New Unser exhibit opens at IMS Museum


(Credit: IMS Museum)

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SPEEDWAY, Ind. – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is putting the finishing touches on its newest exhibit at the IMS Museum.

On Monday, April 9, its ‘The Amazing Unsers’ exhibit opens to the public, showcasing one of the most famous families in racing history.

This display includes more than 25 cars raced by Unser family members.

Three members boast nine Indy 500 wins: Al Sr. is a four-time winner; Bobby is a three-time winner; and Al Jr. is a two-time winner.

Of the nine winning cars, eight are part of the new IMS display. One is the ‘Johnny Lightning Special,’ the car driven by Al Unser Sr. in the 1970 Indy 500. That year, he led 190 laps and went on to win at IMS for the first time.

“Al Jr. has that famous quote, ‘You just don’t know what Indy means,’ but everybody who comes in here to see this exhibit, they know what Indy means,” said Mike Thomsen, Director of Communications for the IMS Museum.

Other memorabilia includes Unser racing helmets, newspapers announcing their wins and the family’s own Baby Borg plaques to name a few.

A separate room will hold art depicting the Unsers.

Even the display cases have a meaning: these are from the 1890s in the Hulman & Company grocery in Terre Haute, and were refurbished for their inclusion at IMS.

Organizers say each Unser brings different memories for generations of racing fans.

“The Unsers won in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, so you’re talking about a four-decade time that they won at least once during those decades,” Thomsen said. “It really spans a long period of time that generations of fans who have come out here to the track have seen them win.”

Those who know Bobby Unser describe him as one of the best storytellers racing fans will ever meet. Because of that, part of the exhibit experience includes handheld devices that allow fans to listen to Bobby describe specific items, like certain trophies he’s won.

In addition, Bobby Unser’s family tells CBS4 that he will travel to Indianapolis ahead of this year’s Indy 500 and will likely stop by the IMS Museum, where fans could talk with him in person.

‘The Amazing Unsers’ is open from April 9, 2018 – October 28, 2018.

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