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Chrysler in the USAC stock car series

Discussion in 'Historical' started by Beentherebefore, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. Beentherebefore

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    USAC was the "other" sanctioning organization that had Ol' man France looking over his shoulder for all of the 1960s and the early 70s. This was the same organization that ran the Indy 500 in those days and
    had a thriving stock car division because it could draw on the more famous Indy car drivers to pilot it's stock cars. Famous American Indy car drivers such as Foyt, Al & Bobby Unser, Gary Bettenhausen, Roger McClusky. Gordon Johncock, and Jim Hurtubise all took a stint in Mopar stock cars in the USAC series. IF you guys think that Mopar did well in Nascar in that era, how about USAC stock car championships in 1965, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, & 1976.


    Picture of Roger McClusky who drove this Mopar to a USAC stock car championship in 1969 and 1970.
    Picture compliments of "Indybigjohn" from another board and used with his permission.





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  2. Beentherebefore

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    USAC road course action from the IRP road course in 1968. Battle for the lead between Roger McClusky in the Plymouth RR #1 and Al Unser Sr in the Dodge #5.

    Picture compliments of "Indybigjohn" and reposted with his permission.








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  3. Beentherebefore

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    For a few years, USAC held stock car races inside Soldier Field in Chicago. How's this for an all Mopar battle for the lead in 1967? Norm Nelson in the #1, Sal Tovella in the #4, and Don White in the #2 (can't ID the 4th car). Similar scenes to this could be seen on the West Coast Nascar PCLM tracks in the late 60s and early 70s when "performance" meant a little factory tech/parts support for Mopar stock car racers.

    Picture compliments of "Indybigjohn" and reposted here with his permission.







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  4. Beentherebefore

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    USAC driver Al Unser Sr in 1968

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    This photo & following posted from another board w/permission from "Indybigjohn"
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  5. Beentherebefore

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    USAC Mopar stock cars in action @ what I believe is the famous Milwaukee Mile track. The #75 is multi-time champion Butch Hartman (1971 thru 1974 & 1976). The #10 is being driven by the other Unser brother, Bobby.

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  6. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    If that's Bobby, I can hear the horn... ;)
     
  7. Beentherebefore

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    :lol: Good ol' short track racing and Mopars dominating. "Performance" reputation built up over years of such domination still lingers today.
     
  8. Beentherebefore

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    A picture of Norm Nelson's Mopar which he drove to the USAC stock car championship in 1966, following his championship in 1965 in a '65 Plymouth. In addition to his own cars, Norm Nelson provided a very competitive fleet of Mopars for other famous USAC drivers to race including the cars which Roger McClusky drove to the USAC stock car division championships in '69 and '70 (see post #1, above).








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  9. Beentherebefore

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    Picture of a Norm Nelson owned '66 Plymouth which was driven by Indy car driver Jim Hurtubise on the USAC stock car circuit. Although Ol' man France frowned on Nascar drivers participating in USAC stock car events, he was more than glad to have the USAC drivers participate in his Nascar races, even if they ran off with some of his purse money - which is exactly what Jim Hurtubise did in this car (or a stablemate) when he won the Nascar 500 mile race at Atlanta in 1966.







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  10. Beentherebefore

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    Just saw the sad news that former USAC star Gary Bettenhausen has died.


    http://www.motorsport.com/indycar/news/gary-bettenhausen-passes-away/


    Gary ran in USAC throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s and had multiple good finishes in the Indy 500, though he never won it. Like many other USAC drivers, he also drove in stock cars including multiple stints in Mopars that ruled in this series. IIRC, he also drove the Penske AMC Matador in Nascar races a few times.





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  11. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    I wish USAC was still sanctioning stock car racing on a large scale, would love to see some competition to NASCAR

    Roger McClusky's USAC Superbird via Wikipedia:

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  12. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    USAC is still around, they sanction Ultra 4 racing.
    To sanction and promote requires a substantial amount of chops and with NASCAR sucking most of the oxygen out of the room, Im not sure how a smaller body can resurrect itself. Once USAC lost Indy racing, it was relegated to struggle.
     
  13. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    As a folowup;
    From wiki,

    On April 23, 1978, eight key members of the USAC, plus the pilot, were killed when their 10-seat Piper Navajo Chieftain crashed during a thunderstorm 25 miles southeast of Indianapolis.[3]
    Killed were:
    Ray Marquette, USAC's vice-president of public affairs and a former sportswriter for The Indianapolis Star
    Frank Delroy, chairman of the USAC technical committee
    Shim Malone, starter for USAC races and head of its midget racer division
    Judy Phillips, graphic artist and publication director of USAC's newsletter
    Stan Worley, chief registrar
    Ross Teeguarden, assistant technical chairman
    Don Peabody, head of the sprint division
    Dr. Bruce White, assistant staff doctor
    Don Mullendore, owner and pilot of the plane.
    The effect on the USAC, and for open-wheel racing in the United States, was devastating, especially since it closely followed the death of Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony Hulman.



    The very next year, The sanctioning world was torn apart, as CART, IRL and others fought over the spoils.
     
  14. Beentherebefore

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    That looks like somebody did a very nice restoration.

    I had the pleasure of seeing this car in action @ Riverside in 1970. There are a few pictures of it on page #5 on the Nascar Historical thread.
     
  15. Beentherebefore

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    Publicity card handout of Paul Goldsmith who was the top driver for the Nichels Engineering operation throughout the 60s. Goldsmith started out as a motorcycle racer, went to Nascar for a few years, then raced in USAC where he won 2 championships (not in Mopars) and then raced mostly in Nascar for the remainder of his driving career. He won the Bristol race in 1966 and also a race at Rockingham. In a 2005 interview for "Mopar Muscle" magazine (which is on the net), Goldsmith stated that his proudest moment of his years in Nascar was winning the pole for the '64 Daytona 500 in his (then new) Hemi Plymouth. He finished 3rd in the race (see "Swoop of a Secret Weapon" thread).

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    Goldsmith was also a very good road racer - a fact that I can attest to after watching him race at Riverside for several years. In 1966, he finished 3rd behind Dan Gurney's Woods Bros Ford and David Pearson in Cotton Owens' Dodge. In the 1967 Riverside race, Goldsmith had the best finish of any Mopar - 2nd place. He was only beaten by Parnelli Jones.
     

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  16. md80891

    md80891 Active Member

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    Old Blue (PETTY '67) was weight jacker equipped and could be adjusted inflight with a socket wrench
     
  17. Jerry Simcik

    Jerry Simcik Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't the #8 Super Bee of Rainer Dodge a USAC car? Or was it ARCA? I cannot remember. Love that paint scheme either way... (Not sure if I can post internet pics...)
     
  18. Beentherebefore

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    The Ranier #8 was driven in ARCA by Bobby Watson. Yes, very impressive paint scheme.

    Here is one picture of the car that I found posted by "Indybigjohn" on the Trackforum discussion board and reposted here with his permission.

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    Picture is from the ARCA race @ Dayton in 1968. Also in the photo is Watson's teamate in the #58, Andy Hampton. The #6 is les Snow. The #98 "Brand F" driver is Benny Parsons.
     
    Jerry Simcik likes this.
  19. DC-93

    DC-93 Active Member

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    Nice clone!
     
  20. Beentherebefore

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    I'm guessing that you know where the original is ;) .
     

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