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The Info List - Bobby Unser


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Robert William "Bobby" Unser (born February 20, 1934) is an American former automobile racer. He is the brother of Al Unser, Jerry Unser and Louis Unser, the father of Robby Unser, and the uncle of Al Unser, Jr. and Johnny Unser. He is one of ten drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 three or more times, and one of only two (followed by Rick Mears) to have won the 500 in three different decades (1968, 75, 81). Bobby has also been a spokesman and advocate of many commercial products.

Contents

1 Early life 2 IndyCar career 3 1981 Indianapolis 500
1981 Indianapolis 500
controversy 4 Other achievements 5 Broadcaster 6 Awards 7 Federal criminal charges 8 Racing record

8.1 American open-wheel racing results

8.1.1 USAC 8.1.2 CART 8.1.3 Indy 500 results 8.1.4 Indy 500 qualifying results

8.2 Complete Formula One
Formula One
World Championship results

9 References 10 External links

Early life[edit] Unser was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the third oldest of 4 brothers. When he turned 1, his family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1950, at the age of 15, he won his first championship in Southwest Modified Stock Cars. From 1953 to 1955, he joined the Air Force and became a top competition sharp shooter in military matches, though he later bitterly regretted it. In 1955, Bobby, and brothers Jerry and Al Unser
Al Unser
decided to pursue racing careers in USAC. In 1959, his brother Jerry Unser died in an automobile accident at the Indianapolis 500. Bobby is the father of two sons, Bobby, Jr. and Robby, and two daughters, Cindy and Jeri. IndyCar career[edit] Unser came from a family of racecar drivers. He won numerous racing championships throughout his career, including three Indianapolis 500 titles.[1][2] He debuted in 1955 at Pike's Peak, dubbed "Unser's Peak" because of his family's history of success at the hill climb.[1] He finished fifth that year, behind his two brothers. A year later he won his first of a record 13 championships at Pike's Peak.[3][4] He won six straight titles from 1958 to 1963. His streak ended in 1964 when his younger brother Al won the race.[1] Unser raced in his first Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis 500
in 1963. He crashed early and placed thirty-third.[5] His first Indy-car win came in 1967 at Mosport, Ontario.[1] A year later, Unser won his first Indianapolis 500, setting the record as the first driver to race over 170 miles per hour at Indianapolis.[1] In 1969 Unser won his first USAC National Driving Championship.[2] In 1972, Unser set another Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis 500
record for the fastest qualifying time at 195.94 miles per hour.[6] In 1974, he won his second USAC National Driving Championship and a year later he won his second Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis 500
in a race that was rain-shortened on lap 174.[1] From 1979 to 1981, Unser raced in the CART series for Team Penske winning ten races.[3][4][7] In 1980 he became the first driver to win the California 500 four times. His career ended in 1981 following a debacle at Indianapolis. 1981 Indianapolis 500
1981 Indianapolis 500
controversy[edit] Bobby was the center of one of the most controversial finishes in Indy 500 history at the 1981 Indianapolis 500. Unser won the pole in the #3 Roger Penske-owned car and led the most laps (89 laps). On lap 149, during a caution period, Bobby and Mario Andretti
Mario Andretti
made their pit stop and headed back to the race. Bobby passed eight cars during the caution, while Mario passed two cars. Unser went on and won the race, but was stripped of it on the following morning in favor of second-place finisher Mario Andretti. After a 5-month lawsuit and protest by Penske, Bobby Unser
Bobby Unser
was re-awarded the win in October 1981. For his infraction, Unser was instead fined $40,000 ($108,000 in today's money). But the controversy and financial impact (Unser once estimated that the commercial endorsements he lost because of the delayed result cost him $1 million) caused a bitter Unser to retire from racing at the end of the year. In a 1982 interview Unser refused to come out of retirement and said he retired because following the controversy he became disillusioned with auto-racing and lost his passion for driving race-cars. "Regardless of the outcome it's been ruined for me. I would paint out racing if I painted my future," said Unser in an interview at the time. Unser sat out the 1982 IndyCar season but planned to make a comeback in 1983 driving for Patrick Racing
Patrick Racing
(ironically the team that was stripped of the win). However he changed his mind and retired in 1983. In his autobiography Winners are Driven, Unser expressed his beliefs that the debacle was politically motivated and that USAC disqualified him (and benefited Andretti), hoping to start a falling-out between Pat Patrick, Mario's car owner and owner of Patrick Racing, and Roger Penske (owner of Unser's car), in order to destroy CART. He claimed that Patrick's team did not protest the finish and that Patrick was on Unser's side in the controversy. Other achievements[edit] Was the 1975 IROC champion. Challenged Dan Gurney
Dan Gurney
to improve the performance of his 1971 USAC car, leading to the development of the Gurney flap.[citation needed] Won the 1993 Fast Masters championship. In 1993 he set a new Bonneville Salt Flats
Bonneville Salt Flats
record at Bonneville Speedway of 223.709 in a D/Gas Modified Roaster that stood for 18 years. Leads the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
with 13 wins setting a new track record 9 times.[citation needed] After retiring from Indycar driving in 1982, Bobby did developmental work for Audi, lapping one at 206.8 MPH. And in 1986, after a 12-year absence from the Pike’s Peak race, he won his event for the tenth time driving an Audi Quattro, breaking the tie he had with Uncle Louis for nine overall victories apiece. The 1986 win brought Bobby’s total number of Pike’s Peak victories to 13, including two stock car class victories (1969 and 1974) and a single sports car class win (1963). In 2003 he published a book, ““Winners are Driven: A Champion’s Guide to Success in Business and Life”. Broadcaster[edit] Unser became a television commentator for Indycar races after his retirement working for the ABC, ESPN
ESPN
and the NBC. In 1989 The National Academy of Televisions Arts and Sciences awarded ABC "Indianapolis 500" as "Outstanding Live Sports special" for the "National Sports Emmy Awards", Bobby receiving announcer honors with Paul Page, Sam Posey and others. He also broadcast several NASCAR events between 1986–1992 alongside Page and Benny Parsons. The most famous NASCAR race Unser broadcast was the 1989 Winston in which Rusty Wallace
Rusty Wallace
won by wrecking Darrell Waltrip
Darrell Waltrip
with 2 laps to go; Unser was the first broadcaster of the broadcasting team to spot the post-race fist-fight between Wallace and Waltrip's pit crews. Awards[edit]

He was selected as one of Sports Illustrated's "Top Five Athletes" in the popular magazine's first twenty years, along with the Martini & Rossi, and Olsonite "Driver of the Year" awards in 1974. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame
International Motorsports Hall of Fame
in 1990. He was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1997. He was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame
Colorado Sports Hall of Fame
in 1997 Unser was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1994.[citation needed] 1999-Presented with Indy 500 Front Row Award. 9-time front row qualifier (68, 69, 71, 72, 73, 75, 77, 80, 81)

Federal criminal charges[edit] On 20 December 1996, in Colorado, Unser and a friend became lost while snowmobiling near Unser's New Mexico
New Mexico
ranch. They abandoned one stuck snowmobile before a storm blinded them both. When the second snowmobile stopped working, they spent two days and nights in subzero weather before finding a barn where they were found. Both men were suffering badly, his friend was suffering from hypothermia, and Unser had vomited blood during this time.[8] Unser was later convicted of a Federal misdemeanor, "unlawful operation of a snowmobile within a National Forest Wilderness Area" (16 U.S.C. 551, 36 C.F.R. 261.16(a)), and was fined $75. Maximum penalties could have been up to six months in jail and up to $5,000.00 in fines. Unser appealed, claiming to have been lost before the accident, but the court ruled that maps were widely available and it was a public welfare offense, thus intent was not necessary.[9] Unser appealed this decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but his writ of certiorari was denied.[10] Racing record[edit] American open-wheel racing results[edit] (key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) USAC[edit] This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Rank Points

1975 All American Racers ONT1 ONT2 10 ONT3 2 PHX TRE INDY 1 MIL 2 POC 22 MIS 5 MIL2

3rd 2480

Jerry O'Connell Racing

MIS2 3 TRE2 PHX2

1976 Fletcher Racing PHX 1 TRE DNQ INDY 10 MIL 3 POC 32 MIS TWS TRE2 MIL2 4 ONT 1 MIS2 4 TWS2 17 PHX2 21

6th 2080

1977 Fletcher Racing ONT 15 PHX 17 TWS TRE WD INDY 18 MIL 16 POC 19 MOS MIS 21 TWS2 15 MIL2 17 ONT2 30 MIS2 PHX2 8

35th 75

1978 All American Racers PHX 18 ONT 16 TWS 13 TRE 20 INDY 6 MOS 19 MIL 17 POC 20 MIS 5 ATL 3 TWS2 8 MIL2 20 ONT2 13 MIS2 TRE2 SIL 8 BRH 13 PHX2 11 12th 1122

CART[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Rank Points

1979 Team Penske PHX 5 ATL1 7 ATL2 4 INDY 5 TRE1 1 TRE2 1 MIS1 Ret MIS2 1 WGL 1 TRE3 2 ONT 1 MIS3 1 ATL3 3 PHX2 2 2nd 3820

1980 Team Penske ONT1 Ret INDY Ret MIL1 1 POC 1 MDO Ret MIS1 2 WGL 1 MIL2 3 ONT2 1 MIS2 2 MEX 2 PHX DNS     2nd 3714

1981 Team Penske PHX1 2 MIL1 Ret ATL1 13 ATL2 6 MIS1 Ret RIV 9 MIL2 3 MIS2 7 WGL Ret MEX Ret PHX2 2       7th 99

Indy 500 results[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish

1963 Kurtis 500K Novi 16th 33rd

1964 Ferguson P104 Novi 22nd 32nd

1965 Ferguson P104 Novi 8th 19th

1966 Huffaker 66 Offy 28th 8th

1967 Eagle 67 Ford 8th 9th

1968 Eagle 68 Offy 3rd 1st

1969 Lola T152 Offy 3rd 3rd

1970 Eagle 67 Ford 7th 11th

1971 Eagle 71 Offy 3rd 12th

1972 Eagle 72 Offy 1st 30th

1973 Eagle 73 Offy 2nd 13th

1974 Eagle 74 Offy 7th 2nd

1975 Eagle 74 Offy 3rd 1st

1976 Eagle 74–76 Offy 12th 10th

1977 Lightning Mk1/77 Offy 2nd 18th

1978 Eagle 78 Ford
Ford
Cosworth DFX 19th 6th

1979 Penske PC-7 Ford
Ford
Cosworth DFX 4th 5th

1980 Penske PC-9 Ford
Ford
Cosworth DFX 3rd 19th

1981 Penske PC-9B Ford
Ford
Cosworth DFX 1st 1st

Indy 500 qualifying results[edit]

Year Att # Date Time Qual Day Car # Laps Qual Time Qual Speed Rank Start Comment

1967 4 05-13 4 1 6 4  — 164.752 9 8

1968 6 05-18 6 1 3 4  — 169.507 3 3

1969 12 05-24 12 2 1 4 3:32.1600 169.683 3 3

1970 24 05-16 24 1 3 4 3:33.6400 168.508 8 7

1971 17 05-15 17 1 2 4 3:24.7600 175.816 3 3

1972 13 05-14 16:49 1 6 4 3:03.7300 195.940 1 1

1973 19 05-12 13:28 1 8 0  —  —  —  —

1973 29 05-12 17:20 1 8 4 3:01.6500 198.183 2 2

1974 14 05-11 11:40 1 48 4 3:14.4100 185.176 8 7

1975 16 05-10 13:14 1 48 4 3:08.4100 191.073 3 3

1976 1 05-15 14:36 1 3 1  —  —  —  — PULLED OFF

1976 34 05-16 13:15 2 3 4 3:11.9800 187.520 5 12

1977 6 05-14 11:44 1 6 1  —  —  —  — PULLED OFF

1977 32 05-14 16:48 1 6 4 3:02.0700 197.726 2 2

1978 30 05-20 17:07 2 48 4 3:04.9400 194.658 10 20

1979 17 05-13 14:08 1 12 4 3:09.5600 189.913 4 4

1980 23 05-10 14:16 1 11 4 3:09.4800 189.994 3 3

1981 19 05-16 11:36 1 3 4 2:59.5100 200.546 2 1

Complete Formula One
Formula One
World Championship results[edit] Unser participated in 2 Formula One
Formula One
World Championship Grands Prix.

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 WDC Points

1968 Owen Racing Organisation BRM
BRM
P126 BRM
BRM
V12 RSA ESP MON BEL NED FRA GBR GER ITA DNS CAN

NC 0

BRM
BRM
P138

USA Ret MEX

References[edit]

^ a b c d e f "Family History". Unser Racing Museum. Retrieved 11 February 2015.  ^ a b " Bobby Unser
Bobby Unser
Inventor, Collaborator, 3-time Indy 500 Winner". OnInnovation. Retrieved 11 February 2015.  ^ a b " Bobby Unser
Bobby Unser
1980 USAC Champ Car
Champ Car
Series Results". Racing Reference. Retrieved 11 February 2015.  ^ a b " Bobby Unser
Bobby Unser
1981 USAC Champ Car
Champ Car
Series Results". Racing Reference. Retrieved 11 February 2015.  ^ "1963 Indianapolis 500". Racing Reference. Retrieved 12 February 2015.  ^ Oreovicz, John (16 May 2011). "Indy at 100: Fatalities mar the '70s". ESPN. Retrieved 19 February 2015.  ^ "Bobby Unser". Racing Reference. Retrieved 11 February 2015.  ^ Indy 500 Winner Bobby Unser
Bobby Unser
vs. the U.S. Government on YouTube ^ Friedman, Richard A. (July 1999), Brief for the United States
United States
in Opposition, archived from the original on 2010-08-30  ^ Carroll, Conn (2011-03-14), " Bobby Unser
Bobby Unser
vs the Feds", The Foundry, Heritage Foundation 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bobby Unser.

Bobby Unser
Bobby Unser
Photos The Greatest 33

Preceded by Mark Donohue IROC Champion IROC II (1975) Succeeded by A. J. Foyt

Preceded by A. J. Foyt Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis 500
Winner 1968 Succeeded by Mario Andretti

Preceded by Johnny Rutherford Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis 500
Winner 1975 Succeeded by Johnny Rutherford

Preceded by Johnny Rutherford Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis 500
Winner 1981 Succeeded by Gordon Johncock

v t e

USAC Drivers' Champions

(1956) Jimmy Bryan (1957) Jimmy Bryan (1958) Tony Bettenhausen (1959) Rodger Ward (1960) A. J. Foyt (1961) A. J. Foyt (1962) Rodger Ward (1963) A. J. Foyt (1964) A. J. Foyt (1965) Mario Andretti (1966) Mario Andretti (1967) A. J. Foyt (1968) Bobby Unser (1969) Mario Andretti (1970) Al Unser (1971) Joe Leonard (1972) Joe Leonard (1973) Roger McCluskey (1974) Bobby Unser (1975) A. J. Foyt (1976) Gordon Johncock (1977) Tom Sneva (1978) Tom Sneva (1979) A. J. Foyt (1980) Johnny Rutherford

v t e

Indianapolis 500
Indianapolis 500
winners

Drivers

Four-time

A. J. Foyt Rick Mears Al Unser, Sr.

Three-time

Hélio Castroneves Dario Franchitti Louis Meyer Mauri Rose Johnny Rutherford Wilbur Shaw Bobby Unser

Two-time

Emerson Fittipaldi Gordon Johncock Arie Luyendyk Tommy Milton Juan Pablo Montoya Al Unser, Jr. Bill Vukovich Rodger Ward Dan Wheldon

One-time

Mario Andretti Billy Arnold Joe Boyer Kenny Bräck Jimmy Bryan Eddie Cheever Gaston Chevrolet Jim Clark Lora L. Corum Bill Cummings Floyd Davis Joe Dawson Gil de Ferran Pat Flaherty Fred Frame Ralph DePalma Pete DePaolo Scott Dixon Mark Donohue Jules Goux Sam Hanks Ray Harroun Graham Hill Bill Holland Sam Hornish, Jr. Ryan Hunter-Reay Parnelli Jones Tony Kanaan Ray Keech Buddy Lazier Frank Lockhart Jimmy Murphy Johnnie Parsons Kelly Petillo Bobby Rahal Jim Rathmann Dario Resta Buddy Rice Floyd Roberts George Robson Alexander Rossi Troy Ruttman Takuma Sato Louis Schneider Tom Sneva George Souders Danny Sullivan Bob Sweikert René Thomas Jacques Villeneuve Lee Wallard Howdy Wilcox

Owners

J. C. Agajanian Michael Andretti Eddie Cheever Louis Chevrolet A. J. Foyt Chip Ganassi Kim Green Andy Granatelli Dan Gurney Jim Hall Ron Hemelgarn Bryan Herta Parnelli Jones Kevin Kalkhoven Howard Keck Frank Kurtis David Letterman Louis Meyer Lou Moore Jimmy Murphy Pat Patrick Roger Penske Kelly Petillo Bobby Rahal Wilbur Shaw Doug Shierson Fred Treadway Jim Trueman Jimmy Vasser

Teams

A. J. Foyt
A. J. Foyt
Enterprises All American Racers Andretti-Green Racing/Andretti Autosport Bryan Herta
Bryan Herta
Autosport Chaparral Cars Cheever Racing Chip Ganassi
Chip Ganassi
Racing Doug Shierson Racing Galles/KRACO Racing Hemelgarn Racing KV Racing Technology McLaren
McLaren
Racing Limited Mecom Racing Team Patrick Racing Penske Racing Rahal Letterman Racing Team Green Team Lotus Treadway Racing Truesports Vel's Parnelli Jones
Parnelli Jones
Racing

v t e

International Race of Champions
International Race of Champions
winners

Donohue B. Unser Foyt Unser Sr Andretti Allison Yarborough Gant Unser Jr Bodine T. Labonte Earnhardt Wallace Rudd Allison/Labonte Martin B. Labonte Harvick Busch Kenseth Stewart

v t e

The Unser family tree

Jerry Unser, Sr. (1899-1967)

Mary Catherine "Mom" Unser (1906-1975)

Louis "Uncle Louie" Unser (1896-1979)

Jerry Unser Jr. (1932-1959)

Louie Unser (1932-2004)

Bobby Unser (b. 1934)

Al Unser, Sr. (b. 1939)

Johnny Unser (b. 1958)

Robby Unser (b. 1968)

Al Unser
Al Unser
Jr. (b. 1962)

Mary Unser Tanner (1959-2009)

Al Richard Unser (b. 1982)

Jason Tanner (b.

.