Rob Moroso

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Robert Moroso
Born (1968-09-26)September 26, 1968
Died September 30, 1990(1990-09-30) (aged 22)
Cause of death Automobile crash
Achievements 1989 Busch Series champion
Awards

1989 Busch Series Most Popular Driver

1990 Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year (posthumously)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
29 race(s) run over 3 year(s)
Best finish 30th - 1990
First race 1988 Oakwood Homes 500 (Charlotte)
Last race 1990 Tyson Holly Farms 400 (North Wilkesboro)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 1 0
NASCAR Nationwide Series career
86 race(s) run over 4 year(s)
Best finish 1st - 1989
First race 1986 Roses Stores 150 (Rougemont)
Last race 1989 Winston Classic (Martinsville)
First win 1988 Myrtle Beach 200 (Myrtle Beach)
Last win 1989 All Pro 300 (Charlotte)
Wins Top tens Poles
6 42 9
Statistics current as of March 4, 2012.

Rob Moroso (September 26, 1968 - September 30, 1990) was a NASCAR racing driver who was champion of the NASCAR Busch Series (now Nationwide Series) in 1989,[1] was posthumously awarded the 1990 NASCAR Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup Series) Rookie of the Year award. He was killed in a traffic accident on roads near his hometown of Terrell, North Carolina.[1]

Born in Greenwich, Connecticut, he was the son of Dick Moroso,[2] founder of Moroso Performance, suppliers of aftermarket automotive parts, and former owner of Moroso Motorsports Park in Jupiter, Florida.

NASCAR Busch career[edit]

He made his debut in the Busch series at age 17, driving the #23 Old Milwaukee Chevrolet, and later the #15 for Rick Hendrick. He won his first race in 1988, when he was 19.[2] He finished second in the final Busch series points in 1988. Moroso won a total of six races from 1988 to 1989, including 3 consecutive at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and was voted the most popular driver on the circuit.[2]

In 1989 Moroso, was vying with veteran driver Tommy Houston for the championship in the final race of the year, at Martinsville Speedway. Houston's engine failed during the race, while Moroso finished third and won the title by 55 points from Houston.[2] At the time Moroso was the youngest champion in the history of NASCAR.

NASCAR Cup career[edit]

Moroso made his debut in Winston Cup in 1988 at Charlotte with Peak Antifreeze sponsorship, finishing 14th in his debut. He would race one more time in 1988 and ran two races in 1989 as a warm up for the following season. Moroso declared he was running for Rookie of the Year in the 1990 season with sponsorship from Crown Petroleum, driving the #20 Oldsmobile for his father. The highlight of the season was a ninth place finish in the Pepsi Firecracker 400 at Daytona.

Death[edit]

On September 30, 1990, Moroso was killed in an automobile crash near Mooresville, North Carolina only hours after finishing 21st in the Holly Farms 400 at North Wilkesboro Speedway.[1] Traveling at an estimated 75 mph (121 km/h),[3] Moroso lost control of his vehicle in a curve with a 35 mph (56 km/h) posted speed limit. The resulting collision killed both Moroso and Tammy Williams, the driver of the vehicle in the opposite lane.[1]

Investigations revealed that he had been driving under the influence of alcohol.[3] His blood alcohol level was 0.22, over twice the then legal level of 0.10.[4] He also had been convicted of speeding four times.[3] Judges could have revoked his license at least twice but the charges were reduced.[3]

Moroso earned enough points after completing just 25 of 29 races that he was posthumously awarded the Raybestos NASCAR Rookie of the Year Award in 1990.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Obituaries: Rob Moroso, Stock Car Driver, 22". New York Times. October 2, 1990. Retrieved 2013-08-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Through The Lens: Rob Moroso". National Speed Sport News. Retrieved 2009-02-20. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d Cross, Duane (November 14, 2005). "Cross' Words: Phoenix". NASCAR. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  4. ^ "SPORTS PEOPLE: AUTO RACING; Concern Over Image". New York Times. October 5, 1990. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
Preceded by
Dick Trickle
NASCAR Rookie of the Year
1990
Succeeded by
Bobby Hamilton
Preceded by
Tommy Ellis
NASCAR Busch Series Champion
1989
Succeeded by
Chuck Bown