Champion drivers ready for fourth annual Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational

Al Unser Jr. pulls a classic Corvette out of the IMS pits while preparing for the Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational (WTTV June 13, 2017).

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. –  Champion racers are back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 4th Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational.

Thirty-three 500 veterans and a Brickyard 400 winner pair with car owners from the SVRA, the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association for the Indy Legends Pro-Am race Saturday afternoon.

“After 23 years, I still enjoy it,” said four-time Indy 500 champ Al Unser, now 78 years old. “It’s a lot of fun, I still get a big thrill out of it, and it gives me the same buzzy feelings. I just want to get on the track and go.”

The 45-minute race, where notables like Sarah Fisher, Lyn St. James, Al Unser, Jr. and 2002 Brickyard 400 winner Bill Elliott will compete on the 14-turn road course, which runs nearly two-and-a-half miles.

‘I don’t know what brings me back,” said Elliott, who will partner with NASCAR team owner Ray Evernham. “At the end of the day, I just enjoy racing, but I drove the other way on this track when I had success. I enjoy what it’s all about, racing with guys I haven’t run against, and other I have. It’s all about braggin’ rights.”

Paul Tracy, the self-proclaimed people’s champion, who is still convinced he won the controversial 2002 Indy 500 when he thought he passed Helio Castroneves before the yellow flag came out with one lap to go did finally taste victory at IMS in 2016 when he won this event. “I’ll be the defending champion,” said the Canadian and current Indycar TV broadcaster.

“The coolest part is to see all the guys and all the old racers, guys you haven’t raced driving hard. I didn’t know what to expect at first, but everyone is charged up about winning. The competitive juices flow.”

Once a racer, always a racer. The event begins at 1pm Saturday at IMS.

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