Al Unser cover

Al Unser Jr: A Checkered Past

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Al Unser Jr.'s Book, A Checkered Past

Al Unser Jr's Book, A Checkered Past, is a thrill ride through the legendary racers highs and lows. A sullied private life hidden behind a winning racing career.

A professional racing career...

  • This tale starts with his rise from his kart track victories to his following in the footsteps of his famed, uncle Bobby, and father Al and the wins that earned him a place in the top echelon of his sport: Two Indy 500 victories. A pair of IndyCar championships.
  • With a beloved personality and stellar relationship with fans and the press, Al Unser Jr. was on top of the world.
victorious Al Unser
It was so much elation after I scored the final Indy car win of my career at Texas Motor Speedway on June 7, 2003. No matter what else was happening in my life, victories made me feel great. I’m in the top-ten of all-time Indy car victories with 34.
Photo by LAT

But the story doesn't stop there...

  • This is also a story of his behind-the-scenes struggles with drugs and alcohol, which were destroying his private life.
  • A marriage unraveling.
  • Retirement amplified his troubles into a dark spiral of depression and isolation that led to a suicide attempt. 
Al Unser Family
One of the spoils of winning at Indianapolis: a victory lap with Shelley, Cody and Al III.
Photo by Dan Boyd

A Checkered Past ultimately tells a story of triumph, tragedy, and the road to recovery...

  • 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.
  • With a Foreword by Roger Penske.

Accolades for Al Unser Jr's Book, A Checkered Past

2-time Indy 500 winner pulls no punches, whether it's talking racing or discussing the substance abuse issues that took their toll on his personal life." – Mike Pryson, Autoweek

"It's two stories tightly wound around each other like a double helix. One, his racing story. The other, his addiction story." – Russell Jaslow, Auto Racing History

"A fine, insightful, enlightening book." – Sabu Advani,

"It's a brave and astonishing piece of work in its unflinching, brutal honesty."– Damien Smith, Motor Sports Magazine


Product details

Format: Hardcover
BISAC code:
Publication Date:
1 × 6 × 9 in
2 lb
Carton Quantity:
16 pcs
Carton Weight:
19 lb
Price: $22.95