MADISON, Ill. – Engines were revving at the World Wide Technology Raceway for the Bommarito 500. FOX 2’s Kalista Mitrisin shared that the big race means more than just treads on the track.
“By remembering the past, it makes Indy car races even better.”
Al Unser Jr., a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, explained that pushing the pedal to the metal, is a drive he’s had since he was a kid.
“It was everything to me.”
It started in 1997, and now the 350-mile race on the oval track is back at World Wide Technology Raceway. The 260-lap schedule was what drew racers to the 23rd Indy 500.
“My uncle won it three times, my dad won it four times, and I won it twice,” Unser Jr. revealed.
Unser said Sunday’s race was about remembering the long line of racing in his roots. For others, it was a time to appreciate idols.
“This car is an exact replica of the car my racing hero, ‘Sweet Savage,’ drove in 1973 in the 500,” Ted Woehrer said. “He broke the track record with 12 laps in the race as a second-year driver.”
Ted Woehrer, had the Sweet Savage Red ride on tracks for the first time on Saturday, which was also the long-remembered racer’s birthday.
“It’s a childhood dream with Sweep being my hero,” Woehrer explained.
Unser and Woehrer, were among others with the vintage Indy group. The collection of cars they brought out showcased the advancements in Indy rides.
“You can see the evolution of the development of the automobile through these race cars,” Unser added.
Safer and faster than before, Unser and others have their bets on who’s treading the track best this year.
“Joseph Newgarden, I’d like to see him have a great year.”
It comes as Newgarden has won several similar series consecutively. For others, it’s the Penski professionals.
“Any of the Penski drivers,” Woehrer said.
For all the racers revving up engines, Unser says, it’s all about sticking to the basics that have advanced the past and present of the Bommarito 500.
“Keep it simple; just use your head and be safe.”
Despite those rain delays on Saturday, both the Indy car racers and fans brought their excitement to the track.