Shorty Rollins was the first NASCAR Rookie of the Year. Lloyd was born in Granbury, Texas. At 18, he married his wife of 51 years, Mozelle Townsend. Together they accomplished just about everything they set out to do in life. He was a successful businessman at an early age owning and running a drive-in grocery in Corpus Christi, Texas.
He took up the hobby of stock car racing in Corpus Christi and was so good that he decided to turn professional and try NASCAR Grand National. So in 1958, he and his wife moved to Fayetteville, NC.
After competing for only 4 months of the NASCAR circuit, he was awarded the very first Rookie of the Year title. That year he started in 29 of the possible 51 races, he won his first race at the State Line Speedway, he finished 12 times in top 5 and had 22 top 10 finished. His final Championship postion was 4th.
On February 20th, 1959, the first head to head race was held on the Daytona Speedway. This was a 100 mile qualifying race for the convertibles, which incidentally competed with the roofs down. It turned out to be a remarkably close race with Shorty in a 58 Ford beating Marvin Panch by inches. Third place went to a young man by the name of Richard Petty driving a 57 Oldsmobile. Three days later, he was running fifth in what was to become the world's premier stock car race the Daytona 500, when his engine blew.
With a promising career in auto racing ahead of him, he abruptly retired in 1960 after watching some friends die in an accident at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Prefering to devote his time to his family.
"He would have been another Richard Petty," said a former crew member, Mike Flannigan of Corpus Christi, Texas. "He could outrun them all and he did outrun them all."
In his three professional seasons he made 43 starts and earned $17,019
After a brief residence in Daytona Beach, Florida, he found his calling in Pensacola, Florida where he established Hurricane Fence Industries in 1959. Rollins died in 1998 a day after lapsing into a coma from complications of a heart ailment.