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1978 Texas World 200

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  • 1978 Texas World 200

    What were the end results of the controversy involving the Texas World 200? Upon trying to research this I found this video of the race. There's so much that I don't remember or didn't understand at the time (I was 14). It was said that the field was divided into two groups, V8's and 4-cylinders and all were turbo-charged and all were racing as one. The 4-cylinder cars were called the 'protest-group' and seemed to be comprised of the less funded teams. Apparently the record was set in 1973 by Mario Andretti at 214 mph but the protest involved slowing the cars. USAC maintained there was no simple or fair way of doing so?! Was this one of the precursors that led to the formation of CART?

    I was surprised to see George Snider driving for Roger Penske. I had always believed he had only raced for AJ. It was claimed that there was no turbo-limiting device, was that to mean that there were no pop-off valves for the engines? Was that for all races or just this one?

    ​a bad day at the race track beats a good day at work

  • #2
    Snider was a field filler to maybe bump one of the 4 cylinder cars. He pulled off on the pace lap.

    The stands look like today, hmmmm....
    "You just don't know what Indy Means", Al Unser Jr.

    "That's why to me it does feel more precious when an American wins it...", Michael Andretti

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    • #3
      One camera up high

      One down low

      Thr kid taping the races at the local short track has more cameras these days
      Live like Dave

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      • #4
        I was really hoping there were people here that knew and remembered this and had insight into the events.
        ​a bad day at the race track beats a good day at work

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        • #5
          Originally posted by kevin99 View Post
          Snider was a field filler to maybe bump one of the 4 cylinder cars. He pulled off on the pace lap.

          The stands look like today, hmmmm....
          Texas World Speedway never drew big crowds; not for Indianapolis cars, not for NASCAR (which drew even smaller crowds than the Indy cars), and not for the one Can-Am race run there. I don't know whether the location was wrong or what but the track never did catch on in what is mainly football country.

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          • #6
            I attended that race The place was not really close to a major metro that I recall. My wife (who was a good sport to go along) and I drove from Oklahoma City, and it was a very long drive. I just wanted to see an Indy race somewhere other than Indy and Milwaukee on a newer high banked track. I was crazy at the time I guess. It seemed like quite a place. It was so long ago, I just remember that Foyt won it, and ran up front all day to the happiness of the home team crowd. I vaguely, now that it was mentioned recalled the 4 cylinder thing, but I didn't think much about it at the time. Too bad that half of that posted video is pace laps!

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            • #7
              As I stated I was still quite young and despite still being a big fan back then I have forgotten more than I remember. I did a search trying to find out more about this race and found almost next to nothing so far, except this video. I believe that most of the 4-cylinder cars were part of the protest teams that were aligned with USAC which were against the new Cosworth V8 turbo's being allowed. Costs of the motors was another issue that was part of the protest by many. What strikes me now as odd is that AJ Foyt was aligned with USAC when CART was formed yet he had his own Ford V8 turbo. The 'protest teams' deliberately qualified at a significantly slower speed, in the range of something less than 100 mph. Danny Ongais was the defending winner having won the spring race at TWS but had blown a motor the day before and had to sit out of that race It was mentioned that the costs of a motor at that time was in the range of $30,000.00.
              ​a bad day at the race track beats a good day at work

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              • #8
                Was this the show where Krisiloff and Foyt had some kind of issue?
                You've worked so hard on the kidney. Very special -- the kidney has a very special place in the heart. It's an incredible thing. Donald John Trump

                Brian's Wish * Jason Foundation

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jamski View Post
                  Was this the show where Krisiloff and Foyt had some kind of issue?
                  Issue meaning...?,...between them?,..with their equipment?? I do know that Foyt won this one.
                  ​a bad day at the race track beats a good day at work

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                  • #10
                    Awesome Roach, many thanks!
                    ​a bad day at the race track beats a good day at work

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                    • #11
                      Just brushed up a bit with Dick Wallen's Seventies Championship Revolution. 1978 was the year that the conflict between the car owners and USAC came to a head, along with the USAC plane crash, etc. CART was in the process of starting up, and every problem with the officiating, promotion, purses, or technical issues, was used as ammunition by the car owners against USAC. The protest qually trick by the Offy-powered car owners is mentioned; I get the impression it was an equivalency issue. The Cosworth was obviously the coming thing, but a lot of those car owners were running on a shoestring, and the Offy, "strained to its limits" competing with the Cosworths (which now had two and a half seasons of Indy car competition for development), was old and cheap. Likewise, A.J's decade-old Ford-derived Foyt V8 was long in the tooth, clunky, heavy, and did the Coyote no favors aerodynamically. He was still competitive, but he had to have known its days were numbered. He could probably see it becoming uncompetitive within the next year, with USAC showing little or no interest in making concessions to it to allow it to keep up with the Cosworths, just like what was happening with the Offy. Earlier in the year, Team Penske held a press event in NYC where Roger actually said, "I can't afford to build 4 new cars for Indy next year," although Wallen gives the impression that few reporters believed him. No matter who you believe, the bottom line appears to be that the teams with Offy-powered cars were apparently feeling that they were being either intentionally obsoleted to force more Cosworths into the fold, or just ignored by a lackadaisical sanctioning body.

                      As for the Krisiloff/Foyt deal: Steve and Johnny Rutherford apparently claimed that A.J. had illegally passed the pace car during a mid-race caution. JR didn't feel compelled to press the issue; Krisiloff did. Apparently he barged into Victory Lane while A.J. was accepting the trophy, shouting that Foyt had "cheated." Well, we all know what happens when you barge in on a Foyt victory celebration....in Texas especially. According to Wallen, one of A.J's crew physically picked Steve up and hauled him away to cool off, while the rest of the crew held A.J. back from clobbering him. Of course, Foyt kept the win, purse and points. And it was probably more ammo for the CART side of the coming split that would occur the next year.

                      That's what I can glean from that account in that book, anyway. Your mileage may vary.
                      "Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang

                      "If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio

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                      • #12
                        According to the Harms statistics the drivers of the Offies and DGSes qualified "at slow speed" in protest at the rules.

                        Looks like they raced at slow speed as well.

                        AJ picked up $15k for the win. Same weekend, five drivers got more at the Talladega 500...Dallenbach got less than five grand coming fourth, even Tighe Scott got more than that...
                        "An emphasis was placed on drivers with road racing backgrounds which meant drivers from open wheel, oval track racing were at a disadvantage. That led Tony George to create the IRL." -Indy Review 1996

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                        • #13
                          Mike Lucid photos:





                          "You people worry too much. Strive for change. Root for your favorites. Enjoy the racing. Drop the flag." rev-ed, 3/04

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sea Fury View Post
                            As for the Krisiloff/Foyt deal: Steve and Johnny Rutherford apparently claimed that A.J. had illegally passed the pace car during a mid-race caution. JR didn't feel compelled to press the issue; Krisiloff did. Apparently he barged into Victory Lane while A.J. was accepting the trophy, shouting that Foyt had "cheated." Well, we all know what happens when you barge in on a Foyt victory celebration....in Texas especially. According to Wallen, one of A.J's crew physically picked Steve up and hauled him away to cool off, while the rest of the crew held A.J. back from clobbering him.
                            Yup, that's pretty much how I remember it. Not sure who showed the footage of Krisiloff going after Foyt, but it made an impact.

                            Interesting finish. Only seven cars running, only the top two on the lead lap, 10th was 39 laps down. Also, in the clipping it mentions a Tom Hessert wrecking during the super vee race...the father of current ARCA driver Tom Hessert, perchance?
                            You've worked so hard on the kidney. Very special -- the kidney has a very special place in the heart. It's an incredible thing. Donald John Trump

                            Brian's Wish * Jason Foundation

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jamski View Post
                              Interesting finish. Only seven cars running, only the top two on the lead lap, 10th was 39 laps down.
                              The glory days of USAC. And as it has been documented, running for a smaller payout than what the boys in NASCAR were getting with cars that cost a lot less to operate per mile.
                              The Ayn Rand of Indycar

                              No one had to badge the Offy.

                              Crapping all over threads since 2000.

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