Tragedy overshadows Paschal win at CMS

Sunday, May 24, 1964 – Jim Paschal drove his No. 14 Petty Enterprises Plymouth to his 19th career victory, but the World 600 was marred by a multicar crash that left NASCAR idol Glen “Fireball” Roberts hospitalized with burns over much of his body. Roberts was caught up in an incident that also involved Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett. When his No. 22 Ford hit the wall, back end first, it ruptured the fuel tank and flipped over. Jarrett helped free Roberts from the burning car.

Roberts was NASCAR’s first true superstar, talented, successful and popular. Reports at the time said the Florida native was preparing to step away from competition and work with a popular beer company even though he himself did not drink.

At the time of his injuries, Roberts had 33 wins in NASCAR’s premier series, including victories in the Southern 500 and Daytona 500.

Roberts, burned over 75 percent of his body, passed away 39 days after the accident from pneumonia and blood poisoning.

Paschal finished four laps ahead of teammate Richard Petty. It was one of only two career wins on a track larger than one mile for the North Carolina native.

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