Bob Cortner was from Redlands, California. He had been racing midgets for about ten years and had won the Bay Cities Racing Association Midget Championship in 1957.
He finished 8th in the National Midget Point Standings in 1958 and made his first trip to Indy that year, though he failed to make practice.
He finally passed his rookie test at Indy on Monday, May 18th 1959, driving the Cornis Offenhauser. But in practice the following day the car was caught by a gust of wind and Cortner lost control and hit the outside wall in turn 3 head on. Sadly he died of head inuries.
The car was origonally due to be driven by Don Edmunds but he had passed on the drive after saying that it didn't feel right on the track.