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Al Unser Jr. arrested near Las Vegas

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Al Unser. Jr, left

Las Vegas - Former Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. is facing charges including driving under the influence after leaving the scene of a crash on a southern Nevada freeway, authorities said.

Unser, 44, was arrested after he was identified as the driver of a black Ford Excursion that sideswiped a Mazda sedan on the Las Vegas Beltway shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Kevin Honea said.

Unser's vehicle had little damage, but the Mazda crashed into a cement center median. The driver of the Mazda reported no injuries the scene, Honea said Friday.

Another driver who witnessed the crash called authorities and followed Unser's vehicle before it exited the U.S. Highway 95 freeway in Henderson, Honea said.

Henderson police stopped Unser in the vehicle a short time later near the Black Mountain Country Club, about 12 miles southeast of the Las Vegas Strip.

Honea said Unser presented a Nevada driver's license and failed several field sobriety tests administered by NHP troopers before he was taken into custody.

Unser was charged with driving under the influence, misdemeanor hit and run, failure to render aid in an accident and failure to report an accident, Honea said, adding that other charges were possible.

Andrew Leavitt, a lawyer representing Unser, did not immediately respond Friday to a message seeking comment.

Unser, son of Indianapolis 500 racing legend Al Unser and nephew of three-time Indy winner Bobby Unser, has been racing competitively since age 11. He won the Indy 500 in 1992 and 1994, and won two CART points titles and two IROC championships.

Unser also has had bouts with alcohol abuse and depression. He underwent treatment for alcohol abuse in 2002 after his girlfriend said he hit her in the face while drunk in Indianapolis.

Prosecutors did not file charges against him.

(Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)