Mario Andretti, five races away from becoming the second American Grand Prix road-racing champion, may lose his record for the fastest official one-lap time trial in the U.S. Five years ago, he covered the two-mile Texas World Speedway oval at 214.15 miles per hour.
There were no restrictions on turbocharger boost at that time. There are on the Indianapolis-type cars contesting a 200-mile national championship race today. Car design has improved, and so have tires. Tom Sneva, defending national champion who has not won his season, and Danny Ongais have been the fastest qualifiers in the 10 U.S. Auto Club's (USAC) national title races this year.
For the record, A.J. Foyt holds the mark for the fastest single lap in an Indy car. In a special trial at the 2.66-mile Alabama Motor Speedway four years ago. Foyt attained 217.85 miles per hour. Bobby Isaac set the stock car record there at 201.10 in a special 1970 test. Fastest of all was the late Mark Donohue who drove a Porsche Can-Am soprts-racer 221.16 mph, Aug. 9, 1975.
Two years ago, Skip Manning of Bogalusa, La., was named rookie of the year on the Winston Cup Grand National stock car circuit. A year ago, he had his best finish, third place in the 500-miler at the Alabama Speedway in Talladega.
Today, back at Talladega, his Grand National Career ends. The 33-year-old driver and his sponsor are out of money. All equipment will be sold after today's race.