On This Day in Trans Am History: June 1, 1975
June 1, 2020
June 1, 1975 Pocono and Seattle
The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli was seeing double on June 1, 1975. For the only time in series’ history, Trans Am held two events, on either side of the country, to open up its season.
Heavy rain at Pocono International Raceway postponed the scheduled opener on May 4. As a result, the SCCA decided to host two races at the beginning of June – the make-up at Pocono and the scheduled event at Seattle International Raceway in Kent, Washington.
Canadian Bill Adam captured the pole in Pocono qualifying on May 3. For the race, however, the CAR Corvette was raced by owner John Greenwood. The driver change moved Greenwood to the back of the grid, while promoting Chauncey “Jocko” Maggiacomo Jr. to the pole in his Jockos Racing AMC Javelin.
Maggiacomo led the early laps. Despite not practicing his car, Greenwood quickly worked his way up the pack, ran the fastest lap of the race, and drove to victory in the one-hour event, completing 35 laps (98 miles) and averaging 103.121 mph. Greenwood began a three-race winning streak that eventually carried him to the championship.
Maggiacomo finished one minute, 50.6-seconds behind Greenwood.
“We were pretty fast,” Maggiacomo recalled. “I don’t remember many other details from that race, but we came back to Pocono the following year and won.”
Maggiacomo bought an ex-Penske Javelin, and prepared it with the help of Mark Donohue and Jay Signore. It was the team’s former show car. When the main car was destroyed in a highway accident returning from an event, this car was then raced once by Penske. Maggiacomo’s main changes were to run eight-inch (instead of 10) tires on the rear, along with work to the braking system and motor.
Corvette drivers Milton Headley, Alex Davidson and Frank Panzarelli rounded out the top five. Headley finished second in the final standings, 28 points behind Greenwood.
Jim Fitzgerald finished last in the 31-car field, losing a wheel on his Datsun on the opening lap.
Meanwhile, on the West Coast, Walt Maas won in the FAR Performance Datsun 280Z. Rich Sloma finished second in a Corvette, 12-seconds behind. Rick Start rounded out the podium in his own Corvette, followed by the Porsche Carrera of John Bauer and the Corvette of Dale Samuelson. Twenty cars took the green flag for the 45-lap, 101-mile event.