Former Champ Car World Series Champion Al Unser Jr. Retires INDIANAPOLIS (June 30, 2004) - One of the top competitors ever to grace a Champ Car grid called it a career Wednesday when two-time Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series ...
Former Champ Car World Series Champion Al Unser Jr. Retires
INDIANAPOLIS (June 30, 2004) - One of the top competitors ever to grace a Champ Car grid called it a career Wednesday when two-time Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford champion Al Unser Jr. announced his retirement for open-wheel racing in Indianapolis.
The 1990 and 1994 Champ Car titlewinner retired 22 years after making his Champ Car debut with a fifth-place finish at Riverside, ending a career that left him among the most well-known and accomplished racers in the sport's history. The Albuquerque, New Mexico native won 31 Champ Car races, second in Modern Era history (1979-present) and sixth in the 95-year history of major-league open-wheel racing. He holds a share of the Champ Car Modern Era records for most wins in a season and most consecutive victories and finished in the top five in the season standings 11 times.
"Al was a great champion and was a master of racecraft because he was never a great qualifier, but was always a guy you had to watch on Race Day," said fellow Champ Car titlewinner Jimmy Vasser, who is just five starts away from equaling Unser's record of 192 consecutive Champ Car starts. "It was an honor to compete against him. His legacy in the sport is well earned."
Al won a record six times at Long Beach, four times at Vancouver, and three times in Cleveland and Portland including his first-ever Champ Car win in 1984 in a race where he climbed from 10th to take the victory. He made the last of his 273 Champ Car starts in 1999 with a seventh-place run at Fontana and scored his final Champ Car victory in 1995 in typical fashion, charging from his ninth-place starting spot to win in Vancouver.