Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Darlington Raceway

Marker ID: SCHM 16-37
Location: At Raceway, 2 mi. W of Darlington on Hwy. 151-34
County: Darlington
Coordinates: N 34° 17.855    W 079° 54.331
  34.297583    -79.905517
Style: Free Standing **


Darlington Raceway, the first superspeedway in NASCAR history, was constructed in 1950 by Harold Brasington, a local race promoter who saw an asphalt-paved track as an advance over the standard dirt tracks and wanted a 500-mile stock car race to rival the Indianapolis 500. On September 4, 1950 the new mile-and-a quarter raceway hosted the first Southern 500, a 400-lap race in which 75 cars raced at top speeds of 80 m.p.h.

The egg-shaped track at Darlington quickly gained a reputation as "the track too tough to tame" and the Southern 500 became one of racing´s most important events. The Plymouth which Johnny Mantz drove to win the first race is one of several historic cars on display with other racing memorabilia at the NMPA Stock Car Hall of Fame/Joe Weatherly Museum, which opened here in 1965 to honor the pioneers of NASCAR.

Erected by Darlington Raceway-I997