Bob Malzahn, 81

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Former modified racer Bob Malzahn has died in Florida after heart failure. He was 81 years old.

A native of Florida, he was one of many to transplant to the Northeast to race professionally. He first settled in Keyport, N.J. and later Matamoras, Pa.

His Fireball No. 99 was a fixture on the Northeastern racing circuit for many years. He was track champion at the paved Wall Stadium in New Jersey in 1958. He switched to dirt tracks and became Nazareth Speedway champion in 1960. He won the track crown at Nazareth a second time in 1970.

The biggest victory of his career came in 1961 when he won the prestigious Langhorne Open driving Harold Cope’s No. 1. He won at tracks all over the East Coast, including the Polo Grounds in New York. Many of his wins came at Orange County in Middletown, N.Y.

His last big win came in the 100-lap Syracuse qualifier at Nazareth.

He leaves behind his wife Bernice and two daughters.

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