NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico is saying goodbye to a racing legend. Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Sr. died at his home in Chama Thursday. He was 82. Al Unser., known as Big Al to many, was one of only two drivers to ever win the Indianapolis 500 four times.
As word of his death became public, tributes started pouring in from all over the country. “It’s kind of tough with three of the Unsers have passed away this year bobby then bobby jr and now al and they were such a major impact on Albuquerque and the state of New Mexico,” said Rick Galles.
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Al Unser Sr. won his first Indy 500 in 1970. He followed that with wins in 1971, 1978 and 1987. As a family, the Unsers have nine Indy 500 titles and while “Big Al” is gone memories from his storied racing career are being kept alive at the Unser Racing Museum.
Funeral services are pending at the moment. Unser was inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame in 1986. Unser was diagnosed with cancer back in 2005, a result of a genetic condition called hemochromatosis. His family has not said if that had anything to do with his death.