1978 Coors 200 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1978)

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Program for the race.

Status: Lost

The 1978 Coors 200 (also known as the 1978 Texas 200) was the third race of the 1978 USAC Championship Car Season. Occurring on 15th April at the Texas World Speedway, the race would ultimately be won by polesitter Danny Ongais in a Parnelli-Cosworth, after having achieved the final lead change less than halfway through the event.

Background[edit | edit source]

The 1978 Coors 200 was the fourth running of the event, with the race lasting 200 miles.[1] It was one of two 1978 USAC Championship Car Season races to commence at Texas World Speedway, the other being the Texas Grand Prix,[2] which commenced on 6th August and was won by A.J. Foyt in a Coyote-Foyt.[3] USAC races would continue to commence at the speedway before it was completely removed from the IndyCar schedule when the 1980 race was cancelled following the USAC-CART conflict.[4]

Prior to the race, qualifying commenced with Danny Ongais winning the pole position with a speed of 211.889 mph.[1] Directly behind him was Penske-Cosworth's Mario Andretti, with Foyt lining up third out of 21 competitors.[1]

The Race[edit | edit source]

With the starting order decided, the 1978 Coors 200 commenced on 15th April.[1] Andretti shot into the lead on the opening lap, but Ongais regained it a lap later, only to lose it to Foyt on lap 3.[1] Foyt himself only held onto the first position for a lap, before Gordon Johncock in a Wildcat-DGS took over.[1] He led four laps, with Andretti taking the lead on lap 8, holding onto it for another 12.[1] When a caution period between laps 19-26 occurred, which was triggered by a crash from McLaren-Cosworth's Johnny Rutherford, Johncock emerged in front once the race restarted on lap 27.[1] He held onto it until being repassed by Andretti on lap 33.[1]

Andretti defended the lead for a further ten laps, but was unable to prevent Johncock from moving past on lap 43.[1] Three laps later, Ongais moved into the first position, in what ultimately turned out to be the final lead change.[1] From there, Ongais generally controlled proceedings, with Penske-Cosworth's Tom Sneva being his main competition.[1] He therefore claimed victory and $17,843 in prize money.[1] Sneva finished second, with Johncock a lap down in third.[1]

Availability[edit | edit source]

According to IndyCar on TV, the race received live flag-to-flag coverage from CBS as part of its CBS Sports Spectacular, being billed as the Texas 200.[5] The broadcast should not be confused with CBS' coverage of the 1978 Texas Grand Prix, which was also called the Texas 200 and can be found on YouTube.[6][3] In contrast, the Coors 200 broadcast has yet to resurface, and no footage of the race is currently publicly available.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Video[edit | edit source]

The 1978 Texas Grand Prix on CBS Sports Spectacular.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]