Friday 7th March 1980
Legendary American stockcar driver Lee Roy Yarbrough was admitted to a mental institution after trying to kill his mother by putting his hands around her neck. All attempts to rehabilitate him (either in Florida or in North Carolina) failed and Lee Roy eventually died in 1984 after a fall while suffering from a traumatic brain injury.
During his career, Yarbrough won the Daytona 500 and the Firecracker 400 at Daytona, the World 600 at Charlotte, the Southern 500 at Darlington, S.C., and the Dixie 500 at Atlanta. His total winnings were more than $450,000. He was involved in severe crashes at the Texas International Speedway in 1970 and at the Indianapolis Speedway in 1971, and he also nearly died from a case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Returned to Racing. He made a comeback in 1972, finishing in the top 10 in nearly every race he entered, but he left the circuit in 1973 to work for a construction company in Jacksonville owned by relatives.