|Location||Hillsborough, North Carolina|
|Owner||Preservation North Carolina|
|Opened||May 5, 1947|
|Former names||Orange Speedway|
|Major events||Hillsboro 150 (1949-1968)|
1.5 km (0.9
|Location||Elizabeth Brady, 0.3 N of US 70 Business, Hillsborough, North Carolina|
|NRHP Reference #||
|Added to NRHP||May 2, 2002|
It is located just outside the town of Hillsborough, North Carolina.
The Occoneechee farm occupied the land in the late 19th century. The farm was named after the Occaneechi Indians that lived in the area in the late 17th century and late 18th century. The landowner, Julian S. Carr, raced horses, and built a half mile horse racing track.
Bill France noticed the horse racing track and expanse of open land while piloting his airplane. On the site of the earlier horse track, he built a 0.9 dirt mile 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 became NASCAR's first female driver at the track in the fall of 1949.
The track was renamed Orange Speedway in 1954.
In part due the resistance of the local religious authorities, William France Sr. finally gave up on the Occoneechee Speedway. On September 15, 1968 France shut down the operation after Richard Petty's win. He moved to Alabama, where he had bought an 1,800-acre (7 km2) 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 (180,000 m2) with over 3 miles (4.8 km) of trails. A walking trail was built in 2003 that crisscrosses the clay track.
|Race||Date||Cars||Winner||Make / Model||Length||Miles||Purse||Pole||Speed (mph)|
|1949-03||08/07/49||28||Bob Flock||'48 Oldsmobile||1.000||200||$5,000||76.800|
|1950-10||08/13/50||27||Fireball Roberts||'49 Oldsmobile||1.000||100||$3,975|
|1950-19||10/29/50||29||Lee Petty||'49 Plymouth||1.000||175||$4,675||85.898|
|1951-05||04/15/51||33||Fonty Flock||'50 Oldsmobile||1.000||95||$4,665||88.287||80.889|
|1951-31||10/07/51||24||Herb Thomas||'51 Hudson||1.000||150||$3,550||79.628||72.454|
|1952-15||06/08/52||19||Tim Flock||'51 Hudson||1.000||100||$3,425||91.977||81.008|
|1952-30||10/12/52||29||Fonty Flock||'52 Oldsmobile||1.000||150||$5,045||75.901||73.489|
|1953-26||08/09/53||19||Curtis Turner||'53 Oldsmobile||1.000||100||$3,425||89.078||75.125|
|1954-08||04/18/54||28||Herb Thomas||'54 Hudson||1.000||100||$3,825||86.767||77.386|
|1955-07||03/27/55||21||Jim Paschal||'55 Oldsmobile||1.000||100||$3,800||91.896||82.304|
|1955-45||10/30/55||25||Tim Flock||'55 Chrysler||1.000||100||$4,285||81.673||70.465|
|1956-17||05/13/56||31||Buck Baker||'56 Chrysler||.900||90||$4,285||89.305||83.720|
|1956-50||09/30/56||23||Fireball Roberts||'56 Ford||.900||99||$4,560||88.067||72.734|
|1957-07||03/24/57||19||Buck Baker||'57 Chevrolet||.900||99||$3,835||87.828||82.233|
|1958-06||03/23/58||18||Buck Baker||'57 Chevrolet||.900||99||$3,585||83.076||78.502|
|1958-47||09/28/58||33||Joe Eubanks||'57 Pontiac||.900||99||$3,885||87.308||72.439|
|1959-04||03/01/59||22||Curtis Turner||'59 T-Bird||.900||99||$3,785||87.544||81.612|
|1959-40||09/20/59||22||Lee Petty||'59 Plymouth||.900||99||$3,945||85.533||77.868|
|1960-18||05/29/60||23||Lee Petty||'60 Plymouth||.900||99||$3,985||88.190||83.583|
|1960-39||09/18/60||18||Richard Petty||'60 Plymouth||.900||99||$3,785||85.285||80.161|
|1961-11||04/02/61||20||Cotton Owens||'60 Pontiac||.900||99||$3,895||91.836||84.695|
|1961-52||10/29/61||20||Joe Weatherly||'61 Pontiac||.900||149||$5,625||95.154||85.249|
|1962-09||03/18/62||21||Rex White||'61 Chevrolet||.900||99||$4,575||96.285||86.948|
|1963-10||03/10/63||23||Junior Johnson||'63 Chevrolet||.900||149||$6,900||95.716||83.129|
|1963-54||10/27/63||24||Joe Weatherly||'63 Pontiac||.900||150||$6,650||93.156||85.559|
|1964-15||04/12/64||27||David Pearson||'64 Dodge||.900||150||$6,800||99.784||83.319|
|1964-55||09/20/64||28||Ned Jarrett||'64 Ford||.900||150||$7,000||89.280||86.725|
|1965-08||03/14/65||23||Ned Jarrett||'65 Ford||.900||150||$6,600||98.570||90.663|
|1965-53||10/24/65||20||Dick Hutcherson||'65 Ford||.900||101||$4,540||98.810||87.462|
|1966-45||09/18/66||23||Dick Hutcherson||'66 Ford||.900||150||$6,600||95.716||90.603|
|1967-44||09/17/67||28||Richard Petty||'67 Plymouth||.900||150||$6,850||94.159||81.574|
|1968-43||09/15/68||24||Richard Petty||'68 Plymouth||.900||150||$6,900||93.245||87.681|
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
- Brief History, Page 1
- Brief History, Page 2
- Jennifer Martin and Sarah Woodard, and Virginia Freeze (August 2001). "Occoneechee Speedway" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Retrieved 2015-02-01.
- Brief History, Page 3
- Occoneechee-Orange Speedway by Ed Sanseverino
- The Historic Speedway Group
- Occoneechee Speedway Trail
- Historic Occoneechee Speedway Trail
- Racing vs. Religion: A Brief History of Occoneechee Speedway
- Kickin' Up Dust At The Orange Speedway
- Occoneechee Speedway: from Eno River website
- NASCAR track history at racing-reference.info
- Occoneechee-Orange Speedway - Magazine (Speedway Spotlite Publications) by Ed Sanseverino (1994)