"We were running a different line through the corners so I could get enough grip and trying to make it as smooth as I could," Unser said of his pursuit, "We had a little bit of push in the car, so the smoother I could do the turns, the better we were. We weren't scrubbing any of the speed off.
"On the straightaways, I was just trying to follow where they were. They were pretty far ahead of me, probably almost the whole straightaway, at the beginning of that, but I was able to do a little bit of drafting, and that sucked me right back up to them.
"In the final ten laps, I was watching [Dana's] line through one and two because you've really got to set up your pass. He would enter low, then he would end up high. So I was entering high and ending up low. However, as we crossed air, or as I got under his air, it would really upset my car, get a big push, and I'd have to get out of it.
"On one lap, I just set him up perfect, kind of guessing that he was going to do that same strategy, and was able to just enter high, just give it a little bit of lift as I crossed his air, then got back on it as I got down on the inside. That gave me a big shot down the back straightaway. Then we popped underneath him. I still had a car length but, right before the turn, he just gave a little wiggle. We ended up going under the white line a little bit. He apologised to me after the race, saying that he didn't see me, and we were able to bring the car home."
Quintanilla and Brad Pollard, now with the Schmidt squad, rounded out the top five, as regular Medeiros colleague Arie Luyendyk suffered a poor race, coming in a lapped seventh.
Rookie PJ Chesson - who, like Unser, was making his debut in the series - was running sixth under a yellow flag but spun on the backstraight at the restart and made light contact with the wall. Although he made it back to the pits, bent suspension ended his day.
With just ten cars in the field, however, the early exit dropped Chesson to just eighth, behind a subdued Jesse Mason and Luyendyk, and ahead of veteran Billy Roe and rookie Leo Maia, who both made contact with the wall.
"I just screwed up trying to heat the rear tyres," the reigning Barber Dodge champion said of a similar incident on the warm-up lap, "I just got a little bit sideways, spun it, looked like an idiot on national TV!
"After that, I came up from the back and made up five spots in a lap. But, as the laps went by, it seemed that my car just got worse and worse. It was understeering in places, oversteering in places, but the funny thing was that it felt rather stable in three and four - until it got really loose there, which is what caught me out."