“Richardson 500 Tour” will Highlight Richardson’s Successful Leadership of New Mexico and Steadfast Support for Hunters and Outdoorsmen
Manchester,NH – Legendary Indy car drivers Bobby Unser, Sr. and Al Unser, Sr. will stump the Granite State this week for Governor Bill Richardson. The famous brothers will highlight the Governor’s successful leadership of their home state of New Mexico, as well as his steadfast support for hunters and outdoorsmen.“Bobby and I normally steer clear of presidential politics but we couldn’t sit this one out,” said Al Unser, Sr. “We’ve witnessed firsthand the difference that Bill Richardson’s leadership has made for the people of New Mexico and we know that he can be a real force for change in Washington, D.C.”
The“Richardson 500 Tour” will begin in New Hampshire’s Southern Tier and travel upwards into the North Country. There will be opportunities for photographs and autographs from the three-time and four-time Indianapolis 500 champions. Weather permitting, the events will also feature a sprint car similar to the type that Bobby drove to six consecutive victories at the PikesPeak hillclimb. All events are free and open to the public. Below are the complete public schedule and bios of the racing legends.
When: 4:45 PM
What: “Meet the Unsers” at the Nashua Harley-Davidson
Where: 717 Route 101A, Merrimack
When: 8:45 AM
What: “Meet the Unsers” at Bobby’s East Side Garage
Where: Main. St, Greenville
When: 11:15 AM
What: Drop by the Puritan Backroom
Where: 245 Hooksett Rd, Manchester
When: 1:15 PM
What: Drop by T-Bones
Where: 1182 Union Ave, Laconia
When: 3:00 PM
What: Drop by Tilton Diner
Where: 61 Laconia Rd., Tilton
When: 5:00 PM
What: “Meet the Unsers” at the Woodstock Inn & Brewery
Where: Main St., North Woodstock
When: 7:15 PM
What: North Grafton Democratic Committee Meeting
Where: Crapo Building, 1411 Main St., Sugar Hill
Friday, November 30
When: 8:15 AM
What: “Meet the Unsers” at the Littleton Community House Annex
Where: 141 Main St., Littleton
When: 10:45 AM
What: Visit to White Mountains Regional High School
Where: 127 Regional Rd, Whitefield
When: 11:30 AM
What: Drop by Scorpio’s Pizza
Where: 180 Main St. Lancaster
When: 4:15 PM
What:“ Meet the Unsers” at Emerson’s Outdoor Store
Where: 149 State St., Groveton
When: 7:00 PM
What: “Meet the Unsers” the Berlin VFW
Where: 1107 Main St, Berlin
When: 8:15 AM
What: “Meet the Unsers” at the White Mountain Chalet
Where: 161 E. Milan Rd, Berlin
When: 9:45 AM
What: “Meet the Unsers” at LL Cote’s Outdoor Store
Where: 25 Main St., Errol
When: 12:00 PM
What: Drop by Mr. Pizza
Where: 160 Main St, Gorham
When: 1:15 PM
What: Drop by Red Fox Pub
Where: 49 NH Route 16, Jackson
When: 2:00 PM
What: Drop by Almost There Sports Bar
Where: 1287 NH Route 16, Albany
When: 3:45 PM
What: Drop by The Barn Door
Where: 29 Allen Road, Wolfeboro
When: 7:30 PM
What: “Meet the Unsers” at Makris Lobster and Steak House
Where: 354 Sheep Davis Road, Concord
Bios(from the International Motorsports Hall of Fame):
AlfredUnser, Sr., holds the distinction of being one of only three drivers who have won the Indianapolis 500 four times. He is also in elite company as one of three Indy drivers who have won on paved ovals, road courses and dirt tracks in a single season, having done it three times in a row (1968-69-70).
The youngest brother from the famous racing Unser family of Albuquerque, NM, Al Unser posted 39 wins, grabbed 27 poles and won well over $6 million on the Indycar circuit before he retired in 1992.
He first drove Modified roadsters in 1957 in Albuquerque at the age of 18. He also raced the Pike's Peak Hillcllmb for the first time in 1960, finishing second to his brother, Bobby.
Unser made his Indy car debut at Milwaukee in 1964, and later that year won the Pikes Peak Hillclimb halting his brother's six-year win streak. He also raced in sprints and midgets. The next year he ran Indy for the first time, finishing 9th after starting on the last row. He also won his first "champ car" win at Pikes Peak.
In1967, Unser finished second to A.J. Foyt at Indy, and also claimed his first pole, at Langhorne. He also raced USAC stocks and was named Rookie of the Year Unser really established himself in 1968, winning five races in a row, and grabbing five poles. A broken leg kept him out of Indy in 1969, but he won five times in 19 starts.
Unser earned the first of his three Indy car championships in 1970, beating brother Bobby. Unser won 10 races, including the Indy 500 from the pole, and seven other poles that year. He was also named DRIVER OF THE YEAR.
After five wins, including a repeat win at Indy in 1971, Unser experienced a dry spell, going four years with only a win at Texas in 1973. He turned things around in 1977, however, winning at Pocono, Milwaukee and Phoenix. In 1977, he moved to second in Indy-car points and won the IROC championship. Unser swept the "Triple Crown" events of Indy, Pocono and Ontario in 1978,and also repeated his IROC championship.
Joining Penske racing in 1983, Unser posted 10 Top-Five finishes and claimed his second PPG championship. Two years later, he won his third title, by one point over his son, Al Jr. At 46, he became the oldest Indy car champion.In 1987, replacing the injured Danny Ongias in a year-old March/Cosworth, Unser won his fourth Indianapolis 500.
Among the racing heavens that is the celebrated Unser family, Bobby's star shines bright.
He was the undisputed king of the Pikes Peak hillclimb, winning the championship13 times. At Indianapolis, he was a winner three times, in 1968, 1975 and againin 1981. He has 35 career Indy Car wins and was the first to go 190 miles per hour at Indianapolis.
Born Feb. 20,1934, Unser started by driving modified stocks around his Albuquerque,N.M., home. He won the state's title at age 15 and repeated at age 17. By 1956, he was a champion of the Pikes Peak hillclimb and starting in 1958, he put together a string of six consecutive titles. He was to continue to dominate for years.
An accomplished Sprint Car driver - another form of racing he pursued successfully for years - Unser's Indy Car career began in 1962. He spent three years driving Novi-engined cars for Andy Granatelli before switching to Bob Willke's team for a four-year period from 1966-70.
In 1968, Unser staged a spirited battle with Joe Leonard, now behind the wheel of Granatelli's turbine car, to win his first Indianapolis 500. He was the leader for much of the race, until the 400-mile mark. He was resigned to second place with just 10 laps to go because he was being blocked by Art Pollard, teammate to leader Leonard. But suddenly Leonard's engine gave out and Unser scored the victory, something that had, to that time, eluded his father, his uncles and his brothers.
That year, Unser also earned his first USAC National Championship. He was to win it again in 1974, one year before he won his second Indianapolis 500. That year, he won in a Jorgensen Fagle. Six years later, he won again in Roger Penske's Norton Spirit, but not without a fair amount of controversy.
He won the pole that year and was the dominant driver, battling for the lead with Patrick Racing teammates Mario Andretti and Gordon Johncock. Three-quarters of the way through the race, Unser pitted along with Andretti, was out first and passed a group of cars behind the pace car en route to his rightful position in line.
He went on to win by eight seconds over Andretti.
But the United States Auto Club, which sanctioned the race, took exception, claiming Unser had illegally passed under caution conditions. It penalized him a lap and thus, gave the win to Andretti. However, Unser followed up with a summer-long session of appeals and debate and was reinstated as the winner of the Indianapolis 500, his 35th and last in Indy Cars.He retired the following year but continued to keep his hand in Indy Cars and at Pikes Peak - which he won again in 1986. Today, he serves as a television commentator, helping to bring racing to the forefront of the nation.