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IROC - International Race of Champions - 1979

IROC - International Race of Champions

The format for IROC 6 was different, with special qualifying races staged for the NASCAR, Indy Car and road racing drivers, and the first four finishers in each advanced to two final contests. The road racing finale was a heartbreaker for Gordon Johncock. He led from the start, only to spin just three laps from the finish after a yellow flag for oil from Al Unser's blown engine. Mario Andretti inherited the lead and the victory. In the oval track finale at Atlanta, Andretti led until the last three laps, when Cale Yarborough nudged him out of the groove, and Neil Bonnett took the lead. A four-car photo finish saw Bonnett take the checkered flag by half-a-fender over Andretti. Bobby Allison just nipped Yarborough for third in between Andretti and Bonnett. Al Unser lost control late in the event and was tagged by Johncock. His first-second finishes in the road course and oval finals gave Andretti the IROC title. (from IROC Website)

Final Points


IROC 6 Champion
Mario Andretti

 
Position
Driver/Residence/Sanction
Money Earned
1
Mario Andretti/Nazareth, PA/FIA
$75,000
2
Neil Bonnett/Hueytown, AL/NASCAR
28,500
3
Cale Yarborough/Timmonsville, SC/NASCAR
28,500
4
Bobby Allison/Hueytown, AL/NASCAR
21,000
5
Alan Jones/London, England/FIA
20,000
6
Gordon Johncock/Phoenix, AZ/USAC
19,000
7
Tom Sneva/Spokane, WA/USAC
18,000
8
Emerson Fittipaldi/Lanay, Switzerland/FIA
17,000
9
Peter Gregg/Jacksonville,FL/IMSA
16,000
10
Donnie Allison/Hueytown, AL/NASCAR
15,000
11
Al Unser/Albuquerque, NM/USAC
15,000
12
* A. J. Foyt/Houston, TX/USAC
---


*Did not show for final race, forfeits purse

 

 

NASCAR Qualifying Race

 
June 17, 1978
Michigan International Speedway
Brooklyn, Michigan
Two-mile high-banked oval, 50 laps, 100 miles

 

Finish

Start

Driver

Laps

Status

1
1
Bobby Allison
50
Running
2
7
Cale Yarborough
50
Running
3
4
Donnie Allison
50
Running
4
6
Neil Bonnett
50
Running
5
2
David Pearson
50
Running
6
3
Benny Parsons
50
Running
7
8
Dave Marcis
50
Running
8
5
Darrell Waltrip
4
Accident

 

Fastest Qualifier: Bobby Allison, 154.682 MPH
Time of Race: 40 minutes, 4.99 seconds
Lead Changes: 15
Average Speed: 147.119 MPH
Margin of Victory: Three feet
Yellow Flag: Lap 4, Accident (Waltrip, Yarborough)
Qualifiers for Finals: First four finishers

 

USAC Qualifying Race

 
September 16, 1978
Michigan International Speedway
Brooklyn, Michigan
Two-mile high-banked oval, 50 laps, 100 miles

 

Finish

Start

Driver

Laps

Status

1
6
A. J. Foyt
50
Running
2
1
Al Unser
50
Running
3
3
Gordon Johncock
50
Running
4
5
Tom Sneva
50
Running
5
2
Danny Ongais
50
Running
6
8
Johnny Rutherford
2
Accident
7
4
Rick Mears
2
Accident
8
7
Bobby Unser
2
Accident

 

Fastest Qualifier: Al Unser, 155.106 MPH
Time of Race: 40 minutes, 2.78 seconds
Lead Changes: 15
Average Speed: 152.901 MPH
Margin of Victory: 3 feet
Red Flag: Lap 2, Accident (Rutherford, Mears, B. Unser)
Qualifiers for finals: First four finishers

 

Road Racing Qualifying Race

 
October 14, 1978
Riverside International Raceway
Riverside, California
2.54-mile road course, 30 laps, 76.2 miles

 

Finish

Start

Driver

Laps

Status

1
1
Peter Gregg
30
Running
2
2
Emerson Fittipaldi
30
Running
3
6
Mario Andretti
30
Running
4
5
Alan Jones
30
Running
5
7
David Hobbs
30
Running
6
3
Patrick DePailler
30
Running
7
8
John Watson
30
Running
8
4
Niki Lauda
1
Clutch

 

Fastest Qualifier: Peter Gregg, 102.580 MPH
Time of Race: 45 minutes, 42.606 seconds
Lap Leaders: Gregg, 1-30
Average Speed: 100.022 MPH
Margin of Victory: 2.5 seconds
Qualifiers for Finals: First four finishers

 

Road Racing Final

 
October 15, 1978
Riverside International Raceway
Riverside, California
2.54-mile road course, 30 laps, 76.2 miles

 

Finish

Start

Driver

Laps

Status

1
7
Mario Andretti
30
Running
2
5
Cale Yarborough
30
Running
3
3
Bobby Allison
30
Running
4
6
Alan Jones
30
Running
5
4
Emerson Fittipaldi
30
Running
6
1
Gordon Johncock
30
Running
7
11
Neil Bonnett
30
Running
8
9
Tom Sneva
30
Running
9
2
Peter Gregg
30
Running
10
12
Donnie Allison
30
Running
11
8
Al Unser
25
Blown engine
12
10
A. J. Foyt
18
Handling

 

Fastest Qualifier: Gordon Johncock, 102.917 MPH
Time of Race: 45 minutes, 24.465 seconds
Average Speed: 100.688 MPH
Lap Leaders: Johncock, 1-27; Andretti, 28-30
Margin of Victory: .985 seconds
Yellow Flags: Lap 25, Unser engine

 

Oval Final

 
March 17, 1979
Atlanta International Raceway
Hampton, Georgia
1.522-mile, high-banked oval, 66 laps, 100 miles

 

Finish

Start

Driver

Laps

Status

1
7
Neil Bonnett
66
Running
2
1
Mario Andretti
66
Running
3
3
Bobby Allison
66
Running
4
2
Cale Yarborough
66
Running
5
8
Tom Sneva
66
Running
6
6
Gordon Johncock
65
Running
7
9
Peter Gregg
65
Running
8
4
Alan Jones
64
Running
9
5
Emerson Fittipaldi
64
Running
10
11
Al Unser
57
Accident
11
10
Donnie Allison
18
Valve cover

 

Time of Race:42 minutes, 27 seconds
Lead Changes: 5
Average Speed: 143.960 MPH
Margin of Victory: One foot

Yellow Flags: Lap 1, Unser spin; Lap 2, Sneva spin; Lap 57, Unser, Johncock accident