As he was just beginning his quest to finally win the 500cc World Championship title he had been chasing for ten years, "Bad" Brad Lackey landed on the cover of the April 28 edition of Cycle News.
Defending 125cc World Champion Donny Schmit won the Grand Prix of France with 1-3 scores aboard a Suzuki RM125. His teammate and title rival Stefan Everts was second, Dutch rider Pedro Tragter third. Americans Bobby Moore and Willie Surratt rounded out the top five.
It's the first day of the annual Pontiac doubleheader, and it would mark the fifth straight time that Yamaha rider Bob "Hurricane" Hannah would win the main event. Kawasaki rider Tommy Croft would finish second, with Honda's Marty Tripes third. All told, Hannah would win six straight main events at the Silverdome between 1977 and '79; he’d miss the 1980 races with a broken leg. When he returned in '81 he would win the first night of the Pontiac weekend, then crash in the first turn the second night and finish fifth. Still, those seven straight wins in seven starts remain the all-time record for consecutive wins at one venue in AMA Supercross.
Here is some rare old footage from the '79 Pontiac Silverdome races.
The first RedBud National took place in Buchanan, Michigan, and the winner in the 250 class was Bultaco rider Kenny Zahrt, with Can-Am rider Gary Jones second, and Zahrt's fellow Bultaco rider Ron Pomeroy third. Ossa's Frank Stacy was fourth, and Montesa rider Peter Lamppu ended up fifth. Bultaco, Ossa, and Montesa were all Spanish motorcycles. RedBud '74 was the best day ever on the AMA National circuit for the Spanish brands, as well as the last-ever win of an AMA race for any of the Spanish manufacturers.
In the 500 class Michigan's own Mike Hartwig won aboard his trick Yamaha Monoshock works bike. Kawasaki's Jim Weinert was second, with CZ rider Tony DiStefano third. After four rounds, Tony D., the 17-year-old from Pennsylvania, was the 500 series points leader.
Honda rider Jean-Michel Bayle won the Tampa Supercross on his Cliff White-prepped CR250. Kawasaki's Jeff Matiasevich finished second with JMB's teammate Jeff Stanton and Mike Kiedrowski rounding out the top four.
In the 125 class Kawasaki rider Tallon Vohland took the win over Suzuki riders Jeromy Buehl, Denny Stephenson, and Billy Whitley.
Red Bull KTM rider Ryan Dungey won the Salt Lake City Supercross over Yamaha-mounted Davi Millsaps and Kawasaki rider Jake Weimer. Monster Energy Kawasaki's Ryan Villopoto, who had already wrapped up the title, missed this round after tearing up his knee the previous weekend in Seattle.
In the Lites class GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac topped Suzuki riders Jason Anderson and Martin Davalos. Anderson had been involved in a scary practice-start crash with Star Racing Yamaha's Ryan Sipes, which you can see at the beginning of the video below.