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Tag Archives: Fireball Roberts

That’s History Profile: Fireball Roberts

Fireball Roberts was one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history to never win a championship. And while the biggest prize managed to elude him; Roberts, the 1957 Most Popular Driver, still managed to etch his name in the NASCAR record books. In 1958, he became the first driver to win two 500-mile races in the same season, winning at Trenton, N.J. and the Southern 500 at Darlington. Three times he earned victories in two of NASCAR'S most prestigious races; the 1958 and 1963 Southern 500s and the 1962 Daytona 500. Perhaps his lasting legacy came in one of the sport's darkest moments, his death in the World 600 in 1964; which was the catalyst for the development and implementation of fuel cells, driver safety products, and fire retardant uniforms.

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Racing at the Beach: The Debut of The Great American Race

There it sat, two-and-a-half miles of fresh black top shimmering in the midwinter Florida sun, with banked corners higher than the tallest buildings in the towns some of the drivers racing on it had grown up in. For a group used to running on short dirt and asphalt ovals, the awe must have been tempered with a bit of fear as well. As Jimmy Thompson, a driver of that era, put it, "There have been other tracks that separated the men from the boys. This is the track that's going to separate the brave from the weak when the boys are gone."

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