Cousins Al Jr., Robby And Johnny Enter Third Annual “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am
The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) today announced that the world-famous Unser family will again compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Brickyard Invitational, June 16-19. Al Unser Jr. and cousins Robby and Johnny, who all raced in last year’s SVRA “Indy Legends” Charity Pro-Am, will be back for the premiere American vintage racing organization’s third appearance at the Brickyard. Al Unser Jr., with co-driver Peter Klutt, won the inaugural Pro-Am, the feature event of the weekend, in 2014.
The Pro-Am feature is a 40-minute race of American muscle cars on the Speedway’s 2.43-mile Grand Prix road course on Saturday, June 18. The cars are 1963 to 1972 vintage Corvettes, Camaros and Mustangs of the “Group 6” SVRA class. SVRA officials hope to attract 33 Indianapolis 500 veterans. The Unsers are the first entries in the field but numerous others will be announced in the coming weeks. As in the previous two years, the professionals will be paired with amateur drivers, splitting stints at the wheel at their discretion.
“I understand what the name Unser means to race fans, especially in Indianapolis,” says SVRA President & CEO Tony Parella. “I speak for everyone at SVRA when I say we are honored to help keep the Unser name active and a vibrant part of the IMS story.”
Al Unser Jr. is a two-time Indy car champion (1990 and 1994) and the winner of 34 Indy car races including the 1992 and ’94 Indianapolis 500s. His 1992 Indianapolis 500 victory is the closest finish in history with a margin of just 43 ten-thousandths of a second over second-place Scott Goodyear. A versatile driver, he was a winner in World of Outlaws sprint car racing; 1982 Can-Am champion and IROC champion in 1986 and again in 1988. He’s also a two-time winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1986 and ’87. Like his father Al Unser Sr. and Uncle Bobby Unser he enjoyed tremendous success as a star driver for Roger Penske’s team, which provided his winning entry for the 1994 “500.”
Johnny’s father Jerry was the first of the famous family to crack into the Indianapolis 500 field in 1958. Unfortunately he lost his life practicing at the track the following year. Following Dad’s footsteps, Johnny is a veteran of five consecutive Indianapolis 500s beginning in 1996. He remains active in the sport as an Indy car official, technical advisor and spokesperson for Cooper Tires as well as mentor to young, aspiring drivers.
Robby Unser, the son of three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Bobby Unser, is an accomplished driver in his own right. He competed in two Indianapolis 500s finishing fifth and eighth. He was Indy Racing League rookie of the year in 1998 with two runner-up race finishes. True to his family’s legacy he won eight Pikes Peak Hill Climb events.
The Pro-Am is the crowning event of the Brickyard Invitational but there is also a festival of other activities. As in previous years the SVRA will present exhibition runs on the storied 2.5-mile oval by a wide variety of cars including several of the crowd-favorite 1950’s Indianapolis 500 “roadsters.” The 2016 weekend not only promises a huge gathering of race cars but also some of the finest collector cars. Motostalgia, with offices in Austin, Texas, Mexico City and Monaco will stage an auction of select automobiles from around the world. The Brickyard Invitational will also expand out onto the world-famous infield IMS golf course with car corrals for organizations and clubs united by special marques and vintages as well as its “Shine and Show” car show. Saturday evening entertainment will include a concert by legendary rock band, “Three Dog Night,” capped off by a trademark SVRA mega-fireworks show.
The SVRA has 11 groups of racecars spanning 100 years of vintage machines. The array of entries at IMS include select pre-war machines, classic sports cars, Formula One and Le Mans prototypes as current as 2011. Race fans can enjoy every minute of the action with overnight camping inside IMS. Pro-Am cars and drivers will also participate in a Fan Walk through the starting grid prior to the opening ceremonies allowing spectators to see the cars up close, take photos and chat with the drivers. All entry fees will be donated to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum Foundation.
Brickyard Invitational ticket information: Fans can order Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational tickets for all or any one of the four days of the event online through the Speedway or by calling 800-822-INDY or 317-492-6700 between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday. Fans can also visit the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at 4790 West 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday. Tickets for groups of 20 or more also are available. Contact the IMS Group Sales Department at (866) 221-8775 for more information. Children 12 and under are admitted free each day when accompanied by an adult. Tent camping passes in the IMS infield start at $30 and are available all four days.