Al Unser Jr. Set For Pikes Peak Return

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Al Unser Jr. will be joined by Bobby Unser for An Evening with the Unsers on May 21. (Dana Garrett Photo)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. will return to the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb for the first time since 1989.

Unser will be among the top entries in the 96th running of the event June 24 at the famed Colorado mountain.

Unser Jr. won the Indianapolis 500 in 1992 and ’94, but last raced at Pikes Peak in 1989. He was tagged Pikes Peak King of the Mountain in 1983, taking the Open Wheel crown in his Wells Coyote Chevy.

He carries on the long tradition of members of New Mexico’s famed Unser family participating in the Pike Peak Int’l Hill Climb.

“The fans of this historic race will really embrace the competitive field for the 96th Running of the Race to the Clouds,” said PPIHC Executive Director Megan Leatham. “We have many of the legends of the race on board along with a roster of rookies from the USA and many nations that will generate incredible interest.”

Other featured drivers include Pikes Peak superstars Clint Vahsholtz, a 23-time champion; Paul Dallenbach, returning after missing last year and seeking his ninth win, the veteran Layne Schranz, making a remarkable 25th appearance, David Schmidt II, a 25-time race veteran, and Spencer Steele with three victories during 17 consecutive years in the Race to the Clouds.
Dallenbach is three-time Pikes Peak King of the Mountain (1993, 2003, ’04) and holds the all-time record in the Time Attack 1 class (9:46.001) set in 2013 behind the wheel of a Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
Schranz is a living legend of the race, like his father Randy, who competed on the Peak 40 times. Born and raised in Colorado Springs, Layne has made his home in Birmingham, Ala., since 2001. He began his Pikes Peak odyssey in 1993, racing a Honda 500 motorcycle, but switched to autos in 1997 in the Super Stock Car class. He has three wins on the Peak in 24 years, most recently in the 2016 Pikes Peak Open Class, where he became a member of the PPIHC 9-Minute Club with his blistering 9:53.071 clocking. His dad won the same race in 2013 at 11:21.410.

The full list of competitors can be viewed here.