By: Spencer Neff
April 18, 2020 | 7:20 PM
On Saturday, the IndyCar community lost a great racer and an even better friend when Bob Lazier passed away at age 81.
As we mourn Bob’s passing, we take a look back at his life and racing legacy.
During the 1970s, the Minneapolis native began his racing pursuits in the SCCA ranks. From 1970 to 1979, Lazier made eight appearances in the National Championship runoffs at Road Atlanta.
In that span, he earned seven top-10 finishes, including a Formula B win while driving his March-Ford entry during the 1971 running.
A year later, he would claim the pole for the 1972 Formula Vee race in his Zink-Volkswagen and finished second.
In 1977, Lazier shifted his focus to the USAC Series, driving in their Mini Indy division. That year, he earned a seventh-place finish at Phoenix, and three years later, Lazier finished second at Mid-Ohio.
In 1981, Lazier transitioned to the CART PPG IndyCar World Series. Driving for Bob Fletcher Racing, Lazier earned Rookie of the Year honors in the series.
During the season, he earned a best finish of fourth-place at Watkins Glen and Mexico City. In his first and only Indianapolis 500 appearance, he would qualify 13th and finish 19th, completing 154 laps before an engine issue dropped him out of the race.
After failing to qualify in 1982, Lazier stepped away from racing and focus on his business pursuits. Since 1968, Lazier and family have owned the Tivoli Lodge in Vail, Colorado.
In 1990, Bob’s son Buddy made his IndyCar debut, finishing 13th at Portland.
By 1996, Buddy had become one of the prominent faces for the fledgling Indy Racing League. After suffering a broken back two months earlier, Lazier made a memorable late-race charge to win the 80th Indianapolis 500.
Four years later, the second-generation racer earned the series title. A year later, Bob would see even more success for his family.
At Chicagoland, his younger son Jacques won his first and only career race. After 2017, both Jacques and Buddy had stepped away from IndyCar competition.
In 2017, Buddy’s son Flinn competed for Newman Wachs Racing in the US F2000 Series during the Barber Motorsports Park doubleheader, adding a third generation to the family’s racing heritage. Flinn continues his charge towards the NTT IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500 today.
Open-Wheels.com thanks Bob Lazier for his contributions to racing and we offer condolences to his friends and family on their loss.
Header Image By Dana Garrett/IndyCar