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Occoneechee Speedway

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Occoneechee Speedway was one of the first two NASCAR tracks to open and is the only track remaining from the inaugural, 1949 season. It is located just outside the town of Hillsborough, North Carolina.

Bill France built this track in September, 1947, two months before NASCAR was organized. In its earliest days, Fonty Flock and his brothers Bob and Tim dominated the track. Louise Smith was the first female entry at the track, driving in the fall of 1949.

The Occoneechee Speedway has hosted stock car racing legends such as Fireball Roberts, Richard Petty, Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson

In part due the resistance of the local religious authorities, William France Sr. finally gave up on the Occoneechee Speedway. In 1968 he shut down the operation and moved to Alabama, where he had bought an 1,800 acre site forty miles east of Birmingham. There he built the biggest and fastest NASCAR track of them all: the famous Talladega Superspeedway.

The Occoneechee Speedway site is now heavily forested with pines and sycamores. The grandstands are still visible, as is much of the mile–long oval track. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and now comprises 44 acres with over 3 miles of trails.


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