IRL: CHAMPCAR/CART: Al Unser Jr. Nominated for Prestigious ESPY Award

UNSER NOMINATED FOR PRESTIGIOUS ESPY AWARD INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2000 - Indy Racing League driver Al Unser Jr. has been nominated for the ESPY Auto Racing Performer of the Decade award. The eighth annual ESPY Awards will air live at...

UNSER NOMINATED FOR PRESTIGIOUS ESPY AWARD

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2000 - Indy Racing League driver Al Unser Jr. has been nominated for the ESPY Auto Racing Performer of the Decade award.

The eighth annual ESPY Awards will air live at 8 p.m. (EST) Feb. 14 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on ESPN cable sports network. Fellow nominees for the ESPY's Auto Racing Performer of the Decade are stock car drivers Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon, and drag racer John Force.

ESPN created the ESPY Awards in 1993 to recognize athletes for excellence in sports performance each year. But for the 2000 program, 15 awards were created to recognize athletes from different sports for their contributions in the last decade.

During the 1990s, Unser scored 22 victories - including the 1992 and 1994 Indianapolis 500 - and season championships in the Championship Auto Racing Teams series in 1990 and 1994. Unser's 1992 Indy win over Scott Goodyear was the closest in Indianapolis 500 history, with Unser taking the checkered flag by only .043 of a second.

"There have been many great drivers over the last decade, and I am honored to be nominated for this award," said Unser. "It spans an entire decade, which includes my years with (team owners) Roger Penske and Rick Galles. I am back with Galles now, and it means a lot to me that I am once again with the team that had such an impact on my career, including my first Indianapolis 500 win.

"This just intensifies my desire to get back to the Brickyard and make some history for the next decade."

Unser, 37, has reunited with longtime friend and team owner Galles for the 2000 Indy Racing League season and will drive a G Force/Aurora/Firestone car. The team's 1992 Indy win was the first for each. Unser's second Indy win, in 1994, came with Team Penske.

Unser will renew his longtime open-wheel rivalries with Indy Racing veterans such as Eddie Cheever Jr. and Scott Goodyear starting with the season-opening Delphi Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway on Jan. 29.

-IRL/IMS-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , John Force , Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Scott Goodyear , Al Unser Sr. , Roger Penske
Teams Team Penske