NASCAR CUP TRACKS    A - H

Air Base Speedway - Greenville SC
The track was a 1/2 mile paved track.  The track hosted one race; it was in 1951.  The race was won by Bob Flock; followed by his brother Tim Flock. another brother Fonty Flock finished fourth.

Airbourne Speedway - Plattsburgh NY
The Cup series raced at this 1/2 mile dirt track in 1955.  Lee Petty led 163 of the 200 laps; and beat Buck Baker by over a lap.

Asheville-Weaverville Speedway - Weaverville NC
Both of these photos are from Asheville-Weaverville Speedway.  NASCAR raced at this track from 1951 through 1969.  As you can see it started out as dirt; but was paved in the middle of 1957.  The first race was won by

Fonty Flock,  The final race in 1969 was won by Bobby Issac.  This track has six different drivers win back to back winners.  Lee Petty, Rex White, Richard Petty, Ned Jarrett, David Pearson and Bobby Issac.

 

Altamont - Schenectady Fairgrounds - Altamont NY
This 1/2 mile dirt track host just two NASCAR races.  They were ran in 1951 and 1955.  Fonty Flock started on the pole and won the first event.  Junior Johnson would win the final race held here.  The races were run in conjunction with the county fair.

Ascot Park - Gardena CA
Famous Ascot Park host all sorts of races; famous for it's sprint and midget races also.  The Cup Series races here three times.  1957, 1959, and 1961.  All the races were won by west coast.  Parnelli Jones won the race in 1959.  Ascot Park was tore down in 1990 in favor of Commercial buildings.

         Atlanta Motor Speedway - Hampton GA
Atlanta Motor Speedway has been around a long time  Initially it was built as a oval track.  Long sweeping turns were it's trademark where handling was important.

In 1997 the tracks layout was changed to a quad-oval.  The picture on the left shows the old configuration; and the one on the right is after the track was changed to the quad-oval.  The first race was ran here in 1960 and Fireball Roberts got the win.  Atlanta hosted two races per year from it's open through 2010.  In 2011 the track lost one of it's race dates; but as of 2018 NASCAR still hosts Cup races.  The 2018 winner was Kevin Harvick.  Dale Earnhardt Sr holds the record for most wins at the track with nine.

Augusta International Speedway - Augusta GA
The only race even ran at this venue was "The First 510"  This track was a 3 mile road course with a distance of 70 laps.  The race had a much slower average speed than expected; and was called because of darkness after 417 mile with Fireball Roberts claiming the win. 

Augusta Raceway - Augusta GA
This facility comprised of a 1/2 mile dirt track with race distances of 200 laps.  The track hosted at least one race per year from 1962-1969.  Joe Weatherly won the first two events, (both in 1962).  The final year Bobby Issac posted a dominating win, leading 198 of the 200 laps to get the win.

Bay Meadows Speedway - San Mateo CA
NASCAR raced at this facility three times.  1954-1956.  The track was actually a one mile horse track that they raced on.  West coast hot shoe Hershel McGriff won the first race.  Of note in 1955, Tim Flock won a race on July 30 in New York; and drove across the country to win here the next day.  Eddie Pagan won the other race.

Beltsville Speedway - Beltsville MD
This was a 1/2 mile dirt track and hosted Cup races 1965-1970.  Ned Jarrett won the pole and beat Tiny Lund by two laps to claim the first win.  In 1970 Bobby Issac would win the final Cup race there by a lap over Tiny Lund.  This is yet another track where Issac won the final race at a track.  The track closed in 1979.  Check out the folks all dressed up in nice clothes to watch the race.

 

Birmingham Int'l Raceway - Birmingham AL
NASCAR ran eight races here from 1958-1968.  The first two races were on 1/2 mile dirt.  The remaining races the track was paved.  Fireball Roberts would claim the checkers in the first event; while Richard Petty would get the final victory.  IN it's later years they ran weekly races and special events.  The track was closed and torn down in 2008.

Bowman Gray Stadium - Winston-Salem NC
Bowman Gray Stadium is a NASCAR sanctioned 1/4-mile asphalt flat oval short track and football stadium.  Bob Welborn would claim the first Cup win there in 1958.  Bobby Allison would grab the final checkered hankie for the Cup Series.  Rex white posted four consecutive wins at the track in 1961-1962.   Glen Wood won three in a row; all in 1960.  2018 is the 70th season of operation.  

Bridgehampton Raceway - Bridgehampton NY
One of the several road courses NASCAR raced on at that time.  Bridgehampton was a 2.85 mile road course.  The track hosted races four times in the Cup Series (1958, 1963, 1964, 1968).  Jack Smith started on the pole and won the first race.  Richard Petty would win in 1963; while Billy Wade would get the win in 1964; part of his fore race consecutive win streak.  In 1966 David Pearson would bring down the curtain for Cup races at this track beating James Hylton to get the win.  By the early 1970s, the track was used mostly for amateur race events.  The track closed permanently in 1998.  Plans were announced in 1994 to turn the property into a golf course.

Bristol Motor Speedway - Bristol TN
This track always provides great racing.  The little 1/2 mile paved bull ring and been around since 1961.  Jack Smith would wheel his Pontiac to a two lap win over Fireball Roberts.  This track is still active on the Cup schedule; hosting two races per year.  Kurt Busch won the fall 2018 race.  Notable is Cale Yarborough won four times in a row; but that was bested by Darrell Waltrip who won seven times in a row from 1981-1984.  He has eleven career wins; the most of any drivers at Bristol

California Speedway - Fontana CA
Now known as Auto Club Speedway; it was built on the site of the abandoned Kaiser Steel Mill.  It is a two mile D shaped oval and hosted it's first race in June 1997.  The track also hosts indy car races on it's smooth fast surface.  That first race was won by Jeff Gordon edging out his Rick Hendrick team mate Terry Labonte.  Another Hendrick driver; Jimmy Johnson has the most wins currently (6).  The track still host Cup races ever year; with the last win going to martin Truex.  

 

Canfield Speedway - Canfield OH
Canfield Speedway in Ohio hosted a total of three Cup races from 1950-1952.  It hosted races names the "Poor Man's 500" because it was held on the same day as the Indy 500.    The race was called a "500" even though they only ran 200 laps on a 1/2 mile track.  Bill Rexford would win the race in 1950; his only career win.  But Rexford went on to win the Championship that season.  Marshall Teague, and Herb Thomas won in their Fabulous Hudson Hornets the following two years.

Civic Stadium - Buffalo NY
Civic Stadium located in Buffalo NY hosted one CUP event, and one Convertible series event.  The track was a 1/4 mile paved flat track.  Jim Reed won the Cup series race held in 1958.  Joe Weatherly would the convertible event held in 1956.  This location actually had a football field inside the track.  If you notice this track was in Buffalo; and yes a few years later it DID become the home of the Buffalo Bills for several years.  Eventually the Biolls moved; but it is still used as a high school football field.

Carrell Speedway - Gardena CA
This track hosted the first Cup race held west of the Mississippi.  It was a 1/2 mile dirt track that ran 200 laps.  1951 saw Marshall Teague go on to win the first race.  Three races were held at this track in 1951.  The second race would see Lou Figaro win the only Cup race of his career.    Bill Norton won the third event and it was also his lone Cup win.  Only four races where held here and the final race was held in 1954.  It saw John Soares win his only Cup event.  The track closed in the late 50's to make room for the Artesia Boulevard.

Central City Speedway - Macon GA
This is action from the first race held at Central City Speedway in Macon Ga in 1951. This is the start as Bob Flock and brother Tim Flock started on the front row. Fonty Flock started third. Tim Flock would be the first to retire, with Herb Thomas getting the win.  Thomas would also win the next race.  There were seven races held at this 1/2 mile dirt track from 1951-1954. Hershel McGriff got the final win after Buck Baker was disqualified.

Charlotte Speedway - Charlotte NC
Not to be confused with Charlotte Motor Speedway; this facility was a small 3/4 mile dirt track.  It's claim to fame is that is was the first NASCAR Strictly Stock race ever staged (now the Cup Series).  Bill Blair dominated the race; but fell out on lap 150; Glenn Dunnaway then took the lead and got the checkered flag. However he got disqualified after the race for having illegal shocks.  This left Jim Roper as the winner.  Interesting that Roper should be remembered for being the first Cup winner; 

when he only raced TWO Cup events in his career.  Also Lee Petty raced (and flipped) the family and had to hitch a ride home.  The track hosted 12 races over a nine year span.  Three time we saw back to back winner.  First Curtis Turner won two in a row (1950-1951).  Turner would also win two races there in the Convertible Series.  Herb Thomas was the second driver to win two in a row (1951-1952)  Finally Buck Baker won his two in a row in 1954-1955.  He went on to win the final race at the track in 1956.  The site of the old Charlotte Speedway is just on the North of Douglas Airport.

 

Charlotte Motor Speedway - Concord NC
Along with Charlotte Speedway having an important "first" in NASCAR; the track NASCAR currently races on has some additional "first" for NASCAR.  On the left we see the current Charlotte Motor Speedway; looks like a test session prior to opening.  NASCAR stated racing at the current Charlotte track in 1960; and still races there as of 2018.  It is a 1 1/2 mile quad oval track that hosts two races per year.  One of the 'first' that this tracks is known for is the longest race of on the circuit.  Each May they run 600 miles.  Another 'first"  is NASCAR's the "All-Star".  Joe Lee Johnson won the first event on the new track back in 1960.  Jack Smith had led 198 of the first 352 laps; when a chunk of asphalt flew up and pierced his gas tank.  Johnson would assume the lead and hold it the rest of the way becoming the first driver to win a 600 mile race.  The race is still ran every year and the list of winners looks like a "Who's Who" of NASCAR stars.  The race in 2018 was won by Kyle Busch.    As far as the A'' Star race; drivers qualify for the ALl Star event by various ways.  The winner gets 1 Million Dollars.  It is a special event and pays no points.  The first All Star race was held here in 1985 and was known as "The Winston".  It was won by Darrell Waltrip.  The info below also covers one last "first" at Charlotte Motor Speedway

 

Charlotte Motor Speedway - Roval - Concord NC
In another first Charlotte Motor Speedway was they held the first Cup race on a oval converted into a road course.  Thus the name "Roval".  The track wanted to add something new for the fans; and they made renovations and made it so that the drivers had the challenges of a road course; all while being able to see the entire track.  The drivers race on all of the oval track except one small part near the end of pit road.  At that point they turn left and go and run the infield portion of the track.  The first race was ran in September 2018.  Kurt Busch was the first pole winner; while Ryan Blaney captured the win, after leader Martin Truex and Jimmie Johnson tangled in the final turn of the race.

 

Chicagoland Speedway - Joliette IL
Chicagoland Speedway has hosted races since 2001.  It is a 1 1/2 mile D shaped oval.  They host one race per year. The track has great crowds and always has exciting races.  Kevin Harvick won the first two events.  So far the biggest upset is David Reutimann winning in 2010. Tony Stewart has three wins.  Several drivers have two wins at the track; including 2018 winner Kyle Busch.  The track also hosted Indy car races starting in 2001 until 2010.  

Concord Speedway - Concord NC
The 1/2 mile speedway features a very sharp corner entering turn #1; and a long sweeping turn #2.  The picture shown is the current track; but when NASCAR raced there the track was dirt.  The first Cup event was in 1956 and was 200 laps in length.  Speedy Thompson out run Buck Baker to get the win.  The track hosted 12 races over a nine year span.  The tracks final Cup race was in 1964 and won by Richard Petty.  This race would also be the final race for Ralph Earnhardt (Father of Dale Earnhardt Sr)

Darlington Speedway - Darlington SC.
This is a paved track slightly over 1 1/2 miles in length.  This old gal has a lot of history.  Whether you call her "The Lady In Black"; The Track Too Tough To Tame"; and the drivers run the high line and get a "Darlington Stripe".  It is of a unique, somewhat egg-shaped design, and an abrasive surface which eats the rubber off of tires in mere laps.;  This situation makes it very challenging for the crews to set up their cars' handling in a way that will be effective at both ends.  The track was built and designed to run speeds of 120 mph and race around the inside line on the flat part of the track.  The banking was meant for slow cars to get out of the way.  It turns out that now drivers qualify at speeds of 180 mph with drivers running right up against the outside wall. The first Cup events started being held here in 1950; only a year after the first NASCAR race ran. The race had a field of 75 drivers.  Driver Johnny Mantz foresaw that tires would be an issue; so he raced on truck tires; rubber vastly harder than anyone else was using.  Mantz qualified as the slowest car in the field and did not run fast in the race; but tires were such an issue in the race he saved a lot of time not having to pit and change tires.  In fact tires became such an issue and race teams resorted to going into the parking lot and getting tires off of spectators cars to run the race on.  When it was all said and done Mantz had ran the event at an average speed of 75 mph and lasted 6 hours and 38 minutes; but he had bested the field by nine laps.  Way too much history has evolved from this track to even begin to cover here.  At track that has been around since 1950 has a lot of stories to tell.  One interesting fact is that it took 15 days to qualify the field to determine the starting line up for the race.  The procedure was that all the cars qualified and they locked in the fastest five cars each day; until the 75 car starting field was set.  Meanwhile, in the picture above left is the line-up for a Convertible series race.  The Convertible Series ran here 1957-1959.  Fireball Roberts (pole) and Cotton Owens are shown here on the front row.  Curtis Turner won this event..  The photo in the right is the current Darlington track.  The race is ran at night now; but still on Labor Day weekend.  The 2018 winner was Denny Hamlin.

 

Daytona Beach and Road Course - Daytona Beach FL
Often called the birthplace of speed; the sands of Daytona saw a lot of racing.  Long before NASCAR invaded the hard packed sands of Daytona; drivers had been coming there to set straight line speed records.  Between 1905 and 1935, at least 13 organized events took place on the beach and 15 land speed records were set, including the 276.82mph record set in 1935 by Sir Malcolm Campbell.  Once speeds reached well over 200 mph, the Bonneville Salt Flats became the choice course since Daytona Beach was too narrow for the higher speeds.  Car racing had been going on on the beach since 1938.  The course was a four mile lap.  Two miles up the beach; then a hard u-turn onto highway A1A and two miles down the asphalt with another hard turn back onto the beach.  NASCAR officially started racing there after the formal creation of NASCAR; so the first 'official" race was held in July of 1949.  It was won by the previous years NASCAR Modified Champion Red Byron.  The series raced there every year through 1958 when Daytona International Speedway was open.  The race was always competitive with only two drivers managing to win more than one of the 39 laps affairs.  Of course racing on the beach also posed it's own problems; like when in 1952 the race had to be shortened to 37 laps because of the incoming tide.  The final race saw Paul Goldsmith hold off Curtis Turner by five car lengths.

 

Daytona International Speedway - Daytona Beach FL
The track was built in 1959 by NASCAR founder William "Bill" France, Sr. to host racing that was held at the former Daytona Beach Road Course. His banked design permitted higher speeds and gave fans a better view of the cars. Lights were installed around the track in 1998Since opening in 1959, it has been the home of the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race in NASCAR. In addition to NASCAR, the track also hosts races of ARCA, AMA Superbike, USCC, SCCA, and Motocross. The track features multiple layouts including the primary 2.5-mile high-speed tri-oval, a 3.56-mile sports car course, a 2.95-mile motorcycle course, and a 1,320-foot karting and motorcycle flat-track. The track's 180-acre infield includes the 29-acre Lake Lloyd, which has hosted powerboat racing. The first practice run on the new track began on February 6, 1959. On February 22, 1959, 42,000 people attended the inaugural Daytona 500, and it's finish was as startling as the track itself: Lee Petty beat Johnny Beauchamp in a photo finish that took three days of studying video to decide who won.There has been so much history made at this track since it first opened in 1959; it would take a book to hold all of it. We have saw the stars of NASCAR win races here; but we have saw Indy car stars like AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti also capture the checkered flag.  Upset wins have been pulled off by drivers like Sam McQuagg, Greg sacks, Derrick Cope, Trevor Bayne and Austin Dillon.  Dale Earnhardt won about every race he ran at the track; but the 500 win kept eluding him.  Finally after 20 years he broke through for the win in 1998.  Sadly the track has had it's share of fatalities. 40 people have been fatally injured in on-track incidents: 23 car drivers, twelve motorcyclists, three go-kart drivers, one powerboat racer, and one track worker. The most notable death may have been that of Dale Earnhardt, who was killed on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 on February 18, 2001

 

Dayton Speedway - Daytona OH
The track was opened in June 1934 as a flat "D shaped" 5/8 mile dirt track. The original track was a "copy" of the ASCOT Speedway.  Before the NASCAR Series moved to the track it was paved.  This was the first race that NASCAR ever ran on a paved track.  The Series ran six events here from 1950-1952.   The first event saw Jimmy Florian get the win; the only one of his career.  1952 saw Dick Rathman win both races.  Sprint cars also raced the high banks of Dayton.  Hot shoes like AJ Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Bobby Unser and others put on a show with their wheel to wheel action.  The speedway served as a test for aspiring Indianapolis 500 drivers. If you could run Dayton, Salem and Winchester, you were ready for the Indy 500.  The 1960s still brought great racing and crowds of 10,000. But Dayton Speedway started to fall on hard times in the 1970s.  Sadly the track closed from 1971-74 and again from 1976-78. Flory and Thompson got it up and running again, often drawing drivers from as many as seven different states, briefly before it closed for good in 1982.  Once the proud site of Dayton’s heralded racing history, Dayton Speedway has been buried under trash and industrial rubble, as the he roar of race cars has long been replaced by the rumble of dump trucks.

 

Dover International Speedway - Dover DE
Dover International Speedway is a high banked one mile speedway opened in 1969. Known as "The Monster Mile", Dover saw Richard Petty win the first two events held here; they were each a 300 mile distance.  Although much slower than Talladega, this track can also have "the big one" at any time.  It is so fast, high banked, and narrow, a crash near the front of the pack can collect 20 or more cars in the blink of an eye.  1971 saw the distance changed to 500 mile.  It was a long and grueling race for both man and machine.  One notable race includes the 1981 event won by Jody Ridley who drove for car owner Junie Donlavey.  It was the only win for either of them.  In 1995 the owners tore out the asphalt surface and replaced it with concrete.  In 1997 the race distance was reduced to 400 miles.  The track still host two Cup races every year.  The facility also has a pari-mutual horse race track in the infield of the track.  And a casino has been added just of the back straight.

Fonda Speedway - NY
The first race held at Fonda was in 1927.  The track was a 1/2 mile dirt track that ran 200 lap events.  The first sanctioned Cup event was held in 1955.  Junior Johnson would win this event, leading 105 laps and lapping the field.  Oddly enough the Series didn't return here for eleven years.  In 1966 David Pearson started 12th but went on to lead 114 laps to grab the win.  Richard Petty would win the tracks final two races held in 1967 and 1968.  His first win came on the dirt and he lead 118 laps; but the track was paved before the Cup cars returned for the 1968 event.  Like the previous year Petty was the class of the field leading 180 laps.  Currently the track is still in operation.  They race Saturday night April through September.  Current (2018) NASCAR Truck Series driver competes regularly at this track and has accumulated many wins.

Five Flags Speedway - Pensacola FL
Five Flags Speedway opened in 1953.  The Cup Series arrived at the track in that first season and hosted a 200 lap race on the 1/2 mile paved track.  Lee Petty looked to be the driver who would capture the win.  He had charged his way toward the front, and at the halfway mark Petty edged Dick Rathman (for second) only to fall back to third when the rain started, as he did not have windshield wipers.” Herb Thomas won after the event was called at 140 of the scheduled 200 laps.  The track races a full schedule on a bi-weekly basis as of 2018.  They have good fields and it features close competitive racing.  The highlight of the season happens the first week of December each year.  The track host the prestigious Snow Ball Derby.  The race is for Super Late Model stock cars and the first race was 100 laps in length; but was soon increased to 300 laps.  Many of the most well know and competitive drivers have ran in and won this race.  Below is a list of NASCAR Cup regulars that have managed to win the event.  Friday Hassler;  Pete Hamilton;  Donnie Allison;  Darrell Waltrip;  Jody Ridley;  Ted Musgrave;  Kyle Busch;  Chase Elliott and Erik Jones.  NASCAR drivers than ran in the Xfinity or Truck Series full time who won include:  XFINITY - Johanna Long;  Steve Wallace;  TRUCKS - Rick Crawford;  Tammy Jo Kirk;  John Hunter Nemechek 

 

Greensboro Fairgrounds - Greensboro NC
This track was a 1/3 mile dirt track that hosted races 250 laps in length.  The first race was in 1957; and the pre-race might have been as interesting as the race.  It seems driver introductions were being made on the back of a flat-bed trailer.  As they passed on the make-shift stage, NASCAR champion Lee Petty and rival driver Tiny Lund exchanged angry words.   Fists instantly started flying.  The nickname “Tiny” was a misnomer.  Lund stood around 6-6 and weighed 275 pounds.  The 6-2 Petty possibly scaled 170.  Lee’s teenage sons, Richard and Maurice, then members of their father’s crew, rushed to his rescue.  “Tiny was beating the dickens out of all three of them,” Tim Flock recalled with a laugh.  “It looked like minnows bouncing off a battleship.”  As for the race Paul Goldsmith would start second and lead 178 laps to claim the win.  The other two races held at the track had a much tamer driver intro.  The other race in 1957 was Buck Baker take home the win; but it's wasn't without some issues.  It seems that Baker tore out the transmission in his car and won the 250-lap event with a borrowed one from a Chevrolet panel truck in the infield.  1958 saw this track host the final race.  Bob Welborn would start on the pole and lead 125 of the 150 laps completed.  The track's first NASCAR sanctioned race actually took place in 1956.  The NASCAR Convertible Series first raced here in 1956.  Bob Welborn out dueled Gwyn Staley by a meer three car lengths to get the win.  There was another convertible race in 1957 which saw Curtis Turner out distance the field by two laps.

Greenville-Pickens Speedway - Easley SC.
The track opened in 1940 as a half mile dirt track. It was closed the following year for World War II like all race tracks in the United States. It reopened on July 4, 1946.
The track held 29 races on the NASCAR Cup Series tour between 1951 until 1971.  All of the races were 200 laps on the tight little 1/2 mile track.  The first Cup race held at this track had one unusual finish.  Tim Flock started on the front row and led the first 199 laps.  Jim Reed who was running second accidently spun Flock out on the final lap and crossed the finish line first.  But Reed REFUSED to take the victory and asked to be disqualified.  So NASCAR DQ'ed Reed and handed the win to Flock.  It took eight races before they finally had a repeat winner.  It happened in 1961 when Jack Smith won for the second time at the track.  David Pearson was the first driver to capture three wins in a row; coming in the 1960-1961 seasons.  Bobby Issac swept both races in 1969, then the track was paved in early 1940.  The next race was on a newly paved surface and the race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway was the first NASCAR race nationally televised from start to finish.  Issac again won the event following it up with a fourth victory in a row.  The final race held in 1971 saw Richard Petty take the checkers first.  Petty won six times at this track; the most of anyone.  The track hosted weekly NASCAR sanctioned races. Several touring series visit the track each year, including the Whelen Southern Modified Tour and the NASCAR K&N Series.  Nothing is posted for 2018; so the track may shut down.

Harris Speedway - Harris NC
There's not a large pile of info I can find about this race track.  The track opened as a 1/3 mile paved track, and hosted it's first NASCAR race in 1964 with a distance of 334 laps.  The tiny track had 21 cars start with Billy Wade on the pole.  He led the first 100 laps before his rear end failed.  Richard Petty would go on to win the race wheeling a #41 Plymouth.  Yeah you read that right a #41.  Sometimes Richard drove the #41 number and this would be his sixth and final win in that number.  1965 was the only other time NASCAR raced here.  GC SPencer led the first 23 laps before Ned Jarrett took the lead.  Spencer ran one of his better races and hounded Jarrett until four laps to go when SPencer ran out of fuel.  He still managed to finish second.  This track has been converted to a dirt track now; and runs a regular weekly schedule as of 2018.  

Heidelberg Raceway - Pittsburgh PA
The track held weekly races and numerous special events between 1948 and 1973. It held four NASCAR Strictly Stock/Grand National (now Cup) and one NASCAR Convertible Division race between the 1940s and 1960s. It was originally constructed to be a horse racing facility with support from Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney.  The first NASCAR race in 1949 was 200 laps on a 1/2 mile dirt track.  Lee Petty led 196 of the 200 laps and would be Petty's first career win.  Also of historical important was the fact that Sara Christian finished fifth; the first time a woman had done so.  As of 2018 it is the only time a woman has had a Top 5 finish in the Cup Series.  Herb Thomas would win the second Cup race here (1951) before Joe Weatherly would lead flag to flag to win the Convertible race here in 1956.  Jim Reed would win the race in 1959; while 1960 saw Lee Petty win the tracks final race.  This would be Petty's next to last win.

Hickory Motor Speedway - Hickory NC
This is one of stock car racing's most storied venues, and is often referred to as "The World's Most Famous Short Track" and the "Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars". The track first opened in 1951 as a half mile dirt track. Gwyn Staley won the first race at the speedway and later became the first track champion. The picture on the left is from one of the early races.  In 1953, NASCAR's Cup Series paid visit to the track for the first time. Tim Flock won the first race at the speedway, which became a regular part of the series schedule. The track has been re-configured 3 times in its history. The track became a 4/10 mile dirt track in 1955, which was paved for the first time during the 1967 season. In 1970, Hickory was shortened a second time to its present length of .363 miles.  The Cup series raced here 35 times over a 19 year span.  Junior Johnson claimed the most wins with seven.  Like at Greenville-Pickens Speedway; Bobby Isaac won the most races in a row (4) during the 1969-1970 seasons.  1971 was the final race and it saw Tiny Lund claim the victory in the Buddy Shuman 276.  After this race Hickory was dropped from the Cup schedule when R. J. Reynolds began sponsoring the series and dropped all races under 250 miles from the schedule.  The picture on the right shows the speedway today.  Hickory is still used as a venue for NASCAR's club racing division, the Whelen All-American Series. The USAR Hooters Pro Cup also features a race at the track.

 
 

Homestead-Miami Speedway - Homestead FL
The speedway was constructed, with the efforts of promoter Ralph Sanchez, as part of a plan to help Homestead rebound after the devastation caused by Hurricane Andrew. Groundbreaking began August 24, 1993, exactly one year after the hurricane.  It is a 1 1/2 mile paved oval.  The track has gone through three track configurations: a rectangle which was like a "mini-Indianapolis" which consisted of short, flat turns that were very hard to pass on and reduced speed.  In 1997, the track was reconfigured to have continuous turns.  However, the turns were still quite flat and in 2003, the banking was raised to 18 degrees and installed lights in 2005.  The Cup Series started racing here in 1999.  Since that time it has been the final race of the season and determined each seasons Cup Champions.  Dale Jarrett won the Championship the first season.  Noteable events at the speedway include Tony Stewart winning the Championship in 2011 after a tie in points with Carl Edwards.  Stewart got the win with the tie breaker going to the driver with the most wins.  Also we saw Jimmie Johnson win the Championship from 2006- 2010; an astounding five consecutive years.  He would also add two more Championships in 2013 and 2016.  2017 saw Martin Truex win the Championship driving for single car team Furniture Row Racing and owner Barney Vssor.  At the end of the 2018 season Furniture Row Racing closed due to lack of sponsorship.  NASCAR currently races at Homestead once a year; closing out the season.  

 

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