Five members of Unser family drive together for first time at Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational

INDIANAPOLIS, Sunday, June 14, 2015 – History abounded at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway over the four-day Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational, with a century’s worth of classic race cars turning laps on the oval and road course.

But Sunday featured a moment never seen before at IMS – five members of the Unser family on the track at one time.

Al, Bobby, Al Jr., Johnny and Robby reunited for a couple laps on the iconic oval in vintage cars, a special moment for the drivers, extended Unser family and fans.

“I don’t think there are words enough to tell people how nice it is to come back to something like this,” Bobby Unser said. “It’s a touching thing beyond belief for me, and I know it is for the rest of the family.”

The reunion represented an amazing nine Indianapolis 500 wins – four for Al, three for Bobby and two for Al Jr.

“I loved it,” Al said. “It brings back a lot of memories and you wonder once in a while if you really did it (win four Indianapolis 500s) and now I get back in the car again and say ‘yeah, I did’ and it’s a great feeling.”

Al drove his exhibition laps in the 1970 Johnny Lightning Special, the car in which he won his first “500.” Bobby drove his 1981 Norton Spirit car, in which he won his third “500.”

Al Jr. drove the 1983 Coors Light Silver Bullet Eagle, his rookie-year car.

“We just had a great time all weekend and now getting out there with all the old cars with dad and Uncle Bobby, it topped off a wonderful weekend,” Al Jr. said.

For all the starts the Unsers made in the Indianapolis 500, there was never a race with more than two Unsers. Jerry Unser, Bobby and Al’s brother, ran in 1958 and died in a practice crash prior to the 1959 race. Bobby (first race in 1963) and Al (first race in 1965) raced many years together, but Bobby was retired before Al Jr. began his Indy career. Al Jr. and Johnny, Jerry’s son, raced in one “500” together while Johnny and Robby, Bobby’s son, raced twice together when Al Jr. was inactive at Indy.

On Sunday, Robby drove the 1968 Rislone Eagle, in which Bobby won his first “500.”

“It was really good and a lot of fun,” Robby said. “I was born that year in January and that car won in May, so that’s my vintage, so to speak. I had a great time.”

Johnny was photographed with the family while sitting in Al’s 1978 winner, and turned his exhibition laps in a 1963 roadster driven in the race by Eddie Sachs.

“That’s what my dad drove around here, so for me it was an incredible privilege to be able to drive that thing,” Johnny said.

Johnny, Robby and Al Jr. drove in Saturday’s Indy Vintage Pro-Am, which brought 33 former “500” starters together with amateurs in a road course race. Bob Lazier and amateur partner Jim Caudle won in a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette, 48.9 seconds ahead of a 1967 Ford Mustang driven by seven-time “500” starter Mark Dismore and partner Scott Hackenson.


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