Home Page About Us Contribute




Escort, Inc.

Tweets by @CrittendenAuto










By accessing/using The Crittenden Automotive Library/CarsAndRacingStuff.com, you signify your agreement with the Terms of Use on our Legal Information page. Our Privacy Policy is also available there.

Al Unser, Jr.

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing

Al Unser, Jr.
Person

Topic Navigation
Wikipedia: Al Unser Jr.

Page Sections
Biography
Photographs
Merchandise
Article Index
Born: 19 April 1962

A race car driver.

His accomplishments include:
1990 PPG Indy Car World Series Champion


Biography

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Al Unser Jr. page on 29 September 2018, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Alfred Unser Jr., nicknamed "Little Al", "Al Junior", or simply "Junior", is a retired American race car driver and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner.

Unser was born into a racing family in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is the son of Al Unser and the nephew of Bobby Unser, both Indianapolis 500 winners themselves.

By the age of 11, Al Junior was racing sprint cars. After high school, he was already in the World of Outlaws series of sprint car racing. He soon moved into road racing, winning the Super Vee title in 1981 and the Can-Am title in 1982.

In 1982, Unser made his debut on the CART circuit. He suffered personal tragedy when his sister Debbie was killed in a dune buggy accident, but this did not deter Unser; and a year later, he competed in his first Indianapolis 500, finishing 9th. However, hours after the race ended, Unser Jr. was issued a 2-lap penalty by chief steward Thomas W. Binford for passing 2 cars under caution with less than 40 laps to go as well as blocking eventual winner Tom Sneva from getting by his father with less than 20 laps to go. The penalty dropped him from an original finish of 9th, to 10th. Despite being lauded for his performance as a rookie, Unser Jr. narrowly lost the rookie of the year award to Teo Fabi.

Unser continued racing on the CART circuit, becoming one of the series' rising stars. He finished second in the CART championship point standings in 1985, losing to his father by just one point. He began competing in the IROC championship in 1986, winning that championship with two victories in four races. At the age of 24, Unser was the youngest IROC champion ever. Unser won the 1988 and 1986 IROC championships. Unser won the 24 Hours of Daytona, also at age 24 for the first time in 1986 and again in 1987.

Unser continued to improve on the CART circuit, finishing fourth in the points standings in 1986, third in 1987, second in 1988 and finally winning the series for the first time in 1990. In 1989, Unser was on the verge of winning his first Indianapolis 500, but while battling with Emerson Fittipaldi for the lead, the two touched wheels and Unser spun out, hitting the wall and ending his chances. This race is remembered for a remarkable show of sportsmanship, as Little Al climbed out of his wrecked racecar and gave Fittipaldi the "thumbs up" as he drove by Unser under caution. Unser would have his day at Indy in 1992, however, defeating Scott Goodyear by 0.043 of a second, the closest finish in Indianapolis 500 history.

During the off-season he drove in the 1993 Daytona 500 for Hendrick Motorsports finishing 36th in what would be his only NASCAR start. He ran well in the race, running with the lead pack all day, until a late race crash with Kyle Petty and Bobby Hillin Jr. During an interview with Mike Joy after the accident, Joy asked him if he would be back. Unser said that he wanted to come back, but it would never happen. Unser also tested a Williams F1 car but never competed in the series.


Photographs

Al Unser Jr. at the 1986 Miller American 200 1986 Miller American 200
Photo courtesy Photo ©John Walczak.  All Rights Reserved.  Used with permission.
June 8, 1986
View photo of Al Unser Jr. at the 1986 Miller American 200 - 1,035KB
Al Unser Jr. at the 1986 Miller American 200 1986 Miller American 200
Photo courtesy Photo ©John Walczak.  All Rights Reserved.  Used with permission.
June 8, 1986
View photo of Al Unser Jr. at the 1986 Miller American 200 - 977KB
Al Unser Jr. at the 1986 Miller American 200 1986 Miller American 200
Photo courtesy Photo ©John Walczak.  All Rights Reserved.  Used with permission.
June 8, 1986
View photo of Al Unser Jr. at the 1986 Miller American 200 - 1,345KB


Merchandise

Type & Item #NameDetails
Collector Card - 1991 All World Racing 1Al Unser, Jr.Valvoline
Collector Card - 1991 All World Racing 45'90 Michigan 500 Race Winner Al Unser, Jr.Valvoline
Collector Card - 1991 All World Racing 75Racing Teammates Bobby Rahal - Al Unser, Jr.Kraco/Valvoline
Collector Card - 1991 All World Racing 1001990 P.P.G. Champion Al Unser, Jr.Valvoline


1991All World Racing1Valvoline 1991All World Racing452Valvoline 1991All World Racing100Valvoline

Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
7 October 1993Marlboro Team Penske Media ConferenceAl Unser Jr. & Dan Luginbuhl
26 December 1993Marlboro Team Penske Media ConferenceDan Luginbuhl
Al Unser Jr.
28 July 1994Marlboro Team Penske Media ConferenceAl Unser Jr.
13 September 1994Marlboro Team Penske Media ConferenceAl Unser Jr.
31 January 1995<Indy Car Racing Media ConferenceAl Unser Jr.
4 May 1995Marlboro Team Penske Media ConferenceAl Unser Jr.
6 December 1995Car Racing Media ConferencePaul Tracy
Al Unser Jr.
9 January 1997Marlboro Team Penske Media ConferencePaul Tracy
Al Unser Jr.
7 May 1996Indy Car Racing Media ConferenceAl Unser, Jr.
16 July 1996Indy Car Racing Media ConferenceAl Unser, Jr.
25 February 1997CART Media ConferenceAl Unser Jr.
20 May 1997CART Media ConferenceRick Mears
Al Unser Jr.
3 February 1999Marlboro Team Penske Media ConferenceRoger Penske
Andre Ribeiro
John Travis
Al Unser Jr.
8 September 2002Indy Racing League Series: Delphi Indy 300Buddy Lazier
Al Unser Jr.
3 February 2003Indy Racing League Media ConferenceKenny Brack
Helio Castroneves
Eddie Cheever, Jr
Buddy Lazier
Al Unser Jr.
7 June 2003IndyCar Series: Bombardier 500Al Unser Jr.
23 March 2004Indy Racing League Media ConferenceLeonardo Maia
Al Unser Jr.
21 March 2006Indy Racing League Media ConferenceWade Cunningham
Dennis Reinbold
Al Unser Jr.
Dan Wheldon
2 May 2006Champ Car Media ConferenceBobby Rahal
Graham Rahal
Al Unser, Jr.
Al Unser III
2 May 2006Indy Racing League Media ConferenceMichael Andretti
Arie Luyendyk
Arie Luyendyk, Jr.
Al Unser, Jr.
2 May 2007Indy Racing League Media ConferenceMarco Andretti
A.J. Foyt
Al Unser Jr.
15 July 2009Indy Racing League Media ConferenceAl Unser Jr.
14 August 2011Indy Racing League Media ConferenceBrian Barnhart
Al Unser Jr.
7 April 2015Team Speedway Brings Legendary Unser Family to Del Mar Fairgrounds This Weekend for Goodguys’ Del Mar Hot Road Nationals April 10-12 Tom Blattler


Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library

The Crittenden Automotive Library at Google+ The Crittenden Automotive Library on Facebook The Crittenden Automotive Library on Instagram The Crittenden Automotive Library at The Internet Archive The Crittenden Automotive Library on Pinterest The Crittenden Automotive Library on Twitter The Crittenden Automotive Library on Tumblr  
 
 


The Crittenden Automotive Library

Home Page    About Us    Contribute