Friday 7th December 1984
Stockcar and Indycar racer LeeRoy Yarbrough (46) died. His best season was 1969 when he won seven races (including the Daytona 500), tallied 21 finishes in the top-ten and earned $193,211 ($1,089,328.84 when inflation is taken into effect). During his entire career from 1960–1972, he competed in 198 races, scoring fourteen wins, 65 finishes in the top-five, 92 finishes in the top-ten, and ten pole positions. His racing number was 98. When asked about his passion, Yarbrough described racing as “what I call, my life.” Yarbrough was admitted to a mental institution in March 1980 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. LeeRoy died in after a fall while suffering from a traumatic brain injury. In 1990, he was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina.