DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA (March 22, 2018) – Darlington Raceway is celebrating “7 Decades of NASCAR” for its Bojangles’ Southern 500 Throwback Weekend on Sept. 1-2. As part of the celebration, the track Too Tough To Tame is highlighting specific moments in the sport’s history, continuing today with the 1960s.
In the 60s, it was all about “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday” as the automobile manufacturers (namely Ford, General Motors and Chrysler) were heavily investing in NASCAR as a way to showcase and sell their products. It was considered an arms race of which manufacturer could build the fastest car in the sport throughout the 60s.
Additionally, major superspeedways were being built throughout the country coinciding with the sport’s popularity and growth of a fan base falling more in love with the automobile, especially muscle cars. Tracks such as Talladega Superspeedway, Michigan International Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway were built, bringing tens of thousands of new fans into the fold. Speeds reached nearly 200 mph for the first time in the 60s.
“There’s no question that the 1960s was a decade of growth not only for NASCAR but for the car culture as well,” NASCAR Hall of Famer Leonard Wood said. “It really was a time of muscle cars, speed and the love of the automobile in that decade. It was a period of tremendous success for the Wood Brothers, especially with Cale Yarborough and then David Pearson in the 70s. It was a great era of our sport.”
The 1960s also was a decade where many legends of the sport became household names and eventual NASCAR Hall of Famers such as David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Richard Petty, Wendell Scott, Junior Johnson and Fred Lorenzen. In fact, Scott is still the only African-American to record a victory in NASCAR’s top series when he won at Jacksonville Raceway Park in 1963.
“The list of legendary drivers and owners that helped build the foundation of our sport in the 1960s is incredible,” Darlington Raceway President Kerry Tharp said. “NASCAR Hall of Famers such as Rex White, Junior Johnson, Ned Jarrett and Bud Moore, along with so many other icons, are a big reason the sport is where it is today.”
Notable historic drivers and moments in the 1960s include:
Darlington Raceway’s award-winning throwback campaign is The Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR featuring the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500® on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018. The NASCAR XFINITY Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 will race on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. Deposits can be made by calling 866-459-7223 or visiting DarlingtonRaceway.com.
You can keep up with all of the latest news from Darlington Raceway at DarlingtonRaceway.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DarlingtonRaceway and on Twitter at Twitter.com/TooToughToTame. Fans are encouraged to post their Bojangles’ Southern 500 stories and memories at, #BojanglesSo500 and #SportClips200.