Bob’s love affair with cars began while he was in high school and in 1955, he became the proud owner of a 1953 Corvette which he purchased from movie star Betty Grable. While the Vette provided Bob with his first opportunity to compete as a driver in drag racing, it also taught him how impractical it was to race his only street transportation.
After retiring the Vette from competition in 1957, Bob joined the now famous Road Kings Car Club in Burbank, California. He partnered with his friend Don Gaide in a blown small block Chevrolet powered gas dragster. While Bob enjoyed competing in this class, like most other racers he wanted to go quicker, faster, and be more competitive.
In 1961 Bob started driving the John Peters and Nye Frank Quincy Automotive Special twin blown Chevrolet engine powered gas dragster that later became famous as the “Freight Train”. Bob was able to push the car to a record of 8.50 second ET at 185 MPH.
In 1962 Bob notched his first major championship by winning Top Gas at the Bakersfield California Fuel and Gas Championship. Due to pressure from his family, Bob retired from driving but continued as a crew member with the Freight Train working with several drivers who later became famous in their own right. After five months of the car not being able to qualify for race. Bob climbed back into the seat and promptly set a new NHRA top gas record of 8.45 seconds ET at over 187 MPH. In order to hide his driving activity from his family the team listed owner Jon peters as the driver. With Bob driving the Freight Train was back into the winning circle. Taking home, the Top Gas Eliminator trophy at the 1963 NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. This was followed with another win three months later when the team captured the Drag News “Mr. Eliminator” Number One Top Gas title at Lions Dragstrip in Long Beach, California.
Not long after this, track announcer’s Steve Gibbs and Mel Reck decided Bob needed a “real” alias to drive under and dubbed him Floyd Lippincotte Jr. In a very unusual move, NHRA actually issued Bob an unlimited driver’s license under the name of Floyd Lippincotte Jr. Starting in June 1963 using his new alias and driving the Freight Train, Bob/Floyd won two more NHRA national events, the NHRA Springationals in Bowling Green Kentucky in 1967 and Dallas Texas in 1969. Also, while at the wheel of the Freight Train, Bob/Floyd won the 1967 UDRA Championship race at Lions Dragstrip and at the same time became the first driver to break the 200 MPH barrier in a gas dragster setting and ET record of 7.31 seconds at a top speed of 200.44 MPH.
In 1965, Bob/Floyd drove Nye Frank’s nitro fueled, twin engine unblown Chevrolet powered, streamliner, AA/Fuel dragster “The Pulsator”. This car won the Best Engineered Car Award that year at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. In 1966 driving Don “The Beachcomber” Johnson’s AA/Fuel dragster he won victories at the NHRA Las Vegas Inventatrional event in Las Vegas, Nevada and the Mickey Thompson 200 MPH Championship at Lions Dragstrip. He competed against a field of over 110 top fuel dragsters.
In 1971 Bob retired from driving until Jon Peters restored the Freight Train in 1993. The team made some exhibition runs at four NHRA national events. In 2000 Bob took over driving Jon Halstead’s top fuel nostalgia dragster. Bob wheeled the car into the winner’s circle at the 2001 Good Guys event in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Good Guys event in Indianapolis, Indiana, and again at the NHRA 10th Annual California Hot Rod Reunion in Formosa, California. Bob wrapped up his career by winning the B/Top Fuel Class at the Good Guys November event at Formosa. In 2003 Bob was named Grand Marshal at the California Hot Rod Reunion in Formosa, California.