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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | May 2, 1999
For 13 years, Al Unser Jr. had the good life.He was married with four children. His racing career was off the charts, as he drove for Roger Penske, the most successful car owner in Indy Car history. He virtually wanted for nothing.And then came 1995 and the Indianapolis 500. Unser became the first defending champion in 500 history not to make the starting field the year after winning the race. None of Penske's cars made the field.Then came the nearly four years of racing without a victory.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | July 10, 2004
Nextel Cup driver Jeff Burton is driving down the road, headed for a race and considering his future. Retirement looms at any moment. Had he chosen to be a bank teller - or any of a thousand other professions - he could plan for his retirement like "normal" people do. "Most people plan for retirement at age 63 or 65," Burton said. "But if you're a sports figure, you don't know when the end is coming. How do I find the answers to: What do I need to do? "You're around people who make so much money.
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By Knight-Ridder | February 14, 1991
IMSA driver Geoff Brabham will start on the pole tomorrow for the 100-mile International Race of Champions at Daytona. Right beside Brabham on the front row with be Dale Earnhardt, defending NASCAR Winston Cup and IROC series champion.A pair of road racers, Tommy Kendall and Bob Wollek, will start third and fourth, respectively. CART drivers Scott Pruett and Al Unser Jr. will start fifth and sixth. NASCAR driver Bill Elliott will start seventh, beside road racer Dorsey Schroeder. NASCAR drivers Geoff Bodine and Mark Martin will start ninth and 10th, respectively.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | April 30, 2000
I want Al Unser Jr. to win the Indianapolis 500, just so I can hear him try to thank his sponsors in Victory Lane. Unser drives the Galles ECR RacingTickets.com-Starz Encore Superpak G Force/Oldsmobile/Firestone car. Whew! Seriously, it wouldn't be such a bad thing if Unser, 38, won. It has been five years since he has raced in the Indianapolis 500, and a lot of has happened in his life since then. In 1995, as the defending champ, he failed to qualify for the race. And, as it turned out, that was the least of it. Then came a five-year losing streak.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,Staff Writer | May 26, 1992
INDIANAPOLIS -- A day after winning his first Indianapolis 500, Al Unser Jr. still was reveling in the feeling."I kind of feel accomplished for my whole life," Unser said. "When I was a kid, I counted up the years to when I'd be old enough to drive Indianapolis and race IndyCars and the 500. When I turned 21 in April [1983] and I was racing in May that was a goal achieved. And, now, I've achieved a dream. It took us 10 years to win it, longer than I wanted, but it's great to be able to win it -- finally."
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March 21, 1992
Bernstein first to hit 300 mph in dragsterKenny Bernstein became the first drag racer in history to reach the 300 mph during qualifying for the NHRA's 23rd annual Gatornationals at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway.Bernstein recorded a speed of 301.70 mph in his top-fuel dragster and established another record by covering the quarter-mile distance in 4.823 seconds.* Formula One driving champion Ayrton Senna was injured when he crashed his car into a wall today during a preliminary to the Mexican Grand Prix.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,Staff Writer | May 23, 1992
INDIANAPOLIS -- It is going to be the garage sale of all garage sales.A.J. Foyt announced yesterday that the general public will be allowed to get its hands on 35 years of his racing history, valued at an estimated $5 million.Included in the lot is Foyt's 1977 Coyote Indy-winning car, complete with Foyt Engine."All this stuff is in the horse barns down in Houston," Foyt said. "There's so much of it, I just can't keep it all up. It's just going to waste sitting there, and I hate to see that, so I might as well share it with some people who are going to appreciate it."
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,Staff Writer | May 25, 1992
INDIANAPOLIS -- Al Unser Jr. was beaten. He knew it Thursday afternoon. His new Galmer chassis with the Chevy-A engine was pushing into the walls coming out of the corners, and his speeds were 10 mph off the pace.An afternoon of meetings with chassis designer Alan Mertens on Thursday evening didn't make him feel much better. On Friday, he ducked a news conference, saying he had an upset stomach."Saturday afternoon, we all gathered in my hotel room and talked about it," said Unser. "Rick [Galles, car owner]
SPORTS
August 26, 1991
DENVER -- Al Unser Jr. blew away from the rest of the 24-car field yesterday to win his second straight Texaco-Havoline Grand Prix and move solidly into the race for the Indy-car championship.Unser never was headed, holding off a mild challenge from Emerson Fittipaldi at the end to win his second race of the season and the 17th of his career.Michael Andretti finished third, cutting Bobby Rahal's CART PPG Cup points lead to 141-132. Rahal's engine blew on lap 28. Unser moved to third with 129 points after 12 of 17 races.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,Evening Sun Staff | October 5, 1990
When Al Unser Jr. turns on the radio and hears his favorite country and western artist, Hank Williams Jr., singing about "family tradition," the 28-year-old can relate."
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | May 2, 1999
For 13 years, Al Unser Jr. had the good life.He was married with four children. His racing career was off the charts, as he drove for Roger Penske, the most successful car owner in Indy Car history. He virtually wanted for nothing.And then came 1995 and the Indianapolis 500. Unser became the first defending champion in 500 history not to make the starting field the year after winning the race. None of Penske's cars made the field.Then came the nearly four years of racing without a victory.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | May 25, 1998
INDIANAPOLIS -- Before this Indianapolis 500, veteran drivers talked about their need to beware of the eight rookies in the field. And the talk was right, but maybe not the way the veterans meant it.The rookies had a day, taking six of the top 12 spots.Rookie Steve Knapp, who started 23rd, drove a wonderful race and finished third, one of just three drivers on the lead lap."The team did a super job, and the car was really good," said Knapp, 34, who started his career in 1985 in the Sports Car Club of America's Formula Vee class.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | March 25, 1997
Happy Maryland Day."Housesitter" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Steve Martin is Newt Davis, an architect who, jilted by his girlfriend (for whom he's just built a dream house), has a one-night fling with bubbly blond con artist Gwen (Goldie Hawn, who else?). Much to Newt's horror, Gwen decides to move in and soon has everyone convinced she's his wife -- including the original girlfriend (Dana Delany). Lots of fun, and with Hawn and Delany to choose between, it sounds like Martin would have trouble losing.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF | February 15, 1997
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Once upon an IROC race, Al Unser Jr. and Dale Earnhardt would just as soon put each other into the wall as they would help each other to victory.But yesterday, in IROC XXI, it was Earnhardt helping Unser to his first career victory on Daytona Speedway's 2.5-mile oval."Dale kept me in the lead for the last seven or eight laps," Unser said. "Without him, I wouldn't have been able to do it."Going into the first turn of the last lap, Earnhardt had his chance to drop to the inside and let Mark Martin help him pass the Championship Auto Racing Teams driver.
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By MILTON KENT | May 26, 1995
ABC auto racing host Paul Page said he was looking for an analogy from another sport that could compare to the shock of the failure of Roger Penske's race team to land a spot in Sunday's Indianapolis 500, and he couldn't."
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,Sun Staff Writer | May 24, 1995
INDIANAPOLIS -- Brazilian Andre Ribeiro can tell you about the first time his countryman Emerson Fittipaldi raced in the Indianapolis 500 -- 1988. He can tell you the first time Fittipaldi won the race -- 1989.And, as luck would have it, Ribeiro, the fastest rookie in the field for this year's Indianapolis 500, also can tell you the first time Fittipaldi failed to make the 500 field."It is incredible that I am in and he is out," said Ribeiro, a 29-year-old native of Sao Paulo. "My first real contact with this race was when Emerson started to compete here.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | March 25, 1997
Happy Maryland Day."Housesitter" (8 p.m.-10 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45) -- Steve Martin is Newt Davis, an architect who, jilted by his girlfriend (for whom he's just built a dream house), has a one-night fling with bubbly blond con artist Gwen (Goldie Hawn, who else?). Much to Newt's horror, Gwen decides to move in and soon has everyone convinced she's his wife -- including the original girlfriend (Dana Delany). Lots of fun, and with Hawn and Delany to choose between, it sounds like Martin would have trouble losing.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,Sun Staff Writer | May 30, 1994
INDIANAPOLIS -- It had been a quiet moment, a father and son talk. Al Unser Jr. asked his father, four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Sr., what he wanted for his birthday."
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,Sun Staff Writer | May 30, 1994
INDIANAPOLIS -- It had been a quiet moment, a father and son talk. Al Unser Jr. asked his father, four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Sr., what he wanted for his birthday."
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,Sun Staff Writer | May 28, 1994
INDIANAPOLIS -- Emerson Fittipaldi is riding through Gasoline Alley on the back of a golf cart and his fans are jogging, no, running full speed behind him.They are reaching out with photographs, T-shirts, programs, scraps of paper. They are hurling pens at him, as they stretch toward the ever-retreating Fittipaldi. And he is signing, looking up at the panting faces, then back down and signing some more.This is how it is for the two-time Formula One champion, one-time IndyCar champ and the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner.
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