August 14, 2022

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(Newser) – Al Unser, one of only four drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 a...

(Newser)

Al Unser, one of only four drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 a record four times, died Thursday following a long illness. He was 82. Indianapolis Motor Speedway said early Friday that Unser died at his home in Chama, New Mexico, with his wife, Susan, by his side. He had been battling cancer for 17 years, the AP reports. Unser is the third member of one of America’s most famed racing families to die in 2021. His oldest brother, three-time Indy 500 winner Bobby Unser, died in May, and Bobby Unser Jr. passed six weeks after his father.

Known as “Big Al” once his own son made a name for himself in racing, Unser is part of an elite club of four-time winners of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Unser won the Indy 500 in 1970, 1971, 1978 and 1987, and is the only driver in history to have both a sibling and a child also win one of the biggest races in the world. His final victory at age 47 made him the oldest winner in Indy 500 history. Unser won three Indy car national championships over his career and 39 victories. He led 644 total laps at Indianapolis. The Unser family combined for a record nine wins in the Indy 500; Al Jr. won the Indy 500 twice—in 1992 and 1994.
Unser earlier this year was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to welcome Helio Castroneves as the newest member of the four-time winners club. Unser achieved the feat after AJ Foyt, and Rick Mears won his fourth in 1991. Castroneves won in May to become the first new member in 30 years. Unser received his “Baby Borg,”—the 18-inch replica of the Indy 500 winner’s Borg-Warner Trophy that lives onsite in the speedway’s museum—during a celebration in May with family and friends. He was set to be honored in 2020 on the the 50th anniversary of his 1970 victory at Indianapolis, but the celebration was postponed because of the pandemic.
(Read more Indianapolis 500 stories.)

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Another Member of Famed Racing Family Is Gone appeared first on maserietv.com.