In 1981 Al Unser Jr. took part in just 1 race, making his debut at Riverside coming in 5th place. In 1984 he won his first GP for Galles Racing and he finished second in the CART championship point standings in 1985, losing to his father by just one point.

He began competing in the IROC championship in 1986, winning that championship with two victories in four races. At the age of 24, Unser was the youngest IROC champion ever. Unser won the 1986 and 1988 IROC championships, the final Indycar driver to win an IROC championship. Unser won the 24 Hours of Daytona, also at age 24 for the first time in 1986 and again in 1987.

Unser continued to improve on the CART circuit, finishing fourth in the points standings in 1986, third in 1987, second in 1988 and finally winning the series for the first time in 1990. In 1994, Unser again won at Indy, this time with Penske Racing. His teammates were Emerson Fittipaldi, the man whom he battled with five years before, and Paul Tracy. Unser turned in a dominant season-long performance, winning eight of 16 races on his way to his second CART championship, as well as being named ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year that year.

He would finish second to Jacques Villeneuve in CART championship points in 1995. He finished fourth in 1996, despite having a chance of winning the championship until the end of the season.

Unser ranked 13th in 1997, 11th in 1998 and 21st in 1999, not helped by the fact that he had to sit out two races after breaking his leg in the season-opener at Miami in a first-lap accident. Little Al's decline in performance coincided with the Penske team's struggles with their in-house chassis, Mercedes engines and Goodyear tires, which were being abandoned by most teams during this era in favor of Firestones. His teammates suffered similarly disappointing results during this time. Unser would go on to win a total of three races in his IRL career, but after breaking his pelvis in an all-terrain vehicle accident in October 2003, Unser had difficulty securing a ride for the 2004 season. He finally signed with Patrick Racing three races into the season, but after a 22nd-place finish in Richmond, Unser finally announced his retirement from racing on June 30, 2004.

Activity: 1981 - 2007
Grand Prix: 
Drivers Championships:
2 (1990 - 1994)
Pole Positions: