“Attention in the pits”
Bob Unkefer, this is your final call to the staging lanes.
At 12:05 this morning, Bob joined his mother Dorothy and his father Cliff as he got the green light to cross the finish line one more time. These last few days he was surrounded by family, faith, and love. And naturally the Royals and the races from Vegas and Houston because he would not have had it any other way. His wife Michelle, son Greg, daughter Whitney and sisters Chris and Marcia are here to carry his legacy forward.
Bob, at 68 years young, was happily married to his high school sweet heart Michelle. Married for 35 years, they have two beautiful children: Whitney is 31 and Greg is 26. Michelle spends her days being a craftsman at a sewing machine, Greg and Whitney are both in management careers with Texas Roadhouse. Greg’s passion for the gaming industry and Whitney’s passion for the horse industry reflect Bob’s devotion to the world of drag racing.
An avid car guy since he was strong enough to pick up a wrench, he got started hangin around the quarter mile track at 14 and as an adult, had multiple jobs that had him in a shop with a car on the blocks. Eventually he’d find his way to American Family Insurance where he was an auto claims adjuster for 30 years Monday-Friday. But where have you been able to find him on the weekends since he was 14? And where would he spend his retirement? A drag strip.
As he grew, he found involvement in anything that involved a quarter mile track. His love and passion for drag racing was unmatched. His time behind the mic was only his “peak working hours.” The rest of the week he would spend updating stats on racers around the country, studying results from the races he himself hadn’t been at, or keeping in touch with his racing family all with the intention to truly bring each racers story to life from his space in the tower.
Bob was called home far too quickly. However it was pain free, and with so very much love. On Saturday night, Bob watched the service that was held in his honor from Houston and watched #burnoutsforbob from across the country for the better part of an hour. Sunday he listened to the races and Royals baseball throughout the day until his battle was called to a close.
With the intense speed of these recent events unfolded, please be watching for an announcement in regard to Celebrations of Life, because in true Bob fashion: it’s never a goodbye, it’s always a see ya at the next track.
Please feel free to share stories, photos, and/or videos in the comments below. We (bobs family) would love to create a space memories can be shared with everyone.
Man, this just rips my heart out.
Bob was truly a legend, great announcer and a greater person. I will miss his laugh and his smile. Rest in peace my friend.
When everything is coming your way, your probably in the wrong lane.
Bob will be greatly missed. I really enjoyed talking to him and he was as good as anyone on the mic.
2017 and 2018 Osage Casinos Tulsa Raceway Park No-Box Champion
2018 Div4 Goodguys Hammer award winner
Bob with be greatly missed by all. Just shows how quick life can change, less than 30 days from the discovery of liver cancer to his passing....
Another Great Loss. Saddens me to hear this.
Prayers for Bob and Family.
Unk will be missed!
God Speed Buddy!
Thanks for posting 442
Raceless in California!
Heart goes out to the family.
God Speed Bob!
Make sure your water pump is on whenever you check your coolant level.
"I am not ashamed to confess I am ignorant of what I do not know."
Marcus Tullius Cicero
He and Leo were the best sportsman announcers in NHRA and both were taken from us far too early.
Crew Chief Pro 7.970. It is not an evolution in Crew Chief Software, it is a Revolution in Crew Chief Software
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Are you a Producer or a Parasite?
Author of the book, "But Who Will Save The Children."
^^^ THIS. Good reason to live life to the fullest, take nothing for granted, appreciate each and every day.
I remember racing brackets in Kansas City and Topeka in the 90's, and the first time I heard Unk on the mic, I thought to myself that man has an epic voice for a track announcer. His words literally crackled with electric gold. You could hear and understand clearly what he said, even over racetrack noise. Add in his likeable midwestern personality and gracious manners, and his in-depth knowledge of every racer, and you just knew he definitely found his calling.
RIP Unk, and may God Bless Bob & his family.
Dan "Jim" Moore
Much too young to feel this damn old!!
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