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.
- Inducted: 2014
Stock Car Racing's First Superstar
Fireball Roberts was a star on and off the track.
During his career, Roberts often came up big in the biggest events, winning the Daytona 500 in 1962 and the Southern 500 in 1958 and 1963. 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 1958 but won six of them—finishing 11th in the final NASCAR premier series standings.
Roberts’ good looks and ease with the media made him very popular and helped spread NASCAR across the nation. Courtesy of ISC Archives via Getty Images.
Roberts' win in the Firecracker 250 in 1962 marked his sweep of every race he entered at Daytona International Speedway that year. Courtesy of ISC Archives via Getty Images.
Roberts paired with legendary mechanic Smokey Yunick, seen here on the left, in 1959. Courtesy of ISC Archives via Getty Images.