HISTORY

Darlington Raceway has implemented a new five-year strategy to honor its storied past while celebrating the future.

With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500® returning to its celebrated Labor Day weekend date, the Lady in Black will be recognizing past champions of the 1970’s and 80's (1975-84) as part of its 2016 campaign.

The honoring of champions from the late 1970’s is just one part of the track’s overall strategy to celebrate its history over the next several seasons. Each year, Darlington Raceway will focus on specific eras plus the historic moments and drivers that made impacts at the track Too Tough to Tame.

LEGENDS

Many legends, past and present, have graced the hallowed walls of Darlington Raceway since 1950. With 111 different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners in 65 years of racing, legends such as Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Dale Earnhardt, David Pearson and Jeff Gordon have left their mark by winning at the track Too Tough To Tame.

TIMELINE

In the fall of 1949, when a crisp breeze toyed with the loose soil of an old cotton field on the westside of rural Darlington, South Carolina, Harold Brasington saw more than just dirt dancing around that patch of land. He saw the future. He saw stock cars. Brasington, a local businessman, had a lofty vision that most of his peers dismissed as utterly ridiculous. His friends laughed at him when he returned home from the 1933 Indianapolis 500 and mentioned the idea of little ol' Darlington having a paved superspeedway, a place to hold big-time stock car events. They nearly committed him when he told them that he was going to build it. Nevertheless, believing that Bill France's fledgling NASCAR just might catch on, Brasington set out in the fall of 1949 on a project known locally as “Harold’s Folly” to shape a 1-1/4 mile speedway on land that had once produced peanuts and cotton.

MULTIMEDIA

Friends of Darlington Raceway, such as NASCAR Hall of Fame members and current Sprint Cup Series drivers, share their memories of the track in special videos. Dale Inman, Bud Moore, A.J. Allmendinger, Jeb Burton and others share their Darlington stories with more videos to be released monthly leading into the 2016 Labor Day race weekend.

LIFE IN 1978

With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500® returning to its celebrated Labor Day weekend date, the Lady in Black will be recognizing past champions of the 1970’s and 80's (1975-84) as part of its 2016 campaign.

In this section, see what life was like in the early 1980’s compared to what it is today.