INDIANAPOLIS — One of open wheel racing’s most popular competitors announced his retirement this week.
Al Unser Jr., made the announcement during a press conference at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the site of the two greatest triumphs of his 22-year driving career, victories in the 1992 and 1994 Indianapolis 500.
“I have always said that I would get out of the race car if driving stopped being fun for me and if I felt that I was no longer competitive on the track,” Unser said. “After careful thought, I came to this conclusion just after the Richmond race and knew that it was time for me to retire. So, true to my word, I am stepping out of the car.
Unser participated in his final race in a Patrick Racing entry June 26 in the SunTrust Indy Challenge, an Indy Racing League IndyCar Series event at Richmond International Raceway.
Unser, a native of Albuquerque, N.M., earned 34 career victories in 327 combined starts in the Indy Racing League and CART from 1982-2004. He won CART championship in 1990 with Galles Racing and in 1994 with Penske Racing.
Unser will remain with Patrick Racing as an advisor. The team will name a new driver shortly.
In related news, Unser’s son, Alfred Richard Unser, the third generation of one of the most successful auto-racing families in history, announced he will compete in the Indy Racing League Menards Infiniti Pro Series with Keith Duesenberg Racing.
Unser will make his series debut July 3 in the Aventis Racing for Kids 100 at Kansas Speedway. Young Unser tested a Menards Infiniti Pro Series car for the first time on June 7 with Sam Schmidt Motorsports at Kentucky Speedway and participated in an IRL Open Test June 15 at The Milwaukee Mile with Keith Duesenberg Racing.
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