The race was named in memory of driver Fireball Roberts who died in 1964 from injuries and burns suffered in a horrific crash and fire in the 1964 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was held the week after the Daytona 500 - where open wheeler Mario Andretti surprised the stock car establishment with his win. When the glitz of Daytona ended and the normal seasonal grind at Asheville-Weaverville returned, Mario - and most of the other big name drivers - were absent.
Perhaps the teams couldn't be blamed for skipping the race. Andretti earned over $48,000 for his Daytona win. Petty earned $1,800 in winning at Asheville-Weaverville - roughly the same amount A.J. Foyt earned at Daytona ... for finishing 37th.
The winning trophy as seen by TMC at the Richard Petty Museum in Randleman, NC.
|Article courtesy of Jerry Bushmire|