The 1979 IndyCar season consisted of 14 races, beginning in Avondale, Arizona on March 11 and concluding at the same location on October 20. The SCCA/CART Indy Car Series Drivers' Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner was Rick Mears. Rookie of the Year was Bill Alsup. This was the first year that the championship was co-sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America and CART, after the majority of car owners left the USAC during the previous season. The 63rd Indianapolis 500 continued to be sanctioned by the USAC, but counted in the CART points standings.