Tuesday 5th January 1965
NASCAR Grand National driver Billy Wade died when his Mercury crashed during Goodyear tire tests at Daytona International Speedway. The 34 year old Wade, a native of Houston, Texas was the 1963 NASCAR Rookie of the Year for car owner Cotton Owens. He finished the season with 14 Top 10 finishes in 31 races. He won four consecutive races the following year for Bud Moore Engineering between July 10 and July 19, 1964. The four wins gives Wade the sole distinction of being the only driver to accomplish this feat with his victories at Old Bridge Stadium 10th, a road course at Bridgehampton, New York on the 12th, a July 15 win at Islip Speedway in New York, and fourth win at Watkins Glen. He also accumulated five poles and 25 Top 10 finishes in his 35 starts.. Reportedly, Wade was earning $200 a day for the tests to develop a tire inner liner.