026_Anthem Annual 2016 Feb Edition.p1

2016 Anthem Annual Feb Web PDF

Darlington Raceway 2016 NASCAR SCHEDULE SEPTEMBER 3 VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series Race SEPTEMBER 4 Bojangles’ Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Harold Brasington, a local Darlington businessman, returned home from the 1933 Indianapolis 500 with the idea of little ol’ Darlington, South Carolina, having a paved superspeedway, a place to hold big-time stock car events. He believed that Bill France’s fl edgling NASCAR might catch on and, in the fall of 1949, he set out to shape a 1.25-mile speedway on land that had once produced peanuts and cotton. Brasington and his crew toiled for a year to build Darlington Raceway, with Brasington himself often at the controls of bulldozers and grading equipment. Brasington’s plan called for a true oval, but the race track’s design had to be changed in order to satisfy Sherman Ramsey, the landowner, who did not want his nearby minnow pond disturbed. The west end of the track (Turns 3 and 4) was narrowed to accommodate the fi shing hole, creating Darlington’s distinctive egg-shaped design. The fi rst race was scheduled for Labor Day 1950. When the day fi nally came, the stands overfl owed with a shocking crowd of more than 25,000. Fans practically stood on top of each other and they scaled the fence for only a glimpse of the action. Californian Johnny Mantz drove to victory that day in the fi rst Southern 500, which took more than six hours to complete, but set a precedent for a sport that would grow to be one of the largest spectator sports in the country. Mantz started 43rd in the fi eld of 75 drivers, many of whom had never raced on asphalt, but roared to the checkered fl ag, averaging a blistering 76 mph. More than 60 years later, Darlington Raceway is still remembered as one of the pillars of the NASCAR establishment. With its reputation, Darlington has always been known as the track “Too Tough to Tame.” In 2015, NASCAR racing returned to Darlington Raceway on Labor Day weekend for the fi rst time in more than a decade. The Bojangles’ Southern 500 was held on Labor Day weekend at Darlington for 53 years (1950-2003). The 2015 event featured a throwback campaign, which celebrated the history and heritage of the sport. Darlington Raceway will once again host the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Labor Day weekend in 2016. The Bojangles’ Southern 500 is slated for Sunday, September 4 with the NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 taking place on Saturday, September 3. 26 ANTHEM MOTORSPORTS ANNUAL


2016 Anthem Annual Feb Web PDF
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