1975 Bricklin 150 (lost footage of USAC Championship Car Season race; 1975)

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1975bricklin1501.jpg

Program for the race.

Status: Lost

The 1975 Bricklin 150 (also known as the 1975 Phoenix 150) was the fourth race of the 1975 USAC Championship Car Season. Occurring on 16th March at the Phoenix International Raceway, the race would ultimately be won by Johnny Rutherford in a McLaren-Offenhauser, dominating the event after having led 97 of the 150 laps.

Background[edit | edit source]

The 1975 Bricklin 150 was the 11th running of the event, with the annual race lasting 150 miles.[1] It was one of two 1975 USAC Championship Car Season races to commence at Phoenix International Raceway, the other being the Phoenix 150,[2] which occurred on 9th November and was won by A.J. Foyt in a Coyote-Ford.[3] The race, named after the Bricklin cars,[4] would have ties with Phoenix events like the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix, before Phoenix races were dropped from the IndyCar schedule after 2018 following low attendance.[5]

Prior to the race, qualifying commenced with Gordon Johncock winning the pole position in an Eagle-Offenhauser with a speed of 141.343 mph.[6][7][1] Directly behind him was Johnny Rutherford, with Foyt lining up third out of 19 competitors.[1][7]

The Race[edit | edit source]

With the starting order decided, the 1975 Bricklin 150 commenced on 16th March.[1] Rutherford shot into the lead on the first lap, holding it for 34 laps before Eagle-Offenhauser's Pancho Carter moved into the first position on lap 35 during a caution period that prompted many to pit.[7][1] Carter defended his lead for 13 laps, before Johncock moved back in front on lap 48, leading until lap 80.[1] However, debris prompted a caution between laps 78 to 84.[7][1] When it resumed on lap 85, Rutherford was ultimately able to secure a pass on lap 89.[7][1]

This proved to be the final lead change of the race, where although spins from McLaren-Offenhauser's Tom Sneva and Finley-Offenhauser's Johnny Parsons on laps 98 and 140 respectively resulted in cautions, Rutherford was able to re-build a sizable gap ahead of Johncock.[7][1] He therefore claimed victory and $9,282 in prize money.[7][1] Johncock finished ten seconds behind in second, while Foyt finished a lap down to take third.[7][1]

Availability[edit | edit source]

According to IndyCar on TV, the final 90 minutes of the race was intended to be televised live by ABC as part of its ABC Championship Auto Racing.[8] However, a golf tournament overran, resulting in the race broadcast being reduced to 45 minutes.[8] The coverage received criticism, particularly because the commentators, Jim McKay and Roger Penske, seldom discussed the race itself.[8] Additionally, the cameras primarily focused on Rutherford and failed to cover the other racers.[8] The broadcast has yet to resurface, and no footage of the race is currently publicly available. Nevertheless, some photos of the event can be found online.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]