(January 20, 1929-July 2, 1964)
Born in Tavares, Florida
Birth name was Edward Glenn Roberts
Won 33 NASCAR races during his career
Won the Daytona 500 (1962)
Crashed at the World 600 in Charlotte, North Carolina (May 24, 1964)
Died as a result of second and third degree burns from the crash
Inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (1990)
Why he might be annoying
He dropped out of the University of Florida.
He tried to join the US Army Air Corps, but was discharged during basic training because of his asthma.
He hated his nickname.
He had planned to retire at the end of the 1964 racing season.
Why he might not be annoying
He got his nickname not from his speed on the track but from the speed of his pitches when he played baseball in high school.
He was considered NASCAR’s first superstar.
He finished in the top 10 in more than half his races.
His fatal crash occurred as he tried to avoid drivers Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett, who had collided and spun out.
His death led to several safety improvements, including NASCAR mandating five-point safety harnesses and drivers wearing flame-retardant coveralls.
Credit: C. Fishel
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