1976 Michigan 150 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1976)

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1976michigan1501.jpg

Program for the race.

Status: Lost

The 1976 Michigan 150 (also known as the 1976 Michigan Grand Prix) was the 11th race of the 1976 USAC Championship Car Season. Occurring on 18th September at the Michigan International Speedway, the race would ultimately be won by polesitter A.J. Foyt in a Coyote-Foyt, following a duel with Wildcat-DGS' Gordon Johncock.

Background[edit | edit source]

The 1976 Michigan 150 was the fourth running of the event, with the annual race lasting 150 miles.[1] It was one of two 1976 USAC Championship Car Season races to commence at Michigan International Speedway, the other being the Norton 200,[2] which occurred on 18th July and was won by Gordon Johncock.[3] The track would continue hosting IndyCar races until being dropped from the schedule from 2007 onwards after failing to reach a deal with IndyCar's organisers.[4]

Prior to the race, qualifying commenced with Foyt winning the pole position with a speed of 198.621 mph.[1] Directly behind him was Hopkins-Offenhauser's Roger McCluskey, with Wildcat-DGS' Wally Dallenbach lining up third out of 22 competitors.[1]

The Race[edit | edit source]

With the starting order decided, the 1976 Michigan 150 commenced on 18th September.[1] Foyt maintained his lead from the start, holding it for 18 laps before dropping it to Dallenbach on lap 19.[1] Dallenbach then held the first position until it was taken by Johnny Rutherford in a McLaren-Offenhauser on lap 31.[1] Rutherford maintained first until lap 48, where pitstops and a caution period led to the lead being taken by him, Johncock, and fellow McLaren-Offenhauser driver Tom Sneva, before Johncock moved into the first position on lap 56.[1]

From there, the battle for the lead centred around Johncock and Foyt, which intensified following a caution period from laps 63 to 68.[1] When the race resumed, Foyt took the lead, but Johncock regained it three laps later on lap 72.[1] This lead proved short-lived however, when Foyt achieved the final lead change a lap later.[1] He ultimately defended it from Johncock for the remaining three laps to claim victory and $13,466 in prize money.[1] Johncock held on to finish second, with Dallenbach taking third.[1]

Availability[edit | edit source]

According to IndyCar on TV, 45 minutes of highlights were televised by ABC on 25th September 1976 as part of its Wide World of Sports, alongside the World Figure Skating Championships.[5] 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]