Bobby Unser

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Bobby Unser
NationalityUnited States American
Born(1934-02-20) February 20, 1934 (age 80)
Related toAl Unser, Sr. (brother)
Jerry Unser (brother)
Louis Unser (brother)
Robby Unser (son)
Al Unser, Jr. (nephew)
Johnny Unser (nephew)
Championship Car
Years active1955-1982
Starts258
Wins35
Poles52
Best finish1st in 1968 & 1974
Championship titles
1968 & 1974
1975
USAC National Champion
International Race of Champions
Awards
1981Indianapolis 500 winner
 
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Bobby Unser
NationalityUnited States American
Born(1934-02-20) February 20, 1934 (age 80)
Related toAl Unser, Sr. (brother)
Jerry Unser (brother)
Louis Unser (brother)
Robby Unser (son)
Al Unser, Jr. (nephew)
Johnny Unser (nephew)
Championship Car
Years active1955-1982
Starts258
Wins35
Poles52
Best finish1st in 1968 & 1974
Championship titles
1968 & 1974
1975
USAC National Champion
International Race of Champions
Awards
1981Indianapolis 500 winner
Formula One World Championship career
Active years1968
TeamsBRM
Races2 (1 start)
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums0
Career points0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
First race1968 Italian Grand Prix
Last race1968 United States Grand Prix
Bobby Unser's 1979 Penske Cosworth Champ Car

Robert William "Bobby" Unser (born February 20, 1934 in Colorado Springs, Colorado) is a retired U.S. 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 to have won the 500 in three different decades (1968, 75, 81). Bobby has also been a spokesman and advocate of many commercial products.

1981 Indianapolis 500[edit]

Bobby was part of one of the most controversial finishes in Indy 500 history at the 1981 Indianapolis 500. On lap 149, during a caution period, Bobby and 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 won the race, but was stripped of it the following morning in favor of second place finisher Mario Andretti. Unser was awarded the win in October 1981, 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 him to retire from racing at the end of the year.

Other achievements[edit]

Was the first driver to average more than 190 MPH at the Indianapolis 500.

Was the 1975 IROC champion.

Won the USAC Indy car championships in 1968 and 1974. He was also entered in the 1968 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International, driving for the BRM team. He withdrew after a massive accident in practice.

Challenged Dan Gurney to improve the performance of his 1971 USAC car, leading to the development of the Gurney flap.

Drove in three NASCAR Grand National races from 1969 to 1973 with a best finish of fourth.

Won the 1993 Fastmasters championship.

Leads winners of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with 13 wins.

Broadcaster[edit]

Unser became a television commentator for Indycar races after his retirement working for the ABC, ESPN and the NBC.

Awards[edit]

Federal criminal charges[edit]

In 20 December 1996 in Colorado, Unser and a friend became lost while snowmobiling near Unser's 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, and Mr Unser had vomited blood during this time.[1]

Mr 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 it, 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.[2] Mr Unser appealed this decision all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but his writ of certiorari was denied.[3]

Racing record[edit]

American Open-Wheel racing results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

USAC[edit]

YearTeam123456789101112131415161718RankPoints
1975All American RacersUnited States
ONT1
United States
ONT2
10
United States
ONT3
2
United States
PHX
United States
TRE
United States
INDY
1
United States
MIL
2
United States
POC
22
United States
MIS
5
United States
MIL2
3rd2480
Jerry O'Connell RacingUnited States
MIS2
3
United States
TRE2
United States
PHX2
1976Fletcher RacingUnited States
PHX
1
United States
TRE
DNQ
United States
INDY
10
United States
MIL
3
United States
POC
32
United States
MIS
United States
TWS
United States
TRE2
United States
MIL2
4
United States
ONT
1
United States
MIS2
4
United States
TWS2
17
United States
PHX2
21
6th2080
1977Fletcher RacingUnited States
ONT
15
United States
PHX
17
United States
TWS
United States
TRE
WD
United States
INDY
18
United States
MIL
16
United States
POC
19
Canada
MOS
United States
MIS
21
United States
TWS2
15
United States
MIL2
17
United States
ONT2
30
United States
MIS2
United States
PHX2
8
35th75
1978All American RacersUnited States
PHX
18
United States
ONT
16
United States
TWS
13
United States
TRE
20
United States
INDY
6
Canada
MOS
19
United States
MIL
17
United States
POC
20
United States
MIS
5
United States
ATL
3
United States
TWS2
8
United States
MIL2
20
United States
ONT2
13
United States
MIS2
United States
TRE2
United Kingdom
SIL
8
United Kingdom
BRH
13
United States
PHX2
11
12th1122

CART[edit]

YearTeam1234567891011121314RankPoints
1979Team PenskeUnited States
PHX
5
United States
ATL1
7
United States
ATL2
4
United States
INDY
5
United States
TRE1
1
United States
TRE2
1
United States
MIS1
Ret
United States
MIS2
1
United States
WGL
1
United States
TRE3
2
United States
ONT
1
United States
MIS3
1
United States
ATL3
3
United States
PHX2
2
2nd3820
1980Team PenskeUnited States
ONT1
Ret
United States
INDY
Ret
United States
MIL1
1
United States
POC
1
United States
MDO
Ret
United States
MIS1
2
United States
WGL
1
United States
MIL2
3
United States
ONT2
1
United States
MIS2
2
Mexico
MEX
2
United States
PHX
DNS
  2nd3714
1981Team PenskeUnited States
PHX1
2
United States
MIL1
Ret
United States
ATL1
13
United States
ATL2
6
United States
MIS1
Ret
United States
RIV
9
United States
MIL2
3
United States
MIS2
7
United States
WGL
Ret
Mexico
MEX
Ret
United States
PHX2
2
   7th99

Indy 500 results[edit]

YearChassisEngineStartFinish
1963Kurtis 500KNovi16th33rd
1964Ferguson P104Novi22nd32nd
1965Ferguson P104Novi8th19th
1966Huffaker 66Offy28th8th
1967Eagle 67Ford8th9th
1968Eagle 68Offy3rd1st
1969Lola T152Offy3rd3rd
1970Eagle 67Ford7th11th
1971Eagle 71Offy3rd12th
1972Eagle 72Offy1st30th
1973Eagle 73Offy2nd13th
1974Eagle 74Offy7th2nd
1975Eagle 74Offy3rd1st
1976Eagle 74-76Offy12th10th
1977Lightning Mk1/77Offy2nd18th
1978Eagle 78Ford Cosworth DFX19th6th
1979Penske PC-7Ford Cosworth DFX4th5th
1980Penske PC-9Ford Cosworth DFX3rd19th
1981Penske PC-9BFord Cosworth DFX1st1st

Indy 500 Qualifying Results[edit]

YearAtt #DateTimeQual
Day
Car #LapsQual
Time
Qual
Speed
RankStartComment
1967405-134164164.75298 
1968605-186134169.50733 
19691205-24122143:32.1600169.68333 
19702405-16241343:33.6400168.50887 
19711705-15171243:24.7600175.81633 
19721305-1416:491643:03.7300195.94011 
19731905-1213:28180 
19732905-1217:201843:01.6500198.18322 
19741405-1111:4014843:14.4100185.17687 
19751605-1013:1414843:08.4100191.07333 
1976105-1514:36131PULLED OFF
19763405-1613:152343:11.9800187.520512 
1977605-1411:44161PULLED OFF
19773205-1416:481643:02.0700197.72622 
19783005-2017:0724843:04.9400194.6581020 
19791705-1314:0811243:09.5600189.91344 
19802305-1014:1611143:09.4800189.99433 
19811905-1611:361342:59.5100200.54621 

Complete Formula One World Championship results[edit]

Unser participated in 2 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix.
(key)

YearEntrantChassisEngine123456789101112WDCPoints
1968Owen Racing OrganisationBRM P138BRM V12RSA
ESP
MON
BEL
NED
FRA
GBR
GER
ITA
DNS
CAN
USA
Ret
MEX
NC0

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Mark Donohue
IROC Champion
IROC II (1975)
Succeeded by
A.J. Foyt
Preceded by
A. J. Foyt
Indianapolis 500 Winner
1968
Succeeded by
Mario Andretti
Preceded by
Johnny Rutherford
Indianapolis 500 Winner
1975
Succeeded by
Johnny Rutherford
Preceded by
Johnny Rutherford
Indianapolis 500 Winner
1981
Succeeded by
Gordon Johncock