Four-time Indianapolis 500 champion Al Unser will be recognized by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this May, as 2015 marks 45 years since his first ‘500 win in 1970.
Unser, the 1970, 1971, 1978 and 1987 ‘500 winner, will be honored at “Legends Day Honoring Al Unser presented by Firestone.”
“Fifty years ago I arrived at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a rookie, drove for some remarkable teams, raced with my son and brother, drank the milk and my life was forever changed by this special place,” Unser said in a release. “I am honored to be named the 2015 Legend and look forward to seeing the race fans and being a part of the events leading up to the spectacular annual Indy 500 Race.”
Added IMS president Doug Boles, “One of the smartest and most competitive drivers in the history of auto racing, Al Unser’s amazing career as a driver places him among the greatest ever in his profession. Al has become an iconic figure at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and is recognized worldwide as one of racing’s greatest ambassadors. We all look forward to honoring and thanking him for his endless contributions to our great sport during Legends Day on May 23.”
Unser, now 75, last competed in the race more than 20 years ago in 1993. A year prior, he finished third driving for John Menard in what was one of the Menard Buick V6’s best-ever races at the Speedway.
“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.
“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”
The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).
“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.
“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”
“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”
Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:
Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).