Unser Jr., Rahal, Long Beach Motorsports Walk Of Fame – ‘Nuff Said
The previous honorees to have a custom medallion honoring their motorsports achievements ... laid in a concrete strip running North to South along Pine Avenue, in front of the West facing Long Beach Convention Center ... all had a connection to the event of the Long Beach Grand Prix, lived and worked out of Southern California, and/or had broad motorsports careers of great achievement and success.
Phil Hill (left) and Jackie Stewart at the 1991 United States Grand Prix. Image Credit: Stuart Seeger
The first inductees of Phil Hill, the first American Formula 1 champion in 1961 and was raised in Santa Monica, California, where he lived until his death August 28, 2008, and Dan Gurney who also made most of his fame in Formula 1 (86 Grand Prix starts ranks third, and his total of four GP wins is second only to Mario Andretti) and team owner from Riverside, came in 2006.The Andy Granatelli STP Special Gas-Turbine car driven by Parnelli Jones in 1967, on display at the Indianapolis 500 Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. Image Credit: The359 (2007)
2007 Walk of Fame Inductees saw Brian Redman the first winner of the LBGP in 1975 with the one-time Formula 500 series event (a feeder series to Formula 1), Chris Pook the innovator of the modern day temporary circuit and creator of the 34, going on 35 year LBGP event, and Newman/Haas Racing Team owners - Paul Newman and Carl Haas who as team owners delivered a car and driver combination that won the LBGP a record six times (three wins with Mario Andretti / three wins with Sebastian Bourdais).
Walk of Fame Inductees for 2008 included Mario Andretti, a four time winner of the LBGP and the only driver to have repeat wins while driving in different open wheel sanctioning series (1977 with Formula 1 and beginning in 1984 in the inaugural CART/ChampCar World Series race).
The Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame medallions include renditions of the racers' cars and their major achievements in motorsports. 2008 inductee Mario Andretti's medallion above. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (The EDJE) 2008
Life long resident of Torrance, California, racing legend Parnelli Jones won races in many types of vehicles: sports cars, IndyCars, sprint cars, midget cars, off-road vehicles, and stock cars. With the sanctioning take over of the race by IndyCar in the merger, Parnelli was a key inductee in that he is most remembered for being the first driver to qualify over 150 mph at the Indianapolis 500, winning the pole position at a speed of 150.370 mph in 1962, his 1963 Indianapolis 500 win, and almost winning the 1967 Indy 500 in an Andy Granatelli STP sponsored turbine car. The third inductee for 2008 was Gary Gabelich who was honored posthumously (August 29, 1940 – January 26, 1984) by the City of
Al Unser, Jr. and Bobby Rahal represent drivers (and car owners) from a more current era. These guys could almost hop in a Dallara IndyCar right now and be competitive on the track through the 11 turns and two speed sections that make Long Beach the challenge that has set the standard for temporary street circuits. After all, this would be the first time the Dallara will be racing in the streets of
This excerpted and edited from Motorsport.com –
RACING LEGENDS BOBBY RAHAL AND AL UNSER JR. TO BE HONORED AT LONG BEACH MOTORSPORTS WALK OF FAME
Motorsport.com - 2009-03-16
"I'm delighted that we will add two more racing legends to the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame," said Mayor Bob Foster, who will be presenting the medallions to the honorees.
"This year's inductees represent not only great drivers, but individuals that have contributed much to the success of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach over the years," said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. "That's why 'Little Al' is known as the 'King of the Beach' and Bobby has achieved great success at
Al Unser Jr. followed in the footsteps of his father and an uncle (Bobby) to become repeat champion at
Bobby Rahal is one of a select group of individuals who have won the
The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. at the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame, located on the Eastside of South Pine Avenue right in front of the
… notes From The EDJE