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Bob Trostle

(Des Moines, IA) – Bob Trostle was born March 20, 1933 and passed away November 21, 2015 at the age of 82. That’s the briefest of brief ways to describe the life of Bob, who parlayed a love of speed into a legendary life of sprint car racing. Trostle’s story is impossible to tell in just a few moments. Perhaps Knoxville track historians said it best upon Trostle’s death just over 16 months ago. They said, in part “Trostle was a larger than life figure around Knoxville and arguably the best ambassador of Knoxville and the sport of sprint car racing” … he was born and lived his entire life in Des Moines. In 1960, Bob turned from dragsters to super modifieds and built his first car for the 1962 Knoxville season. By the mid-‘60’s he had become successful at the Marion County Fairgrounds and into the ‘70’s he was known throughout the country as an owner and builder of sprint cars with many innovative ideas in his designs. His chassis were often copied by other builders because of their superiority and success. Although he had many drivers in the seat of his car, his most successful year was 1977 with Doug Wolfgang. The two won both the Knoxville track championship and the Knoxville Nationals. Nationwide, the two won 45 features that year and set a Knoxville record with 10 straight wins and 12 regular season victories. With Wolfgang behind the wheel, Trostle also won the 1976 Knoxville championship and he also won in 1981 and 1982 with Oklahoman Shane Carson driving. He won again in 1988 with Randy Smith of Mt. Ayr and Californian Tim Green driving. He won the Knoxville Nationals again in 1980 with co-owner Karl Kinser and Steve Kinser behind the wheel. During his career, Trostle won 302 sprint car features and another 40 wins in the 360 Sprint Car division. At Knoxville alone, Trostle cars won 410 unlimited sprint car features. Trostle was inducted into the S&K Mechanics Hall of Fame in 1971, the Knoxville Raceway Hall of Fame in 1979 and the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1993. He fielded a car for 32 consecutive Knoxville Nationals and he was a tireless ambassador for the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and for sprint car racing. He wrote an autobiography, with his good field Larry Weeks, titled “Life’s Tough on the Circuit.”