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1981-82 American Championship Car season
Series  : USAC Championship Car
Champion : USAflagsmall George Snider
Previous: 1980 Next: 1982-83

The 1981–82 USAC Championship Car season consisted of six races, beginning in Speedway, Indiana on May 24, 1981 and concluding at the same location on May 30, 1982. The USAC National Champion was George Snider. The season included two Indianapolis 500 races. The 1981 winner was Bobby Unser, while the 1982 winner was Gordon Johncock. The schedule included dirt courses for the first time since 1970.

Schedule and resultsEdit

The United States Auto Club formed the Gold Crown Series in 1981 which was a combination of the Indianapolis 500 and other races including races on dirt tracks. It was set up so that season would extend over the course of two years with the final race of the season being the Indianapolis 500. All races running on Oval/Speedway.

Rnd Date Race Name Length Track Type Pole Position Winning Driver
1 May 24 USAflagsmall Indianapolis
500-Mile Race
500 mi
(805 km)
Indianapolis Motor
Speedway
Paved USAflagsmall Bobby Unser USAflagsmall Bobby Unser
2 June 21 USAflagsmall Van Scoy
Diamond Mines 500
305 mi
(491 km) A
Pocono International
Raceway
Paved USAflagsmall A. J. Foyt USAflagsmall A. J. Foyt
3 August 15 USAflagsmall Tony
Bettenhausen 100
100 mi
(161 km)
Illinois State
Fairgrounds
Dirt USAflagsmall Tom Bigelow USAflagsmall George Snider
4 August 30 USAflagsmall DuQuoin 100 100 mi
(161 km)
DuQuoin State
Fairgrounds
Dirt USAflagsmall Bill Engelhart USAflagsmall Rich Vogler
5 September 12 USAflagsmallHoosier Hundred 100 mi
(161 km)
Indiana State
Fairgrounds
Dirt USAflagsmall Larry Rice USAflagsmall Larry Rice
6 May 30 USAflagsmall Indianapolis
500-Mile Race
500 mi
(805 km)
Indianapolis Motor
Speedway
Paved USAflagsmall Rick Mears USAflagsmall Gordon Johncock
  • A - Scheduled for 500 miles, stopped early due to rain.

The season opened with the 1981 Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Bobby Unser would win. Wally Dallenbach, Sr. qualified the #40 car for Mario Andretti. However, after the race USAC officials penalized Unser 1 lap and the win went to Mario Andretti. Even if Andretti failed to win he would still go into the Van Scoy Diamond Mines 500 at Pocono International Raceway as the points leader as he was in possession of a USAC Class 1 License. The Van Scoy Diamond Mines 500 was won by A.J. Foyt, getting Foyt his 67th and final USAC Gold Crown win. The race was cut from 500 miles down to 305 miles due to rain. At the Tony Bettenhausen 100 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds was won by George Snider for his first and only win in USAC Gold Crown competition. At the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds Rich Vogler would win his first and only race in USAC Gold Crown competition. At the Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Larry Rice would win his only USAC Gold Crown race. The 1981 Indianapolis 500 results were changed to Bobby Unser winning the race over Mario Andretti, costing Andretti 200 points. The season ending 1982 Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis 500 was marred by the death of Gordon Smiley during qualifying (he was 36 years old), and at the start 2nd place starter Kevin Cogan would spin into the cars of A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti, while further back in the field Roger Mears, Dale Whittington, and Bobby Rahal would collide. However, Foyt and Rahal were able to continue. Gordon Johncock would beat Rick Mears to the line to win his second Indianapolis 500. George Snider would win the championship with Geoff Brabham 2nd, Tom Bigelow 3rd, A.J. Foyt 4th, and Gordon Johncock 5th.

Final points standingsEdit

Pos Driver INDY
USAflagsmall
POC
USAflagsmall
SPR
USAflagsmall
DQSF
USAflagsmall
ISF
USAflagsmall
INDY
USAflagsmall
Pts
1 USAflagsmall George Snider DNQ 4 1 3 8 21 1395
2 25px-AustraliaFLAG Geoff Brabham 5 2 28 1310
3 USAflagsmall Tom Bigelow 20 3 12* 2 5 18 1280
4 USAflagsmall A. J. Foyt 13 1 19 1045
5 USAflagsmall Gordon Johncock 9 1 1000
6 USAflagsmall Mario Andretti 2 31 805
7 USAflagsmall Rick Mears 30 2* 800
8 USAflagsmall Rich Vogler DNQ 11 1* 2 DNQ 760
9 USAflagsmall Larry Rice DNQ 21 2 13 1* DNQ 730
10 25px-AustraliaFLAG Vern Schuppan 3 17 DNQ 720
11 USAflagsmall Tom Sneva 25 16* 4 635
12 USAflagsmall Jim McElreath DNQ 7 3 17 24 DNQ 594
13 USAflagsmall Bill Vukovich, Jr. DNQ 6 17 6 DNQ 568
14 USAflagsmall Sheldon Kinser 6 22 15 7 DNQ 536
15 USAflagsmall Harry MacDonald DNQ 5 500
16 USAflagsmall Jack Hewitt 12 4 4 13 490
17 USAflagsmall Don Whittington, Jr. 31 6 405
18 USAflagsmall Gary Bettenhausen 26 27 20 18 3 12 366
19 USAflagsmall Joe Saldana 5 6 22 366
20 USAflagsmall Roger Rager DNQ 8 8 DNQ DNQ 350
21 USAflagsmall Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. 7 26 310
22 USAflagsmall Jim Hickman 7 300
23 USAflagsmall Herm Johnson DNQ 9 200
24 25px-AustraliaFLAG Dennis Firestone 10 27 160
25 USAflagsmall Johnny Parsons, Jr. DNQ 23 24 8 16 20 151
26 USAflagsmall Bill Henderson 10 150
27 USAflagsmall Greg Leffler DNQ 9 DNS 11 DNQ 100
28 USAflagsmall Bobby Rahal 11 70
29 USAflagsmall Mike Chandler 12 17 40
30 USAflagsmall Bill Whittington 21 16 40
31 USAflagsmall Larry Dickson 18 21 23 32
32 25px-Mexicoflag Héctor Rebaque 13 25
33 USAflagsmall Steve Ball DNQ 14 25
34 USAflagsmall Tim Richmond 14 DNP 25
35 USAflagsmall Danny Sullivan 14 25
36 USAflagsmall Jerry Karl 15 DNQ 25
37 USAflagsmall Chip Ganassi 15 25
38 USAflagsmall Jerry Sneva DNQ 25 23 25
39 USAflagsmall Richard Hubbard 18 20
40 USAflagsmall Dick Simon DNQ 20 DNQ 20
41 25px-Mexicoflag Josele Garza 23 29 20
42 USAflagsmall Steve Chassey DNQ 26 14 DNQ 14
43 USAflagsmall Danny Ongais 27 22 10
44 USAflagsmall Salt Walther 26 DNQ 10
45 USAflagsmall Kevin Cogan 4 30 5
46 USAflagsmall Tom Klauser 29 5
47 USAflagsmall Jan Sneva 29 DNQ 5
48 USAflagsmall Roger Mears DNQ 32 5
49 USAflagsmall Mike Mosley 33 DNQ 5
50 USAflagsmall Dale Whittington DNQ 33 5
- USAflagsmall Bobby Unser 1* DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Pancho Carter 28 3 0
- USAflagsmall Mark Alderson 11 19 19 4 0
- USAflagsmall Bill Tyler 15 DNQ 5 DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Al Unser 17 5 0
- USAflagsmall Chuck Amati 6 12 0
- USAflagsmall Jerry Nemire 7 9 0
- USAflagsmall Johnny Coogan 7 DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Johnny Rutherford 32 8 0
- USAflagsmall Steve Krisiloff 8 DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Jerry Miller DNQ DNP 9 19 0
- USAflagsmall Chip Mead 9 DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Paul Pitzer 24 DNP 10 17 0
- USAflagsmall Larry Martin 23 10 0
- USAflagsmall Art Bisch Jr. 10 DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Howdy Holmes 10 0
- USAflagsmall Ken Schrader 16 11 0
- USAflagsmall Bill Alsup 11 DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Jerry Weeks 12 0
- USAflagsmall Smokey Snellbaker 13 DNQ 15 0
- USAflagsmall Gary Gray 13 DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Jeff Bloom 19 14 18 0
- USAflagsmall Tracy Potter 14 23 DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Ron Shuman 15 DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Scott Brayton 16 DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Sleepy Tripp 16 DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Bobby Olivero 18 21 20 DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Bob Lazier 19 DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Bill Engelhart DNQ DNQ 20 26 DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Chuck Gurney 21 0
- USAflagsmall Gordon Smiley 22 DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Dean Vetrock 22 DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Gary Hieber DNQ 22 0
- USAflagsmall Pete Halsmer 24 25 0
- USAflagsmall Arnie Knepper DNQ 24 0
- USAflagsmall Chet Fillip 24 0
- USAflagsmall Steve Cannon DNQ 25 0
- USAflagsmall Manny Rockhold 25 DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Duke Cook 28 DNQ DNQ DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Steve Kinser DNQ DNS DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Bill Puterbaugh DNS DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Wally Dallenbach DNS 0
- USAflagsmall Bobby Adkins DNS 0
- USAflagsmall Gary Patterson DNQ DNQ DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Eddie Leavitt DNQ DNQ DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Al Unser, Jr. DNQ DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Patrick Bedard DNQ DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Phil Caliva DNQ DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Bob Frey DNQ DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Spike Gehlhausen DNQ DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Ken Hamilton DNQ DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Bob Harkey DNQ DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Phil Krueger DNQ DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall John Mahler DNQ DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall John Martin DNQ DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Lennie Waldo DNP DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Richard Powell DNQ DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Mack McClellan DNQ DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Jack Ziegler DNQ DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Rick Hood DNP DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Tom Bagley DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Jim Buick DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Larry Cannon DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Dick Ferguson DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Jim Hurtubise DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Bubby Jones DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Bill Tempero DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Phil Threshie DNQ 0
- 25px-Canadaflag Frank Weiss DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Billy Earl DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Tom Frantz DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Tom Gloy DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Tom Grunnah DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Hurley Haywood DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Gary Irvin DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Lee Kunzman DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Ray Lipper DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Al Loquasto DNQ 0
- 22px-Flag of Belgium (civil) Teddy Pilette DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Rusty Schmidt DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Billy Scott DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Sammy Swindell DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Leroy Van Conett DNQ 0
- Flag of South Africasmall Desiré Wilson DNQ 0
- USAflagsmall Karl Busson DNP DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Lonnie Caruthers DNP DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Ron Fieller DNP DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Mike Gregg DNP DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Bobby Marshall DNP DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Bud Wilmot DNP DNP 0
- 25px-Canadaflag Buddie Boys DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Earle Canavan DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Bobby Fisher DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Bill Compton DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Jerry Potter DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Dean Shirley DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Jerry Stone DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Mel Kenyon DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Robert Tapply DNP 0
- USAflagsmall Neil Bonnett DNP 0
Pos Driver INDY
USAflagsmall
POC
USAflagsmall
SPR
USAflagsmall
DQSF
USAflagsmall
ISF
USAflagsmall
INDY
USAflagsmall
Pts
Color Result
Gold Winner
Silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
Green 4th & 5th place
Light Blue 6th-10th place
Dark Blue Finished
(Outside Top 10)
Purple Did not finish
(Ret)
Red Did not qualify
(DNQ)
Brown Withdrawn
(Wth)
Black Disqualified
(DSQ)
White Did not start
(DNS)
Blank Did not
participate
(DNP)
Not competing
In-line notation
Bold Pole position
Italics Ran fastest race lap
* Led most race laps
Rookie of the Year
Rookie

ReferencesEdit

from the original on 2009-05-13. http://www.driverdb.com/standings/980-1982/. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 


from the original on 2009-05-13. http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1981-82.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 


See alsoEdit

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