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Sports Then and Now



Crash and Burn: 5 Of the Worst NASCAR Crashes of All Time 12

Posted on March 14, 2014 by Dixie Somers
Fireball Roberts died following a 1964 crash in Charlotte.

Fireball Roberts died following a 1964 crash in Charlotte.

When it comes to NASCAR, many people only see cars driving in circles for a few hours, with zero excitement, competition, or intrigue. However, this is a fast-paced, dangerous sport that is never short of close calls and frightening accidents and crashes. Yes, crashes are common in NASCAR, however, some look a lot worse than they actually are. The following are some of the worst crashes we’ve seen since the beginning of NASCAR:

Fireball Roberts, Charlotte 1964
Glenn “Fireball” Roberts was part of a deadly domino effect during the 1964 World 600 when he tried to avoid the crashed cars of Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett. Roberts’ Ford hit the wall and burst into flames. Badly burnt, he was taken to the hospital where he died weeks later after slipping into a coma. This wreck prompted the development of mandatory fire suits, rubber fuel cells and in-car fire extinguishers.

Richard Petty, Darlington 1970
Richard Petty was part of a bad crash took place in Darlington on May 9, 1970. He broke his shoulder during the Rebel 400 when his Plymouth rolled after making contact with the retaining wall.

It was the first NASCAR accident shown live on TV, and viewers could see Petty’s arm dangle out the side window opening when the car flipped and eventually landed on its roof. This incident prompted NASCAR to install mandatory protective nets subsequently in all its race cars.
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10 Years Later: NASCAR Still Remembers “The Intimidator” 0

Posted on February 16, 2011 by A.J. Foss

Ten years after his death, Dale Earnhardt is still casting a shadow over NASCAR.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the darkest day in NASCAR history, the death of Dale Earnhardt in a crash on the last lap of the Daytona 500.

“The Intimidator” is considered by many as the greatest NASCAR driver of all time as won 76 races and seven season championships, a record he shares with “The King” (Richard Petty), in his illustrious career.

Earnhardt’s death sent shockwaves throughout the sports world as the biggest star of the nation’s fastest growing sport was suddenly gone.

While they have been numerous safety advances in the decade since his death, there has been no driver that has captured the imagination of NASCAR fans throughout the world like the way Earnhardt  and his famous #3 black Goodwrench Service Chevrolet did.

With their beloved icon no longer on the race track, the many fans of the “Man in Black” had to find a new favorite driver to root for.

The most logical choice was Earnhardt’s son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., who drove for his father’s racing team, Dale Earnhardt Inc. in the #8 Budweiser Chevrolet. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Original Patriot: Gino Cappelletti
      September 3, 2017 | 6:54 pm
      Gino Cappelletti

      Gino Cappelletti

      In recognition of the start of football season, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is one of the original stars for the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.

      In many ways, Gino Cappelletti epitomized the early years of the American Football League. While the NFL was becoming more specialized and tougher to break into, the AFL provided former college stars with a new place to play and its “wild west” mentality allowed players to contribute in a wide variety of ways.

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