Indy 500 Legend Al Unser, Sr. Passes Away at 82
The Indianapolis 500 has long been considered the Super Bowl of auto racing. When we were kids, my friends and I would race our bikes around the block endlessly. Some would claim to be Mario Andretti, I would always choose Al Unser Sr. He was a winner and always seemed like a great guy. Thursday night, Al Unser, Sr., the 4 time Indy 500 champ, passed away.
According to reports by ESPN.com, his son, Al Unser, Jr. tweeted, "My heart is so saddened. My father passed away last night. He was a Great man and even a Greater Father. Rest In Peace Dad!"
The report stated that 'the four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 and three-time champion in what is now the IndyCar Series, died Thursday. Unser, who had been diagnosed with cancer 17 years ago, 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.'
The Unser's are the only father and son to each capture and Indy 500 victory. In addition, his brother Bobby Unser won the Indy 500 three times, making them the only brothers to each win the race. Now, that is an auto racing family! Al Unser Sr. retired with 39 wins and season championships in 1970, 1983 and 1985.
The aforementioned legend Mario Andretti said on ESPN's SportsCentury series, "Al Unser Sr. was one of the smartest drivers I've ever raced against, and I often said I wish I could've had some of his patience. I know it would have worked for me many time." In 1987 Al Unser, Sr. became the oldest winner in Indy 500 history. Thank you for the memories Al Unser, Sr.