Having had a chance to look at my records at home now, I have a bit more info on Bob Cleberg: for one thing, he married Tio Heaton in 1955 already, September 3 to be precise - a Saturday between IMCA State Fair preliminary races at Des Moines/IA (8th) on the Friday and Lincoln/NE (4th) on Sunday. At the Iowa State Fair finale on Monday he was second to Bobby Grim, while he crashed out early on Thursday during the Nebraska State fair finale. He also moved to Indianapolis first in 1957, before relocating to Arizona with Tio. My first records of him are actually from IMCA and Mississippi Valley Championship Circuit races in 1954 and '55, both chiefly dirt track circuits, but he adapted really well to the pavement at the AARC-sanctioned Little 500 in 1955, finishing tenth. He was also mentioned in a preview for the AAA Joe James Memorial at Salem/IN that year, but probably didn't appear. Lots of good placings in IMCA, but no wins as of yet - he was 6th in IMCA overall points, 3rd in National Speedway points (the Al Sweeney circuit). He also won (at least) one race on the MVCC circuit (Mount Pleasant/IA on July 31). Interestingly, he doesn't seem to have driven the Heaton car much, if at all - he is mostly listed in his own #52 GMC sprinter.
1956 was a busy year, starting with IMCA and USAC races in Florida, then his AARC win at the Little 500 in May, more IMCA and AARC during the summer and even a United Racing Club race at Bedford/PA for good measure, before taking another crack at USAC in the fall: seven races on the Midwestern circuit were good enough for 9th in points, with two 6th-place finishes at the Dayton pavement and New Bremen dirt, respectively; he also did two races in the East, finishing 8th at Reading/PA. 1957 saw him starting out with USAC again (7th at Reading) before stints with the AARC and URC (one win at Manassas/VA), then he landed a regular Offenhauser ride with owner Lyle Hyneman of Illinois on the IMCA circuit for a busy and successful summer: wins at Mason City/IA, Des Moines/IA (two preliminaries) and the Nebraska State Fair finale at Lincoln, plus a handful of seconds and thirds resulted in another 6th in IMCA National points, and a steady ride with Hyneman over the next few years, setting a track record at Lincoln in 1958 and winning a preliminary at the Missouri State Fair in '59, although a reduced schedule after his move to Tucson saw him finish a lowly 17th in IMCA both years, while also racing modifieds in Arizona.
In the late fall of 1959, he found a ride for the two end-of-term USAC Championship races on the West coast, driving a roadster on the dirt at Phoenix/AZ and Sacramento/CA, earning himself a crack at Indianapolis in the same car, but a crash early in the month meant he would be spectating on Memorial Day. He also drove the Hyneman/Offy and a couple other cars on the USAC Sprint circuit, with a fifth at Terre Haute/IN and quick time at Allentown/PA to show for. His National campaign was less successful, and after two changes of team he finally qualified for his first Championship race of the year at Phoenix again, and again driving an old roadster, with which he managed quick time (!) and a 12th place finish for his first USAC National points. Things didn't go much better the following year, with a tenth at the Trenton pavement in his only Championship start in four tries (including another heartbreak at Indy: bumped on the final day of qualifying), and a third at the opening of the new Indianapolis Raceway Park (while subbing for Jim Hurtubise) behind A. J. Foyt and Chuck Hulse his best results. Before summer, he decided to quit USAC, and go back to Tucson and the modifieds of the Arizona Racing Association.
I don't collect modified results, but by 1967 the ARA had switched to Sprint cars, and Cleberg was a regular winner at Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix and Tucson Motor Raceway, also guesting infrequently at California Racing Association events at El Centro and Sacramento. He won the first Western US (later Western World) Championships in 1968, and was ARA Champion in '69. In October of 1970, he set quick time at the Western and finished 10th at the Sacramento Open Comp 100-miler, then retired for good after nearly two decades in the sport.
Edited by Michael Ferner, 21 August 2018 - 21:32.