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Top 10 Moments of 2017 - #6: Unser Family Reunion

Editor's Note: This is the fifth of a series of 10 vignettes in which IMS Senior Communications Manager Paul Kelly picks his top 10 moments of 2017 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational is a weekend full of good times and even better vibes at IMS. The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association event is a racing museum in motion, as hundreds of vintage and historic cars are raced hard, as they were intended.

This event also was a family affair this year. It took place on Father’s Day weekend, with many dads and sons and grandsons attending the race together. The vintage races also featured fathers and sons racing against each other.

Of all the families that gathered that weekend at IMS, perhaps none gained more attention – and had more fun – than the Unsers.

The good times started Friday when Al, Bobby and Al Unser Jr. – who combined to win nine Indianapolis 500s – participated in a pre-race press conference along with Johnny and Robby Unser. Other racing legends were at the podium, too, including Indianapolis 500 veterans Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Max Papis and Willy T. Ribbs.

But the Unsers stole the show. All five of them traded stories, lighthearted barbs and laughter to set the scene for a wonderful weekend. The affair quickly morphed from a press conference into almost like sitting at the Unser dinner table on Thanksgiving.

It was hilarious, heartwarming and reassuring to see the First Family of the Indianapolis 500 reunited and in great spirits at their favorite place on Earth.

The Unsers were at IMS for more than media appearances. They were there to race, of course! Al, Al Jr., Johnny and Robby competed against each other in the Indy Legends Charity Pro-Am race Saturday, and Uncle Bobby was the grand marshal.

The good times continued to roll Sunday.

Loni Unser, the 19-year-old daughter of Johnny Unser, continued the family legacy of victory by sharing the driving duties in the winning car in her class. Johnny proudly stood on the podium with his daughter and her co-driver, Marcus Pillion, in yet another moment of glory for the Unser family at IMS.

Al, Bobby, Al Jr., Robby and Johnny all have been retired from the Indianapolis 500 driver’s seat for a decade or longer. But their passion and appreciation for IMS hasn’t dwindled one bit. And with Loni just starting her racing career, that winning legacy may continue at the Brickyard for years to come.

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