INDIANAPOLIS – Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser, Jr. was booked into jail overnight in Hendricks County, Indiana, charged with OWI (Operating While Intoxicated). He remains incarcerated awaiting bond.
Unser is an executive consultant with Harding Steinbrenner Racing and has struggled with alcohol issues throughout his life.
This is Unser’s fourth alcohol-related arrest. In 2002, he was arrested after an alcohol-involved fight with his then-girlfriend. He also has previous drunk driving arrests in 2007 and 2011.
Unser has taken many attempts to remain sober. He regularly speaks about his struggles with alcoholism, including just a few weeks ago with students at Hope Academy in Indianapolis. He has admitted drinking was a demon he faced, and he hopes others will learn from his mistakes.
Unser won the Indianapolis 500 in 1992 with Galles Racing and 1994 with Team Penske.
He was vital in helping Harding Steinbrenner Racing turn into a competitive NTT IndyCar Series team, and was one of the first members hired on the team by founder and owner Mike Harding.
The team that features 19-year-old driver Colton Herta, who starts fifth in Sunday’s 103rd Indianapolis 500, issued a statement on Monday.
“The entire Harding Steinbrenner Racing organization is saddened to learn of Al Unser Jr’s arrest on an OWI charge,” the statement said. “Alcoholism is a disease and a continuing battle for those struggling with it. At this time, we do support Al in any way that he needs. All additional questions should be directed to Al’s legal counsel, James H. Voyles.”