Al Unser, the second driver to win the Indianapolis 500 for a fourth time, captured his first in 1970, driving a turbocharged V8 Ford powered, Lola based P.J. Colt for the partnership of sportsman Vel Miletich and retired Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones. It marked the first time brothers had been victorious at the Brickyard, since Al's brother Bobby had won the 1968 classic. Unser started from the pole and led for 190 of the 200 laps, giving up the front running position only while making pit stops. George Bignotti scored his fourth of a record seven victories as Chief Mechanic.
In winning the 1971 Indianapolis 500, Al Unser became only the fourth driver to post victories in consecutive years, joining Wilbur Shaw (1939-1940), Mauri Rose (1947-1948) and Bill Vukovich (1953-1954). Contrary to popular perception, Unser's turbocharged Ford-powered, Johnny Lightning-sponsored winning mount was not the 1970 race winner, but an entirely new ride. Based on a 1969 Lola, the latest PJ (for Parnelli Jones) Colt was built by the Vel Miletetich/Parnelli Jones organization under the direction of George Bignotti. During the race, Unser led for 103 laps, never surrendering that lead during the final 82 circuits. Bignotti became the winning chief mechanic for the fifth time.