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Leo Mehl, executive director of the Indy Racing League, made the announcement at the Walt Disney Speedway that four time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser had become a driver coach and consultant for the League, writes James Beckett.

"During 1997, we will be dealing with new cars and engines, several new tracks and some exciting new drivers." Mehl said, "Al has raced and tested and won on oval tracks throughout his career. His knowledge will be a tremendous asset, not only to IRL and USAC, but to all the new teams and drivers who are entering our new oval series.

"Along with three-time Indy winner Johnny Rutherford, who will drive the IRL Pace Car at race meetings, and four time Indy winner and team owner AJ Foyt, I feel that we have the best advisors available," Mehl Added.

Unser, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, followed Foyt to become the second four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. He won the 'Greatest Spectacle in Racing' in 1970, 1971, 1978, and 1987 driving over 4,000 laps of the 2.5 mile track during his time as a racer.

"Working with Leo is the key part," Unser said. "It'll be good talking to the rookies and try and answer any questions they want to ask, use my experience to help them. I'll watch them, talk to them, make sure they make the right decisions."

James Beckett.

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