Legendary race car driver Al Unser Sr. died Thursday at his home in Chama, New Mexico, the president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) announced.
He was 82 years old and had been battling cancer for the past 17 years, according to the racing league.
Unser won the Indianapolis 500 four times, one of only four racers in history to do so. IMS President J. Douglas Boles said Unser also set a record for the most laps led in the Indy 500.
“He will be remembered as one of the best to ever race at Indianapolis and we will all miss his smile, sense of humor, and his warm, approachable personality,” Boles said in a statement.
“An icon and hero to racing fans around the world,” IMS said in a statement on Friday. “A history-making and beloved member of the #IMS family. 4-time #Indy500 winner Al Unser has passed away at age 82. Godspeed, racer.”
The most recent four-time winner, Brazilian driver Hélio Castroneves, posted his own tribute on Instagram early Friday morning.
“Descance em paz AL,” Castroneves said, using the Portugese expression for “rest in peace.”
Unser’s survivors include his wife Susan and son Al Unser Jr., who is himself a two-time Indy 500 winner.
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