What was Harold Brasington’s dream and what did it have to do with NASCAR and Darlington, you might ask?? Well some of you NASCAR fans might already have an idea, but it is time for a little history lesson from yours truly!
It was the fall of 1949 when Harold Brasington saw more than dirt dancing around on that patch of land. What he saw was stock cars!!!!!!!
Mr. Brasington, a local business man, had lofty ideas that most of his peers dismissed as utterly rediculous. They laughed at him when returned from the 1933 Indy 500 and mentioned to them about building a paved superspeedway, a place to hold stock car races. Nevertheless, believing that Bill France’s fledgling NASCAR just might be a success, Mr. Brasington set out in the fall of 1949 on a project known locally as “Harold’s Folly” to shape a 1 1/4 mile track on land that once produced peanuts and cotton.
To the chargin of family and friends, Brasington and his crew toiled for a year, Brasington himself often sat on the bulldozers and grading equipment, much the same way Bill France would do later to form the Daytona track! Brasingston’s plan called for a true oval, but the racetrack’s design changed in order to satisify Sherman Ramsey, the landowner, who didn’t want his nearby minnow pond to be destroyed. So the west end of the track (Turns 3 and 4) were narrowed to accomodate the fishing hole, creating Darlington’s unique egg shaped track!
The first race was scheduled for Labor Day 1950. The grandstands held 10,000 people, but a crowd of over 25,000 showed up for the event!! Californian Johnny Mantz drove to victory that day in the first Southern 500, which took over 6 hours to run. It set a precedent for a sport that would grow to one of the largest spectator sports in the country. As a side light, Mantz ran out of tires that day and began buying tires from spectators in the infield so he could finish the race!!!!! Mantz started dead last in the field of 75!!! Mantz set a blistering pace of 76 mph!!!!! Mantz was the first to use “tire strategy” to win a race!!!!!! Over the next fifty years names like Baker, Flock, Thomas, Pearson, Yarborough, Petty, and Earnhardt became a commonplace in Victory Circle!!!!!
Darlington will always be remembered as the original superspeedway and as one of the pillars of the NASCAR establishment. No other racing facility, outside of Daytona International Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, is steeped more in history and tradition than Darlington Raceway!!!!
Because of its unusual design and unique racing groove, Darlington has been given many nicknames. The two that comes to mind are: “The Track Too Tough To Tame and The Lady In Black”.(www.darlingtonraceway.com)
So as Paul Harvey would say,”Now you know the rest of the story”! (www.paulharvey.com)
The Darlington storylines:
1. Greg Bifle sits on the pole.
2. The Darlington Stripes.
3. Lots of lead changes.
4. Dale Jr. and Kyle Busch possible fued. (www.jayski.com)
5. Busch wins race. (www.nascar.com)
6. Race results.
7. Current standings.
Now for a review of last night’s race. Greg Bifle and Dale Jr. led the field to the green flag. Bifle took the green and jumped into the lead with Dale Jr. in close pursuit. Early in the race Bifle was the strong horse. with Jr. and Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, and several others jousting for the 3-10 spots throughout the race.
Last night the Fox Commentators,( Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds, and DW (Darrell Waltrip)), kept a count of the number of “Darlington Stripes” put on cars. The number was 24. That means that 24 of the 43 cars had gotten into the wall at least once! Some of those cars rubbed, banged, collided and tried to knock the wall entirely down, on numerous occasions!!!! Kyle Busch on a couple of laps hit the wall so hard that the “old cars” of last year would not have beeen able to still race!!!! Yet he won the race !!!!!!
In one of the early rounds of pit stops, Kyle Busch’s team had trouble with lug nuts that caused him valuable time in the pits. That story was to repeat a couple of more times for that team, ultimately costing the team to go a lap down! Not to worry, “THE LAS VEGAS WEASEL or WILD THING”, (call him what you want) would put on another driving clinic that would ultimately put him in front at the end of the night!!! Love or hate him, Kyle Busch is probably the most talented driver right now on the NASCAR circuit!!!!! He seems to always find a way to beat you!!! That was Kyle’s 9th victory in his young career in Cup. He became the 43rd different winner at Darlington. Additionally, he is the youngest Darlington winner ever at 23 years and 8 days old, he beat out Terry Labonte by more that 9 months!!!(www.jayski.com)
During the closing stages of the race there was a potential possiblity for Jr. to maybe return the favor to Kylie from last weeks race. You know when Kylie kinda drove it DEEP into the turn and got into the side of Dale Jr.’s car and put him into the fence!! Well folks, Dale Jr. raced him clean and didn’t return the favor. But DW, Darrell Waltrip, hinted that Lowes Motor Speedway and the All-Star race might be a more appropriate place for settling the score. After all, it is a non-points race!!!!!!
PS Edie picked the LVW/Wild Thing/ Kylie to win.
The race results from last night were:
1. Kyle Busch
2. Carl Edwards
3. Jeff Gordon
4. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
5. David Ragan
The Points Standings:
1. Kyle Busch
2. Jeff Burton
3. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
4. Denny Hamlin
5. Clint Bowyer
6. Jimmie Johnson
7. Carl Edwards
8. Tony Stewart
9. Kevin Hrvick
10. Jeff Gordon
11. Greg Bifle
12. David Ragan
4 Replies to “Harold Brasington’s Dream!”
I took the liberty to nominate you for a Pulitzer Prize, that is unless you have already nominated yourself, for your outstanding knowledge of Nascar history, as well as your outstanding writing ability !!! (you might want to use spell check every now and then, but I know that you get so carried away when those juices are flowing ~ that you just forget )…….. Great commentary, once again, and I enjoyed reading about the history of the Darlington track..
I just couldn’t sleep last night, so I decided to go shopping online…. I found the greatest place ~~~~ it is called ~~~~NASCAR SUPERSTORE ~~~~~ and they had the cutiest little #18 shirts, shorts, caps, cars, etc….. Hope you don’t mind that I just decided to buy one of EVERYTHING…. But wait,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I started looking around the house, in the closets, and evidently you know about the NASCAR SUPERSTORE ~~~ because there is one and in some cases 2 or 3 (or MORE) #88 cars, shirts, underwear, shorts, etc… so you must already know about the SUPERSTORE…. Isn’t it just a blast to shop there and I know you don’t mind that I bought all of that Kylieeeeeeeee stuff… After all, it is Mother’s Day….
Luv & hugs,
Karen, can you let me know where the address of that Kylee stuff is. I am getting to really like the LVW more and more especially after he felt bad about upsetting JR while over driving his race car in the corner last week. All he needed was a fence, like at Darlington, and he wouldn’t have scratched JR’s car like he did. He could have taken it out on the wall of which he is excelling. I like the green colors(Interstate Battery) , and all the various colors that the M & M’s car has. They are cool. And he must eat M&M’s like they are going out of style because he is soooooo pumped up all the time…..his foot is even pumped up….more so than all the other Nascar drivers. Even Tony wants to get his foot pumped up by eating tons of M&M’s so he could go faster too, but Kylee won’t share, so Tony has contemplated moving from the Home Depot Toyota to another slower MFG. If you have that address, I might need a t-shirt or hat or both too….LOL
Happy Mother’s Day to all