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IROC - International Race of Champions - 1978

IROC - International Race of Champions

Al Unser won the first two races and survived a huge accident in the finale to capture the IROC 5 title. In Race 1 at Michigan, Al Holbert crashed on the first lap, sliding on the roof of his Camaro the length of the backstretch. Tom Sneva and Jacky Ickx also were involved, and all three were eliminated from the race. After a rain delay, Unser took control to win, with Cale Yarborough close behind. In Race 2 at Riverside, Unser led all the way. In Race 3, Yarborough got the win after Holbert lost the lead and spun midway through the event. Race 4 at Daytona was one of the most famous in IROC history. Richard Petty, Mario Andretti, Johnny Rutherford, Gordon Johncock, Darrell Waltrip, Benny Parsons and Unser were involved in an accident coming off the second turn just past the halfway point. Petty was knocked unconscious and spent the night in a local hospital for observation. Unser rocketed over a dirt embankment in the infield, almost knocking over a television tower. After the restart, Andretti went ahead to take the win, just ahead of Waltrip. (from IROC Website)

Final Points


IROC 5 Champion
Al Unser
 
Position
Driver/Residence/Sanction
Money Earned
1
Al Unser/Albuquerque, NM/USAC
$50,000
2
Mario Andretti/Nazareth, PA/FIA
26,000
3
Darrell Waltrip/Owensboro, KY/NASCAR
23,000
4
Cale Yarborough/Timmonsville, SC/NASCAR
23,000
5
Richard Petty/Randleman, NC/NASCAR
20,000
6
Gordon Johncock/Phoenix, AZ/USAC
17,500
7
*Benny Parsons/Ellerbe, NC/NASCAR
16,000
8
Jacky Ickx/Belgium/FIA
15,000
9
Johnny Rutherford/Ft. Worth, TX/USAC
12,000
10
**Gunnar Nilsson/Sweden/FIA
7,500
11
Tom Sneva/Spokane, WA/USAC
7,500
12
Al Holbert/Warrington, PA/IMSA
7,500


*Replaced Nilsson in finals
**Withdrew because of illness

 

 

Race One

 
September 17, 1977
Michigan International Speedway
Brooklyn, Michigan
Two-mile high-banked oval, 50 laps, 100 miles

 

Finish

Start

Driver

Laps

Status

1
4
Al Unser
50
Running
2
2
Cale Yarborough
50
Running
3
1
Darrell Waltrip
50
Running
4
3
Richard Petty
50
Running
5
7
Gunnar Nilsson
50
Running
6
12
Gordon Johncock
50
Running
7
6
Mario Andretti
50
Running
8
10
Johnny Rutherford
50
Running
9
5
Benny Parsons
49
Running
10
8
Al Holbert
1
Accident
11
9
Tom Sneva
1
Accident
12
11
Jacky Ickx
1
Accident

 

Fastest Qualifier: Darrell Waltrip, 152.834 MPH
Time of Race: 39 minutes, 36.40 seconds
Lead Changes: 2
Average Speed: 151.490 MPH
Margin of Victory: One-third car length
Red Flags: Lap 1, Accident Lap 22, Rain

 

Race Two

 
October 15, 1977
Riverside International Raceway
Riverside, California
2.54-mile road course, 30 laps, 76.2 miles

 

Finish

Start

Driver

Laps

Status

1
1
2 Al Unser
30
Running
2
3
Richard Petty
30
Running
3
1
Gordon Johncock
30
Running
4
4
Mario Andretti
30
Running
5
11
Darrell Waltrip
30
Running
6
9
Gunnar Nilsson
30
Running
7
7
Johnny Rutherford
30
Running
8
10
Jacky Ickx
30
Running
9
6
Benny Parsons
30
Running
10
12
Cale Yarborough
30
Running
11
8
Al Holbert
30
Accident
12
5
Tom Sneva
13
Accident

 

Fastest Qualifier: Gordon Johncock, 101.247 MPH
Time of Race: 45 minutes, 41.458 seconds
Lap Leaders: A. Unser, 1-30
Average Speed: 100.451 MPH
Margin of Victory: 1.015 seconds

 

Race Three

 
October 16, 1977
Riverside International Raceway
Riverside, California
2.54-mile road course, 30 laps, 76.2 miles

 

Finish

Start

Driver

Laps

Status

1
3
Cale Yarborough
30
Running
2
9
Mario Andretti
30
Running
3
12
Al Unser
30
Running
4
8
Darrell Waltrip
30
Running
5
11
Richard Petty
30
Running
6
7
Gunnar Nilsson
30
Running
7
5
Jacky Ickx
30
Running
8
4
Benny Parsons
30
Running
9
6
Johnny Rutherford
30
Running
10
10
Gordon Johncock
30
Running
11
1
Tom Sneva
30
Running
12
2
Al Holbert
15
Engine

 

Time of Race: 45 minutes, 37.468 seconds
Average Speed: 100.603 MPH
Margin of Victory: 1.510 seconds
Lead Changes: 2

 

Race Four

 
February 17, 1978
Daytona International Raceway
Daytona Beach, Florida
2.5-mile high-banked tri-oval, 40 laps, 100 miles

 

Finish

Start

Driver

Laps

Status

1
5
Mario Andretti
40
Running
2
1
Darrell Waltrip
40
Running
3
2
Gordon Johncock
40
Running
4
7
Cale Yarborough
40
Running
5
4
Benny Parsons
40
Running
6
9
Jacky Ickx
40
Running
7
8
Al Unser
23
Accident
8
3
Richard Petty
23
Accident
9
6
Johnny Rutherford
23
Accident

 

Time of Race: 36 minutes, 13 seconds
Average Speed: 167.442 MPH
Margin of Victory: One car
Lead Changes: 11
Red Flag: Lap 23, Accident