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Two-time Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr. returning to the Brickyard for vintage race

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Back in February, Indianapolis Motor Speedway confirmed that it would play host to a vintage race that would feature everything from Indy 500 and Formula One challengers to NASCAR stock cars.

Now, a major figure in “500” lore is suiting up to take part.

Al Unser Jr., who won the “500” in 1992 and 1994, will race in an “Indy Legends Pro-Am” feature that will be part of the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s Brickyard Invitational weekend on June 6-8 at the Speedway.

The 40-minute Pro-Am itself will take place on June 8 at the Speedway’s newly reconfigured road course.

Several other “500” veterans will join Unser in the feature, including nine-time Indy starter Lyn St. James, Indy Racing League stalwart Mark Dismore, and Willy T. Ribbs, the first African-American driver to ever qualify for the “500.”

The Pro-Am will be contested with Chevrolet Corvettes, Chevrolet Camaros, and Ford Mustangs that are from 1967-1972 and have an engine displacement limit of 355 cubic inches.

The “500” vets will be paired with amateur drivers, with each taking a 20-minute stint. Five minutes will be allowed for driver changes.

“I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to really racing again at Indy,” said ‘Little Al’ in a statement. “Vintage racing is emerging on a whole new level as a wonderful sport and it’s the real deal when you are going up against the likes of Lyn, Willy T. and Diz. I can’t wait to see the fans – they’re the greatest in the world.”

“It just doesn’t get any better for vintage racing than to have a superstar Hall of Fame driver like Al Unser Jr. race in an SVRA race,” said SVRA president/CEO Tony Parella. “I am overwhelmed by the interest of Indy race fans as well as the drivers. We will be making some additional exciting announcements soon.”

In addition to the road course, the Speedway’s famous oval will be used for exhibition runs by several groups of cars, including some of the 1950s-era roadsters that have endured as a symbol of the race.

IndyCar 2015 Driver Review: Ryan Briscoe

Ryan Briscoe
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MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda

  • 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
  • 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish

For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.

Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.

The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.

Race Recap: Hamilton closes on third title at Russia (VIDEO)

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Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.

View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.