1981 Championship Auto Racing Teams
RACE SCHEDULE & WINNERS
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Date
Location
Winning Driver and
Mar 22
May 24
Jun 8
Jun 21
Jun 21
Jul 25
Aug 30
Sep 5
Sep 20
Oct 4
Oct 18
Nov 8
Team
1981 CART Winners
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Johnny Rutherford
Bobby Unser
Mike Mosley
Rick Mears
Rick Mears
Pancho Carter
Rick Mears
Tom Sneva
Rick Mears
Rick Mears
Rick Mears
Tom Sneva
Chaparral
Team Penske
All American Racers
Team Penske
Team Penske
Alex Morales
Team Penske
Bignotti-Cotter
Team Penske
Team Penske
Team Penske
Bignotti-Cotter
Chaparral/Cosworth
Penske/Cosworth
Eagle/Chevy
Penske/Cosworth
Penske/Cosworth
Penske/Cosworth
Penske/Cosworth
March/Cosworth
Penske/Cosworth
Penske/Cosworth
Penske/Cosworth
March/Cosworth
Chassis/Engine
1981 CART CHAMPION - RICK MEARS
Phoenix
Indianapolis
Milwaukee
Atlanta
Atlanta
Michigan
Riverside
Milwaukee
Michigan
Watkins Glen
Mexico
Phoenix
In 1981, Mears was an absolutely dominant driver, scoring six wins and two more podiums in ten
races. After a disagreement with the USAC during the previous season, the 65th Indianapolis 500
was not a part of the Indy Car Series, however, most CART teams and drivers did take part.

The race was marked by a serious pit fire accident on Rick's car after he pitted on lap 58. Rick
and four of his mechanics were sent to a hospital and Mears underwent plastic surgery on his
face, particularly on his nose. The incident prompted a redesign to the fuel nozzle used on Indycars,
adding a safety valve that would only open when the nozzle was connected to the car.
Rookie of the Year was Bob Lazier, who finished 9th in points.

TOP FIVE
1. Rick Mears
2. Bill Alsup
3. Pancho Carter
4. Gordon Johncock
5. Johnny Rutherford