Unser Jr. to be Long Beach Grand Marshal
It's safe to say that nobody had a better time racing through the streets of Long Beach than Al Unser Jr., the newly appointed Grand Marshal for the 35th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 16-19.
|Unser Jr. (C) winner of Toyota GP of Long Beach in 1991 with Eddie Cheever (L) and Bobby Rahal (R)|
The Albuquerque, N.M.-native ran 15 Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) races on the streets of Long Beach, winning six times, including a remarkable four straight from 1988-91, and holds the overall record for laps led here, with 545.
Along with another famed driver, Bobby Rahal, he will be inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame on Thurs., April 16 at 11 a.m., and will also compete in the Sat., April 18 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, an event he won here in 1985.
"I'm so honored that the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach has asked me to be Grand Marshal," said Unser. "We had such good fortune throughout my career at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, and I feel so blessed to be put in the Walk of Fame and to be able to run in the Pro/Celebrity Race. I'm just thrilled to come back to Long Beach and this great event."
"Al Unser Jr. has certainly contributed much to the success of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach over the years," said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. "He has earned the right to be called the 'King of the Beach.'"
The son of famed driver Al Unser, he was CART series champion in 1990 and 1994, and his 31 career Champ Car wins is sixth all-time.
The two-time (1992, 1994) winner of the Indianapolis 500, Unser, affectionately known as "Little Al" has also scored three IndyCar wins and is a two-time International Race of Champions (IROC) champion.
Admission to all Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach activities is FREE on Thurs., April 16. Admission prices for Friday through Sunday have not changed from 2008, and range from $25 for a Friday-only general admission ticket to $125 for a three-day ticket, which includes Saturday and Sunday reserved seating on upper levels of the grandstands. Pre-paid parking packages are also available.
In addition to the downtown walk-up service, tickets can be ordered via credit card by using the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 82-SPEED. Tickets can also be purchased on-line at www.gplb.com or at Ticketmaster outlets. Handicapped seating, IndyCar Paddock Passes, Super Photo tickets and a wide variety of hospitality club packages are also available.
A ticket brochure and Fan Guide that includes circuit map, ticket prices and order form can also be obtained by calling the hotline.