Leader Card Racers

The history of Leader Card Racers and the Wilke Family tells a remarkable story of one family’s four-generation passion for auto racing. Beginning with a team of midgets before World War II, successful paper entrepreneur Bob Wilke went on to own and sponsor winning race cars until his death in 1970. With legendary mechanics AJ Watson and Jud Phillips Bob won three Indy 500’s and six National Championships. After Bob’s death, son Ralph continued the family tradition through a difficult era when single team owners were rapidly being forced out of Indy Car racing. Always a force on the dirt tracks, however, the Leader Card cars continued to win regularly. When finally forced to leave the Indy Car Championship Trail in 1995, Ralph’s sons and grandson turned their focus back to midgets winning many features and championship. They continue that tradition today.