According to ESPN, Bob Lazier, earlier this year fell ill from COVID-19. He was admitted to a hospital in Denver and was on a ventilator. After apparently showing some progress, Lazier suffered a relapse and ultimately succumbed on April 18.

Bob Lazier was a high-profile open-wheel racing driver during the 1970s and the 1980s. He was also a successful businessman in Colorado. Among his pursuits, there was the Tivoli Lodge in Vail.

Lazier's career as a competitive driver came to an abrupt halt over safety concerns, ESPN reported. His retirement happened somewhat ironically just as his racing career seemed to be taking off.

Was a CART series rookie of the year

Lazier took part in several amateur races throughout the 1970s. He notched five podium finishes and one win in Sports Club of American races in Braselton, Georgia. In 1977, he was a competitor in the inaugural USAC Mini-Indy Series.

He would compete in one more USAC Mini-Indy Series racing. His career-best finish in the series was a second-place showing. Lazier accomplished the feat at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

In 1981, Lazier made his debut in the Championship Auto Racing Teams series. Or CART, for short. At the time, CART was one of the world's premier open-wheel racing series.

Lazier drove for Fletcher Racing during the 1981 CART season. He accumulated four top 10 finished during the season.

Successful enough for him to be named CART's rookie of the year. Also, in 1981, Lazier raced in the Indianapolis 500. He would finish in 13th place.

It would be his only Indianapolis 500 appearance as a driver. In 1982, driver Gordon Smiley was killed during a crash while trying to qualify for that year's Indianapolis 500.

The tragedy apparently shook the Lazier family, leading to Bob's retirement as a competitive driver. He would, however, eventually return to racing as an owner.

His sons would also go into racing

Bob's oldest son, Buddy, had been outspoken in favor of his father's retirement in 1982. Ironically, he would later become a highly successful driver himself.

Buddy would win the 1996 Indianapolis 500. He was also the champion of the American Indycar Series in 1988 and the Indy Racing League in 2000. In 2002, he was the runner-up in the International Race of Champions series.

Jacques Lazier, Bob's younger son, would make his Indy Racing League debut in 1999. He would score one win in the series. It was while driving for Team Menard at Chicagoland Speedway in 2001.

In addition to their sons, Lazier and his wife, Diane, also had a daughter, Wendy. They also have also had a number of grandchildren.

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