IRL: AJ Foyt partners Little Al for 500 attempt

AJ Foyt Racing will team with two-time Indianapolis 500 winner (1992, 1994) Al Unser, Jr. to make a run at the 91st running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing when qualifying begins on Saturday May 12th at the Brickyard. Little Al, as he is...

AJ Foyt Racing will team with two-time Indianapolis 500 winner (1992, 1994) Al Unser, Jr. to make a run at the 91st running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing when qualifying begins on Saturday May 12th at the Brickyard.

Little Al, as he is known by millions of fans, joined four-time Indy 500 champion and racing great AJ Foyt by teleconference Wednesday (May 2nd) to proclaim he is ready to challenge the great race for the nineteenth time.

"I'm real excited, especially driving for AJ," said Unser Jr. "He has been my hero since I was a little boy. For him to give me a call and ask me to drive for him, in his 50th anniversary, is a real honor. I am proud to be driving for him, and we'll give it everything we've got."

"I've known Al since he was born. He is a great driver. I don't know who I could have found that would be better, because he's a hell of a racer," said AJ.

The twice-CART and IROC champion will enjoy a resurgence of his racing career for the second year in a row. In May 2006 Al Jr. piloted the Geico/A1 Team USA entry in the 90th Indianapolis 500. It is a race that he and his father and uncle have won an incredible nine times between them.

Unser, Jr. also holds a share of two Daytona 24 Hours endurance race wins in 1986 and 1987, one of only twenty men to boast that distinction.

The announcement is the second time Little Al has been in the news in 2007. He was charged in a traffic accident in January of this year that called attention to a sometimes-troubling off-track past.

Nevada state troopers and local police from Henderson, Nevada (Unser Jr.'s hometown) tracked the racer with help from a witness who said Unser's black Ford Expedition struck another car and forced it into a concrete barrier in the median of the Las Vegas Beltway.

Unser presented a valid Nevada license to the authorities after he was stopped near his home near the Black Mountain Country Club.

The driver of the Mazda sedan involved in the accident was unharmed, though the car was damaged. Unser, Jr. suffered no physical harm in the incident.

Unser, Jr. has entered a plea of Not Guilty to the charges, according to his lawyer Andrew Leavitt.

Al Jr. was accused of domestic battery in Indianapolis four years ago after allegedly pushing from his car and abandoning his female companion on a busy four-lane highway.

Charges in the latter case were subsequently dropped by prosecutors after Unser, Jr. entered treatment for depression and alcohol abuse.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser