1970 Trenton 200 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1970)

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Program for the race.

Status: Lost

The 1970 Trenton 200 was the third race of the 1970 USAC Championship Car Season. Occurring on 26th April at the Trenton Speedway, the race would ultimately be won by Lloyd Ruby in a Laycock-Offenhauser, edging out Mario Andretti, who entered a new Brawner-Ford design for the event.

Background[edit | edit source]

The 1970 Trenton 200 was the ninth running of the event, with the annual race lasting just over 200 miles.[1] It was one of two 1970 USAC Championship Car Season races to occur at Trenton Speedway, the other being the 1970 Trenton 300,[2] which occurred on 3rd October and was won by Al Unser in a Colt-Ford.[3] Trenton would continue hosting IndyCar races until 1979 before it was dropped from the schedule and demolished in 1980.[4]

Prior to the race, qualifying commenced with Unser winning the pole position with a speed of 154.67 mph.[1] Directly behind him was Lloyd Ruby, with defending race winner Mario Andretti lining up third out of 24 competitors.[1] Heading into the event, Andretti expressed intrigue regarding a new STP‐McNamara car he was to enter for the race, calling it a "whole new concept". He, therefore, was keen to race it at Trenton to determine its competitiveness.[5]

The Race[edit | edit source]

With the starting order decided, the 1970 Trenton 200 commenced on 26th April.[6][1] Unser maintained his lead on the opening lap, leading until lap 33.[6][1] He was then overtaken by Eagle-Offenhauser driver Wally Dallenbach, who maintained it for another 26 laps.[1] Suddenly, he spun out following a wheel failure.[6][1] Ruby took over as the leader, where the race primarily centred upon him, Andretti and Unser, who transferred the lead to exclusively to one another for the remainder of the race.[6][1] Andretti passed Ruby on lap 65, only for Unser to regain it on lap 76.[1] Andretti then scraped a steel guardrail, being fortunate to escape having his car be damaged, before succeeding in passing Unser on lap 92.[6][1]

Ruby however remained in contention and began to close in on Andretti for the next eight laps.[6] On lap 104, he made a successful move into the first position on the right-hand dogleg, thanks to holding the inside position.[6][1] While Andretti still proved a challenge, he ultimately could not regain the lead for the remaining 31 laps.[1] Therefore, Ruby claimed victory, his first USAC win since 1968, and $14,000 in prize money.[6][1] Andretti finished second, while Unser took third, being the only drivers other than Ruby to be on the lead lap.[1][6] Post-race, Ruby stated that he pulled off the overtake because "Mario had no alternative but to back off."[6]

Availability[edit | edit source]

According to IndyCar on TV, 2 hours of footage was shown by ABC on 2nd May 1970 as a special presentation.[7] Additionally, according to nascarman History's Top 10 Lost IndyCar Broadcasts, the race was also televised by the TVS Television Network. But of twelve IndyCar races to have been televised by TVS, none are currently publicly available, with the ABC version also missing.[8] Nevertheless, photos of the race remain accessible.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Video[edit | edit source]

nascarman History's Top 10 Lost IndyCar Broadcasts detailing TVS Television Network's IndyCar broadcasts (0:20-0:59).

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]