INDIANAPOLIS – Rotondo Weirich Motorsports has been an entrant in the Traxxas USAC Silver Crown Series since 1999, starting with Rich Tobias Jr.
The team can write their name in the USAC history book on May 23 if one of their two drivers can win the 60th Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. If two-time Hoosier Hundred winner Jerry Coons Jr. or rookie Kevin Thomas Jr. can enter victory lane next Thursday night, RW Motorsports would join the late Al Dean and Vel’s-Parnelli Jones Racing as the only entrants to win four consecutive Hoosier Hundred races.
Dean Van Lines entered the 1953 national championship season somewhat in disarray with equipment that needed to be rebuilt and in search of a driver who could stand on the gas, as well as a top wrench to look after the equipment.
After the 1953 Indianapolis 500, Al Dean hired a west coast mechanic named Clint Brawner to look after the team’s Eddie Kuzma built Offenhauser powered dirt car and find a pilot who could wring the most out of the machine. After Brawner assessed the equipment, he told Dean that the Offy engine was in need of a rebuild. Instead of resistance, Brawner found an owner willing to accommodate his request and Dean had the new parts shipped to Indianapolis.
After rebuilding the Dean machine Brawner settled on an eager young driver named Bob Sweikert.
Sweikert won the pole at Syracuse in September and led a good chunk of that race before falling out due to an accident. He and Brawner were ready for Jo Quinn and Roger Wolcott’s first Hoosier Hundred on September 19, 1953 but the track wasn’t as rain postponed the rich dirt track event until the 26th.
Sweikert qualified the Dean car in third, grabbed the lead on lap 6 and ran to the checkers under a blanket with three other machines in the closest Hoosier Hundred finish in history. The Dean Van Lines car returned in 1954 with Jimmy Bryan at the helm, and would pocket the lion’s share of the purse in 1955 and 1956 as well.