Having just read this book, I can tell you that as a lifelong racing enthusiast growing up in Daytona Beach, Florida, I was impressed. Godwin Kelly takes us through the life of Fireball in a way that is personal and compelling. Back in the '50s and '60s, little old Daytona sure bred some impressive stock car racing personalities. Fireball was one of the most respected, forward-thinking, and successful of the early drivers of what became the NASCAR nation.
The story of Fireball has it all: youthful ambition, success, money, notoriety, happiness, and tragedy-in more ways than one. Godwin weaves his account through all aspects of Roberts' life. You come to know the personality, passion, and personal life of this outstanding driver as well as his public life, where the illusion is never as accurate as it should be.
Fireball Roberts (on the left)...
Fireball Roberts (on the left) talks racing with Smokey Yunick and noted crew chief Jack "Sully" Sullivan. Smokey and Fireball had a lot of success together winning their share of races from 1959 to 1962.
At the time of his untimely death, Fireball was as highly regarded among his fellow racers as a person could be. Some would come to say that those who followed after him were compared to him, and not the other way around. He accumulated a lot of firsts in his short but bright career.
Don't let me spoil it for you. Get a copy of this historical book about one of the personalities who helped, as much as any other individual except Bill France Sr., elevate stock car racing to a national sport. It is published by Carbon Press, the publishing company started by Smokey Yunick and his daughter, Trish. It is available at any major book outlet or by going to www.carbonpressonline.com.