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A Brief Information about Darlington Raceway
In the fall of 1949, when a crisp breeze toyed with the loose soil of an old cotton field on the westside of rural Darlington, SC, Harold Brasington saw more than just dirt dancing around a patch of land, he envisioned the Darlington Raceway. Brasington, a local businessman, had a lofty vision most of his peers dismissed as utterly ridiculous. His friends laughed at him when returned home from the 1933 Indianapolis 500 and mentioned the idea of little Darlington having a paved superspeedway, a place to hold major stock car events.
They nearly committed him when he told them he was going to build it. Nevertheless, believing Bill France's fledgling NASCAR just might catch on, Brasington set out in the fall of 1949 to shape a 1.25 mile speedway on land that once produced peanuts and cotton.
The first race at the Darlington Raceway was scheduled for Labor Day 1950. Brasington expected no more than 10,000 fans, but the crowd of more than 25,000 showed up. Californian Johnny Mantz drove to victory that day in the first Southern 500. The race took more than six hours to complete. Still, it set a precedent for a sport that would grow to be one of the largest spectator sports in the country. Over the next fifty years, names like Baker, Flock, Thomas, Pearson, Yarborough, Petty, and Earnhardt became commonplace in Victory Lane.
Fifty years later the Darlington Raceway is known as the track "Too Tough to Tame."
It is still remembered as the original superspeedway and as one of the pillars of the NASCAR establishment. There is no other sporting facility in the world more steeped in history and tradition than Darlington Raceway, which has aged gracefully over the years but retained its feisty charm.
The Darlington Raceway will be the location for this year's Dodge Charger 500.
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