You know what’s missing from modern oval racing? Right turns! The old Trenton Speedway, in Trenton, N.J., featured a bend in the starboard direction (known simply as “the Dogleg”) from 1968 until it closed in 1980. These are the opening laps of the April 23, 1978 200 mile USAC Indy car race as shown on ABC. Another thing you don’t see these days? Engine and chassis variety in America’s premier single-seater category; no bonus points for being the first to post a Tony George-related comment.
That reminds me: 1978 was also the last year of truly unified Indy car racing until 2008, as CART contested its inaugural season the following year. Here is a handy timeline for those interested in the specifics of this sad, sordid saga. Bottom line: American open wheel racing eventually proved Lincoln was correct. Here’s hoping the future is bright.