1970 Jimmy Bryan 150 (partially lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1970)

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Program for the race.

Status: Partially Lost

The 1970 Jimmy Bryan 150 (also known as the 1970 Phoenix 150) was the inaugural race of the 1970 USAC Championship Car Season. Occurring on 28th March at the Phoenix International Raceway, the race would ultimately be won by Al Unser in a Colt-Ford, dominating the race, with his brother Bobby finishing second in an Eagle-Ford.

Background[edit | edit source]

The 1970 Jimmy Bryan 150 was the seventh running of the event, with the annual race lasting 150 miles.[1] It was one of two 1970 USAC Championship Car Season races to commence at Phoenix International Raceway, the other being the 1970 Bobby Ball 150,[2] which occurred on 21st November and was won by Swede Savage in an Eagle-Ford.[3] The race, named in honour of 1958 Indianapolis 500 winner Jimmy Bryan,[4] would have ties with Phoenix events like the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, before Phoenix events were dropped from the IndyCar schedule after 2018 following low attendance.[5]

Prior to the race, qualifying commenced with Mario Andretti winning the pole position in a Brawner-Ford with a speed of 128.571 mph.[1] Directly behind him was Al Unser, with Bobby Unser lining up third out of 24 competitors.[1]

The Race[edit | edit source]

With the starting order decided, the 1970 Jimmy Bryan 150 commenced on 28th March.[1] Andretti held his lead from the opening lap, defending it for 14 laps before Al Unser made what was ultimately the only lead change on lap 15.[1] Nevertheless, Andretti remained in contention, and according to The New York Times, was the only driver that would challenge Unser for the win.[6] On lap 41, a six-car crash occurred, resulting in a red flag period lasting 50 minutes, with no drivers being injured.[6][1] When it resumed 50 minutes later, Unser maintained his lead, with Andretti retiring after 78 laps due to a broken valve.[6][1]

From there, Unser controlled proceedings, being a mile in front of Bobby and at least two miles ahead of all other drivers.[6] He therefore claimed victory and $8,165 in prize money.[1][6] Bobby made it an Unser 1-2, with Laycock-Offenhauser's Lloyd Ruby finishing a lap down in third.[6][1]

Availability[edit | edit source]

According to IndyCar on TV, the race received live coverage from ABC as part of its Wide World of Sports, alongside the Florida Derby.[7] Because of the red flag period, the coverage was extended from 90 minutes to two hours.[7] On 9th April 2013, SirDavidsMotorsports would upload the majority of the broadcast to YouTube. While it was claimed that the broadcast covered the Bobby Ball 150, analysis of the video proves it instead was transmitting the Jimmy Bryan 150, especially as clips of the Florida Derby can be seen in it.[7] The broadcast is partially lost, because the YouTube video cuts out mid-sentence with fewer than 11 laps remaining. Thus, footage of the race's finish is currently unavailable for public viewing.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Video[edit | edit source]

The majority of the ABC broadcast.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]