I worked in the parts department at Dan Gurney's when Unser was driving for him. The parts department back then was a place for people to drop by and hang out. I talked to him a few times. He didn't seem all that excited about desert racing. This was in 1972 and 1973. He set a new track record in the Eagle every time in 1972 they pulled it out of the trailer.
Working television for the last 25 years has given me a good deal of insight into a lot of my heros, and how difficult it is to go from sport to broadcasting. A lot of people have done it, but it's not an easy endeavor. Public speaking is a damn hard thing to do, and covering a live sport as its unfolding for millions of viewers is insanely difficult.
Not only was he an outstanding driver, Bobby made an effortless transition into the analysis world after retiring from the track.
His racing intellect was second to none, and it came across as soon as he got behind the mic. I never met or worked with him, but I have no doubt he did a lot of homework and was always prepared.
His passion for the sport was evident no matter if it was Indianapolis or Daytona, he was one of the best in the broadcast booth, and he always helped the viewer at home understand the drama unfolding on the track.
He won an Emmy at Indy, and he helped make a great team with Benny Parsons on Nascar events as well.
It was a pleasure to go along for the ride Mr. Unser. Thank you and RIP brother.
The Unsers have a museum in Albuquerque and I visited a few years back...according to the curator, they saved everything and the place had a pretty neat collection...hope it is still open...<a data-flickr-embed="true" href="Unser Racing Museum ABQ 2017" title="Unser Racing Museum ABQ 2017"><img src="https://live.staticflickr.com/4768/39015640334_4f2b917e64.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Unser Racing Museum ABQ 2017"></a><script async src="//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
I navigated a car in the 2015 great race, route 66 from St Louis to Santa Monica pier, which is where 66 ends.
The lunch stop at the Unser museum on one stage was amazing, he was a great host, and I got to speak with him for a while.
I highly recommend visiting it.