NASCAR Hall of Fame Finalist 5th Class - Fireball Roberts, Driver


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Nascar's Fireball Roberts (ISC Archives/Getty Images)

SEE ALSO: Complete List Of Finalists - Includes Official NASCAR Bio's and Pictures


(b. 1/20/29 – d. 7/2/64)
Hometown: Daytona Beach, Fla.
Competed: 1950-64
Starts: 207
Wins: 33
Poles: 32
 
Glenn Roberts, who got his legendary nickname from his days as a hard-throwing pitcher in high school, is perhaps the greatest driver never to win a NASCAR title.

He was arguably stock car racing’s first superstar, an immensely popular prototype for some of today’s competitors who are stars on and off the track.

Of course, Roberts’ fame was based on what he did when he got behind the wheel. During his career he often came up big in the biggest events, winning the Daytona 500 in 1962 and the Southern 500 in 1958 and ’63. Overall, he won seven races at Daytona International Speedway, starting with the Firecracker 250 in the summer of 1959 – the year the speedway opened.

Roberts was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998; 40 years before that, he demonstrated a burst of greatness that is hard to fathom. He ran only 10 races in ’58 but won six of them – finishing 11th in the final NASCAR premier series standings.

 

 

 
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics
Year Age Races Win Top 5 Top 10 Pole Laps Led Rank AvSt AvFn RAF Miles LLF
1950 21 9 of 19 1 4 5 1 1138 60 4 10.8 11.0 6 1092.7 2
1951 22 9 of 41 0 2 3 0 825 0 24 8.8 20.8 6 782.8 1
1952 23 7 of 34 0 0 1 0 443 15 71 10.7 26.9 2 464.5 0
1953 24 2 of 37 0 0 0 0 352 41 244 3.0 42.0 1 424.5 0
1954 25 5 of 37 0 0 2 0 811 0 51 3.2 14.0 3 974.2 0
1955 26 2 of 45 0 0 0 1 69 4 190 2.5 57.0 0 202.8 1
1956 27 33 of 56 5 17 22 3 5695 475 4 9.5 11.6 23 3832.8 10
1957 28 42 of 53 8 21 27 4 6891 1107 2 5.8 9.2 32 4338.9 16
1958 29 10 of 51 6 8 9 0 2491 877 14 6.0 5.0 9 2483.7 8
1959 30 8 of 44 1 1 4 3 1445 147 31 15.5 19.4 3 1503.5 1
1960 31 9 of 44 2 2 3 6 1338 578 29 1.4 23.4 2 2077.8 2
1961 32 22 of 52 2 13 14 5 5075 1002 5 8.1 11.0 14 5099.9 4
1962 33 19 of 53 3 9 12 8 4312 960 8 5.2 12.4 13 4244.7 4
1963 34 20 of 55 4 11 14 1 4643 692 8 4.3 10.2 14 5516.4 5
1964 35 10 of 62 1 5 6 0 1702 17 27 8.2 14.3 6 2029.7 4
15 years   207 33 93 122 32 37230 5975   6.9 19.2 134 35068.9 58

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