Al Unser Jr.
2018, Houston, Texas
Al Unser Jr. is a champion racecar driver, adviser, and coach who was born into a legendary racing family. He is the son of Al Unser and the nephew of Bobby Unser, who have both won the Indianapolis 500. Together the Unser family has won the Indy 500 nine times, with Unser Jr. standing atop the podium twice himself.
Unser been racing sprint cars since the age of 11. After high school, he was already in the World of Outlaws series of sprint car racing and soon moved into road racing, winning the Super Vee title in 1981 and the Can Am title in 1982. Unser made his Championship Auto Racing Teams Sports Racing (CART) debut in 1982, finishing fifth at the California 500. He continued racing on the CART circuit, becoming one of the series’ rising stars. He began competing in the International Race of Champions (IROC) in 1986 at the age of 24, and won the championship, making him the youngest IROC champion ever. That same year he went on to win the 24 hours of Daytona, and in 1988 won IROC championships again.
In 1992, Unser won the first of two Indianapolis 500 championships by only 0.043 of a second, making it one of the closest finishes in history. In 1994, Unser repeated as Indy 500 champion and turned in a dominant season-long performance, winning eight of 16 races. That same year he was named ABC’s Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year. Unser would continue to be a force in CART, winning a total of 31 races during his 17 seasons.
On June 30, 2004, Unser announced his retirement from racing, but continued to remain involved in the field as an adviser, mentor, and coach. Currently, Unser is the executive consultant and driving coach for Harding Racing competing in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
General Scientific Session I
Sunday, October 7, 6:03–6:30 pm
A Conversation with Al Unser Jr.: The Nervous System at 220 MPH!