Al Unser III

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Alfred Unser III
Nationality United States American
Born (1982-10-23) October 23, 1982 (age 31)
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Related to Al Unser, Jr. (father)
Al Unser (grandfather)
2014 Firestone Indy Lights Series
Debut season 2004
Former teams Vision Racing
Brian Stewart Racing
Playa Del Racing
American Dream Motorsports
Starts 20
Wins 0
Poles 1
Best finish 8th in 2004
Previous series
2004-2006 Champ Car Atlantic Series

Alfred Richard Unser ("Just Al" or "Al Unser III") (born October 23, 1982, in Albuquerque, New Mexico) is a professional race car driver in the United States, who competed in the 2008 Firestone Indy Lights Series through the Firestone Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May.

Family connections[edit]

Al Unser III is the son of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser, Jr., grandson of Al Unser, Sr., and grandnephew of Bobby Unser. Another granduncle, Jerry Unser, died in practice for the 1959 race. First-cousins-once-removed (his father's cousins) Robby and Johnny also drove in the Indianapolis 500.

Al driving an Infiniti Pro Series car at the Streets of St. Petersburg in 2005

During his young childhood years, he was often nicknamed "Mini Al" by the media and fans, all with the anticipation that he would undoubtedly follow in his family's footsteps to race. His grandfather (Al Unser, Sr.) became known as "Big Al," his father (Al Unser, Jr.) for a time became known as "Little Al," and Al III thus became known as "Mini Al." When starting his professional career, he has since abandoned any sort of nickname, and has insisted on being referred to as Just Al (i.e., Al Unser), or by his full name, Al Richard Unser.

Career biography[edit]

Unser began driving go karts at age 10, but stopped racing until after earning his driver's license at 16. After attending driving schools, Unser competed in the Skip Barber Western Racing Series in 2002, winning six races and earning "Rookie of the Year" honors. A year later, he posted four top-10 finishes in the Barber Dodge Series.

In 2004, Unser made his Toyota Atlantic Championship debut, running in four of the 12 series events. His best finish came in his final start of the season when he was eighth at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. He also ran in eight of twelve races in the Infiniti Pro Series, a feeder series to the Indy Racing League, and finished third five times.

Unser started the 2005 season in the Infiniti Pro Series, posting three top-10 finishes in the first four races. He then returned to the Toyota Atlantic series and finished the season 7th in championship, after running ten of twelve events and posting a best finish of 4th.

In 2006 he drove in 2 Champ Car Atlantic series events with a best finish of 19th, prior to funding issues seeing him losing his drive.

Unser III racing in the 2008 Firestone Freedom 100, his last Indy Lights race to date

Unser was signed to drive the Playa Del Racing #12 car in the Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 2007 Indy Pro Series. He continued in the series also appearing in several other oval races. He was announced as Playa Del Racing's full-time driver in the #12 car for the 2008 season.

Controlling interest in Playa Del Racing was sold in May, 2008 to former Las Vegas restaurateur Eric Zimmerman, who renamed it American Dream Motorsports. After finishing in 11th position at Indianapolis, Unser was reportedly released by the new owner and replaced by Tony Turco, who brought sponsorship to the program. American Dream Motorsports posted an entry for the Milwaukee 100 on May 31, but the car never took to the track.

Unser's sponsor, Ethos for Earth, shifted its support to Indy Lights at the series level, where it continues to feature Al Unser III and Al Unser, Jr. in marketing and promotions.

Immediate plans for Al Unser III to continue his racing career are undetermined.

Racing record[edit]

American open–wheel racing results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Barber Dodge Pro Series[edit]

Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Rank Points
2003 United States
STP
11
Mexico
MTY
18
United States
MIL
14
United States
LAG
6
United States
POR
8
United States
CLE
17
Canada
TOR
14
Canada
VAN
10
United States
MDO
12
Canada
MTL
15
13th 38

Indy Lights[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Rank Points
2004 Keith Duesenberg Racing United States
HMS
United States
PHX
United States
INDY
United States
KAN
3
United States
NSH
5
United States
MIL
3
United States
MIS
3
United States
KTY
11
United States
PPIR
6
United States
CHI
3
United States
FON
United States
TXS
3
8th 252
2005 Brian Stewart Racing United States
HMS
12
United States
PHX
8
United States
STP
4
United States
INDY
4
United States
TXS
United States
IMS
United States
NSH
United States
MIL
United States
KTY
United States
PPIR
United States
SNM
United States
CHI
United States
WGL
United States
FON
12th 106
2007 Playa Del Racing United States
HMS
United States
STP1
United States
STP2
United States
INDY
8
United States
MIL
7
United States
IMS1
United States
IMS2
United States
IOW
7
United States
WGL1
United States
WGL2
United States
NSH
13
United States
MDO
United States
KTY
United States
SNM1
United States
SNM2
United States
CHI
26th 93
2008 Playa Del Racing United States
HMS
13
United States
STP1
12
United States
STP2
6
United States
KAN
10
United States
INDY
11
United States
MIL
United States
IOW
United States
WGL1
United States
WGL2
United States
NSH
United States
MDO1
United States
MDO2
United States
KTY
United States
SNM1
United States
SNM2
United States
CHI
25th 102

Atlantic Championship[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Rank Points
2004 P-1 Racing United States
LBH
Ret
Mexico
MTY
United States
MIL
United States
POR1
United States
POR2
United States
CLE
Canada
TOR
Canada
VAN
16th 42
Brooks Associates Racing United States
ROA
9
United States
DEN
10
Canada
MTL
8
United States
LS
2005 Brooks Associates Racing United States
LBH
Mexico
MTY
United States
POR1
7
United States
POR2
6
United States
CLE1
4
United States
CLE2
Ret
Canada
TOR
4
Canada
EDM
6
United States
SJO
6
United States
DEN
7
United States
ROA
4
Canada
MTL
5
7th 198
2006 Mi-Jack Conquest Racing United States
LBH
19
United States
HOU
Ret
Mexico
MTY
Wth
United States
POR
United States
CLE1
United States
CLE2
Canada
TOR
Canada
EDM
United States
SJO
United States
DEN
Canada
MTL
United States
ROA
42nd 2

References[edit]