Eagle #7209 at Phoenix in 1972
Johnny Rutherford started 7th and finished 5th aboard Gerhardt Racing's 1972 All American Racers Eagle #7209 at the November 4, 1972 Best Western 150 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Rutherford's #16 Thermo King entry finished five laps adrift from race winner Bobby Unser, driving the AAR factory Eagle, #7203.
Jerry Grant, seen driving AAR's second entry, #7205, finished 11 laps down in eighth place.
The Phoenix race would be Rutherford's final event with the Gerhardt outfit. He had joined the team the week after Indianapolis for Milwaukee, where he was but a passenger aboard Gerhardt's older in-house Gerhardt chassis when it careened into the wall, destroying the car and severely burning Rutherford.
Rutherford managed a fine 2nd place finish at Pocono aboard #7209 that summer, but in many ways, it was a season to forget for the Fresno-based team, as they lost Jim Malloy and Eagle #7206 in Malloy's fatal crash in the month of May at Indianapolis.
#7209 itself was also destroyed at Indy with rookie Eddie Miller in 1976. Miller was fortunate and lived to see another day. The few remains of the Eagle live in my desk, awaiting a proper framing for the KMPR walls.