Al Unser Sr.
Related Biography: Racecar Driver Jerry Unser
More than any other family in auto racing history, the Unsers have dominated the Indianapolis 500. Unsers have competed in the Indy 500 about 70 times, and family members have won the race a total of nine times—four wins by Al Unser Sr., three wins by his older brother, Bobby, and two by his son, Al Jr. The first Unser to launch an assault on the legendary Brickyard in Indianapolis was Jerry Unser, older brother of both Bobby and Al Sr., and twin brother of Louie, who suffers from multiple sclerosis but works as an auto mechanic.
Jerry Unser was born on November 15, 1932, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Although Jerry was the first Unser to seek glory at the Indy, he never managed to complete a full lap. In his 1958 debut at the Brickyard, Jerry became extricated in a massive accident and was catapulted over the wall on his very first lap. The following year he returned but was severely injured in a practice run on May 2. Fifteen days later, Jerry succumbed to injuries sustained in that accident.
Before deciding to race at Indy, Jerry raced stock cars for a few years and in 1956 he was the national stock car champion. He and wife Jeanie had two sons, Jerry, who was born June 10, 1957, and Johnny, born October 22, 1958.