Born in 1929, Glenn “Fireball” Roberts was a part of NASCAR during its formative years. He won a slew of races, including some of the biggest in the series, and made several appearances among the season’s best finishers during his tenure. Here are five reasons Fireball Roberts is a NASCAR Hall of Famer.
Roberts, like many drivers in his day, competed in the occasional race in the NASCAR Convertible Series as well. He won four times in his limited appearances there.
His impact on racing went beyond his on-track performances. Roberts is widely regarded as the first true superstar in NASCAR, a man capable of bringing fans to the races in his day. His accident led to innovations in fire retardant suits as well.
Roberts starred in some of NASCAR’s biggest events. He won the Daytona 500 in 1962 and was also a victor in the famed Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
While he never won a championship, Roberts certainly came close. He finished second in the standings in 1950, his rookie season. He went on to finish in the top 10 in the season standings five other times.
Roberts won 33 races in what is now the NASCAR Cup series. He was often a contender for a top spot in the field, earning 122 top-10 finishes in his career, 93 of them top-fives. That was somewhat aided at times from his starting position as Roberts snared 32 pole positions during his career.