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Al Unser fills in for Andretti in Baltimore
Johnny Unser and Al Unser in Baltimore.  Al drove the 2-seater in place of Mario Andretti who had another commitment.
Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser made his first appearance at an IndyCar race in more than a year, driving the Indy Racing Experience’s two-seater car in pre-race festivities.

Unser, 74, has been recovering from back surgery in February. The focus was supposed to be on a 2-inch section of his spine but was expanded to 8 inches due to the deterioration of it.

Unser said the back problems aggravated the knees he had replaced in May 2012, and he stayed away from races because he didn’t want people to see him struggling.

“I didn’t want to be pushed around here in a wheelchair,” he said. “Racing is tough enough, but I didn’t want people to think I’m crippled; I’m just old.”

Unser said the difficult part of the weekend was navigating a street circuit he’d never been to. But he said his back held up to the bumps.

“Back’s great; it’s the mind that’s not working right,” he joked. Indy Star

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