One of the greatest racers of all-time and one of the voices for many classic CART races in the 1990s has died. Bobby Unser passed away Sunday at the age of 87 in his New Mexico home due to natural causes.
The Unser family has been synonymous with American auto racing since the 50s, most notably making their mark at the Indianapolis 500 and the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, oth carrying their own levels of danger. Bobby was a three-time (1968, 1975, and 1981) Indy 500 champion, and along with brother Al’s four and nephew Al Jr’s two, the nine wins by the family is the most for any family at Indy. At Pikes Peak, Bobby was a 10-time Pikes Peak overall winner.
After retiring, Bobby went into broadcasting where he was one of the main voices of CART and IRL races (post open-wheel split) throughout the 90s. The ABC/ESPN trio of Paul Page, Sam Posey, and Unser remain a memorable broadcasting team all these years later thanks in part to Posey’s and Unser’s banter and their constant disagreements with each other. Unser’s participation on the 1989 and 1990 Indy 500 broadcasts earned him a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Live Sports Special in two consecutive years.
Many within the racing community paid tribute to Unser, including a rather touching tribute from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that chronicled Bobby’s life.
There was no one else like him.
Remembering legendary three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Bobby Unser.
— Indianapolis Motor Speedway (@IMS) May 3, 2021
Today we remember the life and legacy of Bobby Unser. pic.twitter.com/TyV7cRQ7xH
— Team Penske (@Team_Penske) May 3, 2021
I join the racing world mourning the passing of Bobby Unser. The best of times….. when a fierce competitor can also be a very very very good friend. RIP my friend. Thanks for the memories https://t.co/zTsj1mm3jm
— Mario Andretti (@MarioAndretti) May 3, 2021
Honoring the life of three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Bobby Unser, who has died at the age of 87.
Two years ago, we got the chance to speak with the racing legend. pic.twitter.com/A4ePSqGpoK
— IndyCar on NBC (@IndyCaronNBC) May 3, 2021
Not enough space in a Twitter post to express what Bobby Unser has meant to @IMS. Everyone at IMS extends our deepest sympathies to Bobby’s family, friends & fans. He was one of a kind & will be deeply missed, but always cherished in the heart of every race fan. Statement below: pic.twitter.com/gESkW9QXgJ
— J. Douglas Boles (@jdouglas4) May 3, 2021
So sorry to hear of the passing of Bobby Unser. He was one of the great characters of auto racing. We will miss you Bobby. RIPBobby
— Michael Andretti (@michaelandretti) May 3, 2021
— Willy T. Ribbs (@WillyRibbs) May 3, 2021
— Damon Hill (@HillF1) May 3, 2021
Three-time winner at Indy, drove in both NASCAR and F1, and the undisputed King of the Mountain.
Rest easy, Uncle Bobby. pic.twitter.com/H9S8npaUYn
— JR Hildebrand (@JRHildebrand) May 3, 2021
ESPN extends its deepest condolences to the family of three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Unser on his passing. Bobby was a longtime and valued motorsports commentator for ESPN & ABC Sports. pic.twitter.com/M2MvH9lhmN
— ESPN PR (@ESPNPR) May 3, 2021
Our thoughts go out to Unser’s family and friends.