RACING LEGENDS BOBBY RAHAL AND AL UNSER JR. TO BE HONORED AT LONG BEACH MOTORSPORTS WALK OF FAME
4th Annual Induction Ceremony is April 16 During Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Week
LONG BEACH, Calif. (March 16, 2009) -- The City of Long Beach and the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach will honor racing legends Al Unser Jr. and Bobby Rahal, at the fourth annual Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame induction ceremony. The event will take place on Thursday, April 16, during the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach week.
"I'm delighted that we will add two more racing legends to the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame," said Mayor Bob Foster, who will be presenting the medallions to the honorees.
The ceremony begins at 11:00 a.m. at the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame, located on South Pine Avenue in front of the Convention Center.
"This year's inductees represent not only great drivers, but individuals that have contributed much to the success of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach over the years," said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. "That's why 'Little Al' is known as the 'King of the Beach' and Bobby has achieved great success at Long Beach not only on the track but also as an owner."
Al Unser Jr. followed in the footsteps of his father and an uncle (Bobby) to become repeat champion at Indianapolis, winning the '500' in 1992 and 1994. Champion of the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) series in 1990 and 1994, Unser won the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach an incredible six times: 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994 and 1995 and, overall, took the checkered flag in 31 events between 1984 and 1995. Unser won the 24 Hours of Daytona at age 24, is a two-time IROC champion and the youngest IROC champion ever. In 1994 he dominated the CART open-wheel racing season winning eight of 16 races and was named ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year. Unser will be competing in this year's Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, Saturday, April 18, having won the world-famous event in 1985.
Bobby Rahal is one of a select group of individuals who have won the Indianapolis 500 as a driver (1986) and an owner (2004). Between 1982 and 1992, Rahal won 24 races and captured the CART season title in 1986, 1987 and 1992. He won on ovals, road courses and competed in Formula One and NASCAR events. Rahal won championships driving sports cars, winning several SCCA titles and shared the winning car in the 24 Hours of Daytona (1981) and the 12 Hours of Sebring (1987). He made 15 starts at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, finishing second four times. In 1996 he formed Rahal Letterman Racing, with David Letterman as a minority owner.
The Walk of Fame medallions include renditions of the racers' cars and their major achievements in motorsports. Additional information about the inductees' illustrious careers will be available at the event or at www.lbmotorsportswalkoffame.com.