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  • Writer's pictureHIGHGRADE Lubricants


Bobby Unser, a name synonymous with speed, courage, and grit, was one of the most notable figures in American motor racing history. Born in Colorado Springs in 1934, he hailed from a family rich in racing pedigree, with his father and uncles all being an accomplished race car driver. The racing gene didn't skip a generation, and Unser quickly found his calling in the exhilarating world of motor sports, following in his father's footsteps, just as his daughter Lori Unser would later do.

Early Racing Career (1955 - 1964)

Unser's racing career started modestly in 1955, competing in local dirt track events in New Mexico, where he quickly began making a name for himself. By 1959, he had moved up to the US Auto Club (USAC) Stock Car division and soon after, he started participating in the Sprint Car division. Throughout these early years, Unser displayed an instinctive ability to harness the raw power of a race car, demonstrating an uncanny ability to navigate difficult tracks with ease and precision.

Move to IndyCar Racing (1963 - 1981)

Unser's breakthrough came in 1963 when he made his debut in IndyCar racing, one of the most prestigious open-wheel racing series in the world. In 1968, after years of rigorous training and relentless pursuit of victory, Unser found his place at the pinnacle of the sport by winning his first Indianapolis 500, a feat he would repeat in 1975 and 1981.

Throughout his career in IndyCar racing, Unser became known for his fearlessness and his tactical brilliance on the track. His aggressive style often courted controversy, but it also led to an incredible tally of victories. By the time he retired in 1981, Unser had won a staggering 35 IndyCar races, a testament to his skill and resilience.

Bobby Unser's successes were not limited to the smooth, open courses of IndyCar racing. He also thrived in the harsh and unpredictable conditions of hill climbing, a discipline requiring a unique combination of speed, control, and sheer bravery. Between 1956 and 1986, Unser won the challenging Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, also known as "The Race to the Clouds," an unprecedented 13 times, cementing his reputation as one of the most versatile drivers of his generation.

Use of AMSOIL in Motorsport

Unser's relationship with AMSOIL, a leading producer of synthetic motor oil, played a pivotal role in his late-career successes. He discovered the advantages of synthetic oil in the harsh conditions of motor racing. As engines were pushed to their limits, the superior heat resistance and lower friction offered by AMSOIL's synthetic oil proved decisive, allowing Unser to maintain performance over long races without the risk of engine failure. AMSOIL became his choice of lubricant in the later stages of his career, contributing to several victories, including his final triumph at the Indianapolis 500 in 1981 and his numerous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb wins.

Legacy and the Continuing Unser Dynasty

Bobby Unser retired from professional racing in 1981, but his impact on the sport endures. His victories, his relentless pursuit of success, and his willingness to push the boundaries of what was possible in a race car made him a legend. His influence, however, extends beyond his own achievements.

Unser's daughter, Lori Unser, who grew up surrounded by the world of motor racing, has continued in her father's footsteps. Having absorbed her father's passion for speed, courage, and competition, Lori has carved out a successful racing career of her own. Just like her father, she too has shown an affinity for the AMSOIL brand, recognizing the performance benefits of synthetic oil in high-stress racing conditions.


The story of Bobby Unser is one of enduring passion, courage, and a relentless pursuit of victory. From his humble beginnings in local dirt track racing to his ascension to the pinnacle of motor racing, Unser's career is a testament to his exceptional talent and unyielding determination. As his legacy continues through his daughter, Lori Unser, his influence on motor racing shows no sign of diminishing. Unser's remarkable career serves as an enduring reminder of the power of passion, determination, and the pursuit of excellence. His relationship with AMSOIL, a key component of his later victories, underlines the importance of technology and innovation in the sport. Today, as his daughter navigates the exhilarating world of motor racing, one can't help but see the reflection of Bobby Unser's passion, daring, and tenacity in her.



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