Update #2: AutoRacing1.com caught up
with Al Unser III's attorney Josh Wright today to get a
clarification on his situation. Mr. Wright, the CEO of
Group International co-manages Unser with Mark White of 200+
"Al does indeed have a sponsorship agreement with bospoker.com, a
London based company that is publicly traded on the London Stock
Exchange," said Wright. "It's not really a situation whereby Al is
quitting the IRL. What the fans must understand is that while other
kids were driving go-karts and other junior racing series between 12
and 17 years old Al was not, so he has a lot of catching up to do.
"Al needs seat time. He does not want to become a pawn in the IRL
and Champ Car war. It's simply a case of Al having a contractual
relationship to fulfill with Bospoker.com. When we realized he was
not going to be able to meet those obligations in the IRL we began
to pursue other series. We had originally hoped that with the IRL’s
history with the Palms, Harrahs and other establishments there would
not be an issue.
"Al loves racing ovals and road courses and is excited about driving
for Bospoker.com. In about a weeks time we will have clarity and an
announcement as to which series he will drive in, but yes it's true
we are talking to people in the Toyota Atlantic Series and Champ
"As for the other rumors that came out of the weekend, it is
difficult for us to imagine that anyone at the IRL would make the
ludicrous comment that a young, promising driver like Al is 'burning
bridges' for the future. Al is a tremendous young man that just
wants to get as much seat time as possible and learn all that he
can. He wants to become a champion carrying on the next
generation of the Unser tradition in motorsports." Mark
UPDATE #1: Since publishing this article we
learned from Toyota Atlantic officials that although they are
working toward a deal with Unser and hope to have it done in time
for Milwaukee, it is not a done deal yet.
In an AutoRacing1.com exclusive, we can now report
that the great Unser name may be returning to Champ Car where the entire
Unser family has had all its success.
Al Unser III,
son of Al Unser Jr., grandson of Al Unser Sr. and nephew of
Bobby Unser has left the IRL's IPS series and will drive in the
Champ Car Toyota Atlantic Series effective immediately.
Unser will be sponsored by Bospoker.com,
an online poker gambling website.
According to Unser's manager, Mark White, his client's two
primary goals were landing a sponsor and getting as much seat time
as possible. White said, "The IRL in its discretion has the
right to approve any sponsor in the series. For whatever reason they
did not like the fact that Bospoker.com was an online gambling
website, even though NASCAR and other racing series have embraced
"We have a lot of respect for the Indy 500 but are confused by
the IRL management.
Champ Car welcomed us with open arms and effective with the next Toyota Atlantic race in
Portland, Al Unser III may be at the wheel of a Brooks & Associates
Bospoker.com Atlantic car."
As we understand it, the deal may be announced next Friday in
We hear that Unser's grandfather, Al Unser Sr., who is employed by the IRL,
was nor enamored with the decision but understood he had to go where his sponsor wanted to be, and
that's now Champ Car's Toyota Atlantic series.
Apparently the IRL was not too happy with Unser's decision to
leave the series and we heard rumors of statements like "burning
bridges" being made. Whether by coincidence or not, after finishing
third today at Indy in the IPS Freedom 100 race, Unser was later
demoted to 4th by the IRL with the explanation that Jay Drake
finished a career-best third after Indy Racing League officials
reviewed video replays and Timing & Scoring information of the Lap
37 restart. It was determined that the No. 3 car driven by Al Unser
passed Drake's No. 20 Vision Racing car after the yellow caution
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