While NASCAR ran its first race more than a year before, on February 15, 1948, on the beach road course in Daytona, the year 1949 is significant for the first race run under the NASCAR “Strictly Stock” banner. This was the predecessor to the NASCAR Cup Series. The inaugural track of choice for the eight-race series that year was a 0.75-mile dirt track known at the time as Charlotte Fairgrounds Speedway. With 13,000 spectators in attendance, a field of 33 cars took to the track for 197 laps, where No. 34 driver Jim Roper, in his 1949 Ford Lincoln, was the first victor in the series.
To help celebrate, Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) is helping one of the sport’s most legendary tracks join the celebration this May with the HSR Historic Stock Car Invitational that will be part of the Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR at Darlington Raceway. On 12-14 May a select group of historic stock cars will be on display throughout the weekend and driven on track in a pair of exhibition runs on Saturday before the NASCAR Xfinity Series race and Sunday prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Goodyear 400.
A month earlier, the 45th HSR Mitty at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta will also be celebrating NASCAR 75 with Historic Stock Cars as the Featured Marque. This year’s August NASCAR weekend at Watkins Glen will also features HSR Historic Stock Cars in competition, the first time HSR has served as a support race series on a NASCAR weekend. See https://hsrrace.com for details and entries.
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