Niki Lauda's domination of the season was put on hold as Jody Scheckter gave the innovative Tyrrell P34 six-wheeler its maiden grand prix win in Sweden. Tyrrell's day was made even better by Patrick Depailler taking second place, 12 seconds clear of Lauda. The result, however, barely dented Lauda's lead in the world championship, with Scheckter moving into second, 32 points behind him.
Mario Andretti raced away to lead pole-sitter Scheckter into the first corner, and he had slowly eased into a nine-second lead by the 28th lap when stewards slapped him with a one-minute penalty for jumping the start. That dropped him to 11th, and after battling back to a net sixth, he was forced out with an oil leak. Lotus' day was compounded when Gunnar Nilsson spun his car into the pit wall.
Thereafter the race was a procession, although Depailler did come under pressure from Chris Amon in the under-powered and unsponsored Ensign until Amon crashed heavily for the second time in three races. Amon limped away, but his gutsy performances in a no-hoper won him considerable admiration.
Jacques Laffite's Ligier bagged fourth while James Hunt helped his championship hopes by taking fifth from Clay Regazzoni, the Ferrari driver putting in a charge over the final few laps to pass Carlos Pace (Brabham) and Ronnie Peterson (March).
Scheckter admitted afterwards he was unaware Andretti had been penalised. "I was chasing hard and it would have been a tremendous battle to beat him. Then I saw a puff of smoke from his engine and I knew his race was over. I eased off and listened to every squeak and groan from my car. I was just praying it would hold together."