28/9/1968 - 30/9/1990
Record updated 28-Sep-07
Rob Moroso was a NASCAR racing driver who won the NASCAR Busch Series in 1989. He was killed in a traffic accident in North Carolina.
Born in Madison, Connecticut, Rob Moroso was the son of Dick Moroso, founder of Moroso Performance, suppliers of aftermarket automotive parts, and Moroso Motorsports Park in Jupiter, Florida.
He made his debut in the Busch series at age 17 and won his first race in 1988, when he was 19. 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.
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. At the time Moroso was the youngest champion in the history of NASCAR.
Moroso made his debut in Winston Cup in 1988 at Charlotte with Peak 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. His season was littered with accidents and disappointments; the lone highlight being a ninth place finish in the Pepsi Firecracker 400 at Daytona. Many still believed Moroso had loads of potential, but unfortunately, he would not finish the season.
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. Traveling at estimated 75 m.p.h., Moroso lost control of his vehicle on a curve with a 35 m.p.h. posted speed limit. The resulting collision killed both Moroso and Tammy Williams, the driver of the vehicle in the opposite lane. Investigation revealed that he had been driving under the influence of alcohol. Moroso was posthumously awarded the Raybestos NASCAR Rookie of the Year Award in 1990 after completing 25 of 29 races.