20/5/1926 - 17/6/1956
Best known for winning the 1955 Indianapolis 500 and 1955 National Championship, he finished third in the Sebring 12 Hour race in 1956 and had intended to compete in European road racing in 1957. Sadly he was killed later in 1956 after crashing his Sprint car at Salem, Indiana. Bob Sweikert died 66 years ago, he was 30 , He would have been 96.
Robert Charles Sweikert was an American racing driver. A native of Los Angeles, he attended the University of California.
He is best known as the winner of the 1955 Indianapolis 500, in an AJ Watson modified a Frank Kurtis-built roadster. He also won the 1955 AAA National Championship and the Midwest Sprint Car Championship. After his win at Indy he moved with his family to Indianapolis.
In 1956 he raced at Sebring driving a D Type Jaguar (XKD 538). Unused to either turning right or changing gear during a race, Sweikert was quickly on the pace. He drove with Jack Ensley and together they finished a very respectable third overall behind the Ferraris of Fangio/Castellotti and Musso/Schell.
He had intended to cut down on his sprint car racing in 1957 to concentrate on a full season of international road racing backed by a group of Indianapolis businessmen. Alas it was not to be as he was killed later in the year when his car went over a guard rail and crashed in flames through a photographer's booth at Salem Speedway (Indiana) a notoriously dangerous high banked oval. He was thrown from his car, receiving fatal head injuries.