Bobby Grim

Bobby Grim

4/9/1924 - 14/6/1995

American racing driver who won four sprint car champions. Rookie of the Year at Indy in 1959 and the last person to qualify a front engined car for the race in 1966.

Driving Hector Honore's "Black Deuce" Offy, Grim became a four-time IMCA sprint car champion (1955-58), during which time he won 183 features. At one point he held 22 IMCA track records, including a lap of 22.05 seconds at Cedar Rapids, Iowa; a 100-mile record at Sedalia, Mo., which stood for nine years, and a 24.82 one-lap record at Tampa, Fla., which stood some 26 years.

He was the 1959 Rookie of the Year at the Indianapolis 500 when he qualified in 5th but in the race retired with magneto problems.  The next year he scored his only Indy Car win in a 100-mile race at Syracuse.

In 1966 Bobby Grim qualified the first methanol-fueled turbo-charged car and the last roadster for the Indy 500.

When practice started on April 30 few people thought any of the "old" roadsters had a chance of making the field, but not Herbie Porter and Bobby.

The pair had the roadster lapping at 160.144 mph, the fastest ever for a roadster at the Speedway. It was the last roadster to make the 33 car starting field, but the valiant effort was wiped out in the 17 car crash before the starting field even got to starter Pat Vidan's green flag. Someone decided to win the race before it even got started and 17 cars went spinning and crashing. Instead of the green Pat grabbed a red flag and waved it wildly. It took an hour and 24 minutes to clean up the mess and get the race restarted. Tom Carnegie made the announcement to the gathered throng. Seventeen cars had been involved in the melee, however six were able to make repairs and continue. Eleven cars were unable to restart. They were 10 rear engine cars the other was Bobby Grim's roadster.

He won 12 feature races in USAC midgets and was one of the last to win in the ancient Offy.
He was married to Frankie Lueptow's widow. Frank was killed in a stockcar crash when his car's axle broke.

Bobby Grim died of cancer.

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