FLASHBACK... CRASH SIDELINES MARTY

Country music and car racing have always gone hand-inhand, but no one combined the two like the late Marty Robbins. The singing legend - who had 16 No. 1 hits - was also a skilled racer, good enough to compete on the NASCAR circuit.

Marty's fast-track hobby did not exactly thrill his wife, Marizona, or his record label. When Marty crashed in a Charlotte, N.C., race in 1974, he seriously thought about giving up the track, but he simply had too much passion for the sport.

"It was something that relaxed him," recalls Marty's son Ronny. "Even his doctors were amazed at how low his blood pressure was after a race."

On Feb. 16, 1975, Marty suffered injuries in another wreck, this time at the famed Daytona Speedway. He was sidelined for a time and had to cancel some concert dates.

"His doctors advised him to take it easy," says Ronny. "But he told them that there was no way he was ever going to stop racing." Marty ran his final NASCAR race in Atlanta, Nov. 7, 1982, one month before he died at age 57.

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