Al Unser Jr: A Checkered Past
Al Unser Jr: A Checkered Past
Winning came naturally to Al Unser Jr. Born into a racing family, he had a gift for finding the fast line on the track. By the time he was nine years old, he could draw the quickest way through the corner on paper and intuitively apply his sketch while on the go kart track. By his teen years, the innate sense for the fast way made him unstoppably quick when he was racing through the woods on a snowmobile.
As his career progressed from the kart track victories to following in the footsteps of his famed uncle, Bobby, and father, Al, the wins grew in stature from junior titles to the very top echelon of his sport. Two Indy 500 victories. An IndyCar championship. Sportsman of the Year.
In addition, Unser was not just a winning driver--he also possessed a boisterous and lovable personality. The fans and the press adored him.
Al Unser Jr. was on the top of world.
A Checkered Past tells that story--but it doesn't stop there.
His gifts as a driver and his easy affability were the public persona. Behind the scenes, his appetite for drugs and alcohol were destroying his private life. Spurred on by his spiraling substance abuse problem, his marriage turned volatile. When he retired as a driver, the trouble amplified. Domestic violence arrests. Multiple DUIs. Repeated visits to rehab centers. Divorce. Financial ruin. A dark dive into depression and isolation that led to a suicide attempt.
Unser's battle to climb out of that cave is one of the great stories in motorsports. A Checkered Past is an unblinking look at how even our most celebrated sports heroes struggle with human frailty.
Turn the page, and you'll discover an inspirational story of triumph, tragedy, and the road to recovery.
Publisher: Octane Press
Binding Type: Hardcover
Size: 9.00h x 6.00w x 1.00d
About the Author
Gurss, Jade: -
Jade Gurss is the owner of fingerprint inc. The company was founded in 1999 to direct media and public relations for clients such as Anheuser-Busch and the Budweiser NASCAR program with driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Gurss is the co-author of two New York Times Best Selling books. "Driver #8" (Warner Books) chronicles Earnhardt Jr's rookie season. It is believed to be the most successful book about auto racing in American publishing history, spending 17 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list. He also co-wrote "DW: A Lifetime Going Around in Circles" (Putnam Books), which reached the New York Times Best Seller non-fiction list in February 2004.
fingerprint inc. has been consistently innovative in developing a long list of media firsts for a NASCAR driver for Earnhardt Jr., from major magazine features to a series of documentaries on networks such as MTV, CMT and other non-sports outlets such as 60 Minutes, Rolling Stone Magazine and Playboy.
Prior to forming fingerprint inc., Gurss was in charge of marketing and publicity for Ilmor Engineering, the race-engine design and manufacturing arm of Mercedes-Benz. He also managed sports publicity for Mercedes-Benz USA while at the Cotter Group in Charlotte, NC after being the director of publicity at Heartland Park Topeka in the early 1990s.
A native of Topeka, Kansas, Gurss has a bachelor's degree in broadcast communications (Cum Laude with departmental honors) from Washburn University, and has a technical degree as a certified audio engineer. Gurss has a background as a musician and in video and television production.
Gurss actively provides lectures and presentations for universities as well as corporate clients on topics such as sports marketing and publicity, small business ownership, and NASCAR.
Former race car driver Roger Penske is the founder, chairman, and CEO of publicly-traded car and truck dealer Penske Automotive Group. After retiring from driving, he created one of the most successful teams in IndyCar Series and NASCAR racing, and he is the most successful owner in the Indianapolis 500 with 18 victories.Unser, Al: -
Alfred Unser Jr. (born April 19, 1962), nicknamed Little Al, is a retired American race car driver and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner.
Al started racing go-karts at the age of nine, and by the age of sixteen he was already racing sprint cars. Soon after high school he moved into road racing, winning the Super Vee title in 1981 and the Can-Am title in 1982. He was a key member of many notable teams throughout his career and made a name for himself while driving for Galles Racing, Doug Shierson Racing, Team Penske, and others.
In 2007 he was inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame and, shortly after in 2009, was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.
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