Al Unser Jr. wins “Indy Legends” pro-am race during IMS vintage weekend

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Two decades after winning his second Indianapolis 500, Al Unser Jr. was once again victorious today at the Brickyard.

“Little Al” and amateur partner Peter Klutt captured the Charity Indy Legends Pro-Am Race, which took place on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course and was the marquee event for the track’s inaugural Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational.

The 45-minute race had former Indy 500 drivers team up with amateurs to race vintage, 1963-1972 Chevrolet Camaros, Chevrolet Corvettes and Ford Mustangs.

Unser and Klutt drove the latter’s No. 42C 1969 Corvette (pictured above in IMS president J. Douglas Boles’ tweet) to the win ahead of former Indy Racing League mainstay Eliseo Salazar and Gary Moore in Moore’s No. 98B 1965 Mustang GT350.

Rounding out the Pro-Am podium was two-time Indy 500 starter Willy T. Ribbs and Ed Sevadjian in Sevadjian’s No. 5 1972 Corvette.

“It feels great,” Unser Jr. said in a release. “I just want to thank Tony Parella [Sportscar Vintage Racing Association President and CEO] for inviting us, and also Peter Klutt for a beautiful car. That Corvette was just gone and it handled super. It’s great to be back here at Indy.”

Said Klutt, who called the afternoon “a dream of a lifetime”: “I started the race and then the strategy was that when a yellow came out, I would come in and we’d do the change.

“It came out early and that was good; I had one of the best drivers in the world to bring her home.”

Other “500” starters that competed in today’s Pro-Am included: 1996 winner Buddy Lazier, Scott Goodyear, Dick Simon, Lyn St. James, Mark Dismore, Johnny Parsons Jr., Alex Lloyd, Pete Halsmer, Robby Unser, Rocky Moran, Jaques Lazier, Robby McGehee, Spike Gehlhausen, Billy Roe, Scott Harrington, Rick Treadway, Tom Bagley, Bob Lazier, P.J. Chesson and John Martin.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).