IRL: Indy500: Al Unser Jr. Qualifying notes

Indianapolis, Indiana, May 20, 2000 - For the first time in five years, two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr., is going to race in the Indianapolis 500. Unser, driver of the Galles ECR Racing Tickets.com Starz Encore Superpak Car, qualified...

Indianapolis, Indiana, May 20, 2000 - For the first time in five years, two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr., is going to race in the Indianapolis 500. Unser, driver of the Galles ECR Racing Tickets.com Starz Encore Superpak Car, qualified in the 18th position on with a 220.293 mph four lap average qualifying speed for the Indy 500 on May 28.

Unser joined the Indy Racing Northern Light Series in 2000 in hopes of racing once again in the greatest spectacle in racing, the Indianapolis 500. He won the event with Galles Racing in 1992 and again in 1994 with Penske Racing. In 2000, Unser is once again driving with Galles and has high hopes of bringing home another victory for both the Unser and Galles families.

"This race means so much to me, and I can't tell you how it feels to be qualified for it again. The Indianapolis 500 is the pinnacle of racing, and there is no other race that matters as much as this one. I feel very proud to be back at Indy with Rick Galles. He gave me my first Indy 500 ride in 1983, and he has brought me back here this year. He has always believed in me, and that makes our relationship very special," says Unser.

Galles ECR Racing car owner, Rick Galles, is equally excited about racing at the Indianapolis 500 with Unser.

"I became a car owner for the exact reasons that Al became a driver, to race in the Indianapolis 500. We started our racing careers together, and it feels great to be back here again with him. We have been trying to stay very focused this week on getting into the show, and that hard work has paid off. Al has done a fantastic job the whole week. He is a great leader with the team and that is what wins races," says Galles.

Unser is content with his 18th starting position, and feels his qualifying attempt was solid and safe.

"The Indy 500 is a long race, and if you are in the field and have a good car, then you can get up to the front. I went out on my qualifying run and was cautious on my first lap because I didn't want to chance anything with my cold tires. I knew my run was good enough to get into the race, and that was enough for me. We have to get down to business now and work on some full tank runs and bring in some tires. Now that we are in, we get to work on the race," says Unser.

Race fans can witness history as Al Unser Jr. takes the green flag at the 84th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28. Live coverage of the event begins at 12:00 p.m. (EST) on ABC.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr.
Teams Team Penske