1968 Trenton 150 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1968)

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1968trenton1501.jpg

Program for the race.

Status: Lost

The 1968 Trenton 150 was the fourth race of the 1968 USAC Championship Car Season. Occurring on 21st April at the Trenton Speedway, the race would ultimately be won by Bobby Unser in an Eagle-Offenhauser, after fending off a comeback by Brawner-Ford's Mario Andretti.

Background[edit | edit source]

The 1968 Trenton 150 was the seventh running of the event, with the annual race lasting 150 miles.[1] It was one of two 1968 USAC Championship Car Season races to occur at Trenton Speedway,[2] the other being the Trenton 200, which occurred on 22nd September and was won by Mario Andretti.[3] Trenton would continue hosting IndyCar races until 1979 before it was dropped from the schedule and demolished in 1980.[4]

Prior to the race, qualifying commenced with previous year's winner Andretti winning the pole position with a speed of 115.979 mph.[1] Directly behind him was Eagle-Offenhauser's Roger McCluskey, with Lloyd Ruby lining up third in a Mongoose-Offenhauser.[1] Bobby Unser qualified fourth out of 23 competitors,[1] with him aiming to win his third consecutive USAC event.[5][2]

The Race[edit | edit source]

With the starting order decided, the 1968 Trenton 150 commenced on 21st April.[1] Andretti maintained his lead from the start, holding it for eight laps before dropping it to Unser.[5][1] Andretti then fell to fourth, as Unser began to control proceedings.[5] Indeed, The New York Times noted that Unser was never seriously threatened throughout the remaining 142 laps, but caution periods resulted in him repeatedly losing the gaps he had built.[5][1]

On lap 65, Andretti began to recover, duelling for second with Finley-Offenhauser's Wally Dallenbach and Gerhardt-Offenhauser's Gordon Johncock.[5] He managed to move into the second position after Johncock spun-out.[5] Andretti then attempted to make a move for the lead, chasing Unser for the final 30 laps.[5] Ultimately, Unser remained in control, taking victory with a 100-yard margin and $6,603 in prize money.[5][1] Andretti finished second, while Dallenbach took third.[5][1] Post-race, Unser claimed he could have built a bigger lead were it not for the caution periods, stating "I could have gone faster, but there wasn't any point in pressing my early advantage with all those yellow flags waving."[5] This was Unser's third consecutive victory of the Season.[5][2]

Availability[edit | edit source]

According to IndyCar on TV, 45 minutes of highlights were televised by ABC on 27th April 1968 as part of its Wide World of Sports, alongside the North American Gymnastics Championships.[6] The broadcast has yet to resurface however, and no footage of the race is currently publicly available.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]