash

On April 23, 1978, eight key members of the USAC, plus the pilot, were killed when their 10-seat Piper Navajo Chieftain crashed during a thunderstorm 25 miles southeast of Indianapolis.[2]

Killed were:

  • Ray Marquette, USAC's vice-president of public affairs and a former sportswriter for The Indianapolis Star
  • Frank Delroy, chairman of the USAC technical committee
  • Shim Malone, starter for USAC races and head of its midget racer division
  • Judy Phillips, graphic artist and publication director of USAC's newsletter
  • Stan Worley, chief registrar
  • Ross Teeguarden, assistant technnical chairman
  • Don Peabody, head of the sprint division
  • Dr. Bruce White, assistant staff doctor
  • Don Mullendore, owner and pilot of the plane.

The effect on the USAC, and for open-wheel racing in the United States, was devastating, especially since it closely followed the death of Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony Hulman.

End of championship car sanctioning

Unfortunately, the crash came at a time when Indy Car owners and drivers were demanding changes from the USAC. Aside from the Indianapolis 500, USAC events were not well attended, and the owners felt that the USAC poorly negotiated television rights. The owners also wanted increases in payouts, especially Indy.[3]

Also unpopular were the attempts of the USAC to keep the aging Offenhauser engine competitive with the newer, and much more expensive, Cosworth DFV engine using boost-limiting "pop off valves" and limiting the amount of fuel that could be used.[4]

Finally, most car owners banded together to form Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) in 1978, with the first race to be run in 1979. USAC tried unsuccessfully to ban all CART owners from the 1979 Indianapolis 500, finally losing in court before the race began. Both the USAC and CART ran race schedules in 1979.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway president John Cooper was instrumental in forming a joint body of CART and the USAC with the creation of the Championship Racing League in March 1980. However, in mid 1980, Cooper forced USAC to renounce their agreement with the CRL if they wanted to keep officiating the Indy 500.[5] After the USAC's disastrous attempt at a 500-mile races at Pocono Raceway – which was boycotted by the CART teams, forcing USAC to fill the field with sprint cars – USAC and CART eventually settled into a relatively peaceful co-existence, with the USAC continuing to sanction the Indianapolis 500, and CART including the race in its schedule.

USAC Championship Car Series

Template:Main article USAC Championship Car Season Champions (1956-1980)

USAC Gold Crown Series

USAC Gold Crown Series Champions (1981-1995)

USAC Silver Crown Series

USAC Silver Crown Series Champions

  • 1971 - George Snider Fresno, CA Wilke #4
  • 1972 - A.J. Foyt Houston, TX Foyt #3
  • 1973 - Al Unser Albuquerque, NM Miletich/Jones #2
  • 1974 - Mario Andretti Montona, Italy Miletich/Jones #2
  • 1975 - Jimmy Caruthers Anaheim, CA Middleton #55
  • 1976 - Billy Cassella Weirton, WV Seymour #29
  • 1977 - Larry Rice Crawfordsville, IN LeFevre #4
  • 1978 - Pancho Carter Racine, WI Capels #21
  • 1979 - Bobby Olivero Lakewood, CA Kurtz #30
  • 1980 - Gary Bettenhausen Tinley Park, IL Delrose/Holt #12
  • 1981 - Larry Rice Crawfordsville, IN Knepper #55
  • 1982 - Ken Schrader Fenton, MO Fortune #39
  • 1983 - Gary Bettenhausen Tinley Park, IL Delrose/Holt #9
  • 1984 - Dave Blaney Wooster, OH DePalma #58
  • 1985 - Rick Hood Phoenix, AZ Fortune #39
  • 1986 - Jack Hewitt Troy, OH Hampshire #63
  • 1987 - Jack Hewitt Troy, OH Hampshire #63
  • 1988 - Steve Butler Amarillo, TX Jarrett #10
  • 1989 - Chuck Gurney Heyward, CA Kurtz #30
  • 1990 - Jimmy Sills Placerville, CA Consani #54
  • 1991 - Jeff Gordon Vallejo, CA Ede #35
  • 1992 - Steve Butler Amarillo, TX Jarrett #10
  • 1993 - Mike Bliss Milwaukie, OR McClure #69
  • 1994 - Jimmy Sills Placerville, CA Stanton #75
  • 1995 - Tony Stewart Columbus, IN Boles #25
  • 1996 - Jimmy Sills Placerville, CA Stanton #75
  • 1997 - Dave Darland Lincoln, IN Foxco #56
  • 1998 - Jason Leffler Long Beach, CA Goetz #9
  • 1999 - Ryan Newman South Bend, IN Ede #14
  • 2000 - Tracy Hines New Castle, IN Riggs #37
  • 2001 - Paul White Temple, TX Cook #10
  • 2002 - J. J. Yeley Phoenix, AZ Stewart/East #9
  • 2003 - J. J. Yeley Phoenix, AZ Stewart/East #9
  • 2004 - Dave Steele Tampa, FL Stewart/East #9
  • 2005 - Dave Steele Tampa, FL Stewart/East #9
  • 2006 - Bud Kaeding Campbell, CA BK/Leffler #29
  • 2007 - Bud Kaeding Campbell, CA BK #29
  • 2008 - Jerry Coons, Jr. Tucson, AZ RW #27

USAC Sprint Car Series

USAC Sprint Car Series Champions From 1956-1960 the USAC National Sprint Car Championship was divided into two divisions (Midwest and East).

USAC National Midget Series

USAC National Midget Series Champions

USAC Stock Cars

The USAC featured a stock car division from 1956 to 1984.

Past Champions
Year Champion 2nd Place 3rd Place Rookie Of The Year
1956* Johnny Mantz Marshall Teague Les Snow None
1957 Jerry Unser Ralph Moody Sam Hanks None
1958 Fred Lorenzen Mike Klapak Norm Nelson None
1959 Fred Lorenzen Mike Klapak Nelson Stacy None
1960 Norm Nelson Paul Goldsmith Tony Bettenhausen None
1961 Paul Goldsmith Norm Nelson Elmer Musgrave None
1962 Paul Goldsmith Don White Norm Nelson None
1963 Don White A.J. Foyt Norm Nelson Sal Tovella
1964 Parnelli Jones Norm Nelson Don White Joe Leonard
1965 Norm Nelson Paul Goldsmith Don White Billy Foster
1966 Norm Nelson Don White Billy Foster Butch Hartman
1967 Don White Parnelli Jones Jack Bowsher Al Unser
1968 A.J. Foyt Roger McCluskey Don White Dick Trickle
1969 Roger McCluskey A.J. Foyt Don White Verlin Eaker
1970 Roger McCluskey Norm Nelson A.J. Foyt Billy Reis
1971 Butch Hartman Jack Bowsher Roger McCluskey J. Booher/B. Schroyer
1972 Butch Hartman Roger McCluskey Paul Feldner Chuck McWilliams
1973 Butch Hartman Ramo Stott Bay Darnell Irv Janey
1974 Butch Hartman Norm Nelson Ramo Stott Ken Rowley
1975 Ramo Stott Butch Hartman Sal Tovella Len Gittemeier
1976 Butch Hartman Ramo Stott Sal Tovella Wayne Watercutter
1977 Paul Feldner Ramo Stott Sal Tovella Dave Watson
1978 A.J. Foyt Terry Ryan Bay Darnell Joe Ruttman
1979 A.J. Foyt Bay Darnell Rusty Wallace Rusty Wallace
1980 Joe Ruttman Rusty Wallace Bay Darnell Ken Schrader
1981 Dean Roper Sal Tovella Ken Schrader Rick Hanley
1982 Dean Roper Bay Darnell Rick O'Brien J. Schwister/J. Lindhorst
1983 Dean Roper Butch Garner Rick O'Brien Roger Drake
1984 David Goldsberry Ken Rowley Jim Hall David Goldsberry

* The inaugural season featured two subtitles: Pacific Coast (won by Sam Hanks) and Short Track (Troy Ruttman).

References

  1. USAC Information insmkt.com. Retrieved on August 19, 2007.
  2. Indiana plane crashes indystar.com, published May 1, 2002.
  3. The battles wage on and off the tracks automedia.com.
  4. The CART-USAC War: part 1 oreopolis.com. Originally published in NUVO Newsweekly - January 25, 1996.
  5. The CART-USAC War: part 2 oreopolis.com. Originally published in NUVO Newsweekly - January 25, 1996.
  6. "1981-82 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1981-82.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-25. 
  7. "1982-83 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1982-83.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-25. 
  8. "1983-84 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1983-84.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-25. 
  9. "1984-85 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1985u.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-25. 
  10. "1985-86 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1986u.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-25. 
  11. "1986-87 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1987u.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-25. 
  12. "1987-88 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1988u.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-25. 
  13. "1988-89 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1989u.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-25. 
  14. "1989-90 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1990u.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-25. 
  15. "1990-91 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1991u.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-25. 
  16. "1991-92 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1992u.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-25. 
  17. "1992-93 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1993u.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-25. 
  18. "1993-94 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1994u.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-25. 
  19. "1994-95 Gold Crown Championship". ChampCarStats.com. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1995u.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-25. 

External links


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