1992: As quoted in the Official Program for 1991’s race, “Al Unser Jr. came into the 17th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach chasing a legend. He left a legend in his own right.” Looking to take his fifth straight win, he was edged out with three laps to go, by Danny Sullivan who took the checkers that year.
It was a record-breaking weekend, not only for little Al, as the program reported that 87,500 fans were in attendance, and a record 204,000 attended the entire weekend, which was the first time the TGPLB had broken two hundred thousand. It was the only time attendance numbers were recorded in the program for the world to see. The race had become an international spectacle and has maintained that status ever since.
The weekend was void of IMSA, but “tagged in” the Tide Trans Am Race to take its place as in previous years. The Texaco System 3 Challenge for Firestone Indy Lights was present, and the Toyota Atlantic was still the last race rounding out the weekend, a half-hour after the big show.
Long Beach was still continuing its growth as a city, with one of its largest attributes being finished prior to TGPLB for the city to show off. Artist Wyland finished Guinness Book of World Record’s world's largest mural, totaling 116,000 square feet wrapping the Long Beach Convention Center. Wyland, who completed the mural over a six-week time period with 200 volunteers, gifted this piece of art to the City in a dedication ceremony held in July 1992. “Planet Ocean,” which is only one piece of 100 in “The Whaling Wall” series. It has become a defining piece of Long Beach. #44YearsStrong #TGPLB ... See MoreSee Less