Al Unser Sr., the four-time Indianapolis 500 winner and three-time champion of the series that preceded IndyCar, has died at 82 after a 17-year-long battle with cancer.
Like his father, his uncles, and his three older brothers, Al Sr. came from Albuquerque, New Mexico. The family began competing at Pikes Peak in 1926, a race they have combined to win overall 26 times. Two of those wins, 1964 and 1965, belong to “Big Al.” His older brother Bobby owns the all-time record, ten, and his uncle Louis is second with nine.
Like his older brothers, that success led him directly to Indianapolis in the golden age of the mid-1960s. In 1958, Jerry Jr. made his first start at Indianapolis. Bobby followed in 1963. Al Sr. made his debut in 1965, alongside Mario Andretti and Gordon Johncock. Jerry Unser Jr. died in practice for the race in 1959. Bobby Unser won the race three times, giving him the resume to stand on his own as one of the greatest to ever run the 500 Mile Race. Al Sr. won four: 1970, 1971, 1978, and 1987.
For the full story, check out this article from Road & Track.