Orange County Speedway

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Coordinates: 36°13′40″N 78°57′41″W / 36.22778°N 78.96139°W / 36.22778; -78.96139

Orange County Speedway
The Fastest 3/8-mile Race Track in America
Orange County Speedway.svg
3/8 mile oval
Location Little River Township, Orange County, at 9740 NC Highway 57, Rougemont, North Carolina 27572
Time zone GMT-5
Capacity 12,400
Owner Orange County Speedway Racing, LLC
Operator Orange County Speedway Racing, LLC
Opened 1966 (reopened 2006)
Closed 2003
Former names Trico Motor Speedway
Surface Asphalt
Length 3/8 mi (0.6 km)
Turns 4
Banking 19° turns
16° straightaways
Website www.ocstrack.com

Orange County Speedway is a 3/8 mile (0.6 km) asphalt oval in Orange County, North Carolina, near Rougemont. It first opened in 1966 as 1/4 mile (0.4 km) and 5/8 mile (1.6 km) dirt oval (Trico Speedway), which operated until 1967 and 1973, respectively. The facility was reopened and paved in 1983. With a slogan of "the fastest 3/8-mile race track in America," the oval features 19 degree banking through the turns and 16 degrees on the straightaways creating three distinct grooves making for very fast turns. The aluminum grandstands stretch from Turn 4 all the way down the front straightaway to Turn 1. The speedway closed in 2003, but reopened on March 11, 2006 as an American Speed Association member track.

Some of the most famous names in stock car racing have raced at the Orange County Speedway, including Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Davey and Donnie Allison, Dale Jarrett, Jeff and Ward Burton, Elliott and Hermie Sadler, Scott Riggs, Michael Waltrip, Todd Bodine, Kyle Petty and Bobby Labonte. Some more recent notable drivers include Timothy Peters, Darrell "Bubba" Wallace, Jr., Ryan Blaney, Jeb Burton, Timmy Hill, Ryan Reed, Jesse Little and Gray Gaulding. David Pearson and Glen Wood raced at the speedway when it was a dirt track. The track currently runs a regular weekly show on the second and fourth Saturday night of each month, April thru October. The facility also hosts the PASS and CARS touring series..

History[edit]

Orange County Speedway was built as a horse racing track; it stayed as a horse track from 1857 until 1919, when the first auto race took place. Automobile races were going to be a regular event at the track before being stopped because of World War II. Three years after the war was over stock car racing started again. The first stock car driver to win on the ½-mile track was Frankie Schneider.

in 1966, the speedway underwent significant improvement, which is considered the actual launch date of the track. Tt open as a 1/4-mile dirt oval, but soon was increased to 5/8 mile and remained until 1973.

In 1983, the speedway underwent more improvements. 19-degree banking was added in the turns and 16-degree banking in straightaways to assured more safety for drivers and exciting on-car movements for fans. At that time the Orange County Speedway became known as “the fastest 3/8-mile race track in America".

In 1983, the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series (now Xfinity Series) began running events at the speedway. Orange County Speedway was one of the first tracks in the area to have live televised Busch races; the first was the 1990 Roses Stores 200 on June 9, 1990.

At the start of 21st century, the track was in bad shape and attendance had been falling. Eventually the track was shut down in 2003. Then in March 2006, under a new management team, the track reopened. Volunteers put in time to rehabilitation of the speedway for the opening day. The event was a big success, with a large crowd for the first time in years.

Major results[edit]

NASCAR Busch Grand National Series[edit]

The NASCAR Busch Grand National Series (now Xfinity Series) had 27 races at the speedway from 1983 until 1994.

Date Race Name Winning driver Make Average speed Race length
June 18, 1983 L.D. Swain & Son 200 Jack Ingram Pontiac 73.55 mph (118.37 km/h) 75 miles (121 km)
July 2, 1983 Mason Day Paving 200 Tommy Houston Chevrolet 69.32 mph (111.56 km/h)
July 9, 1983 Mello Yello 200 Tommy Houston Chevrolet 79.83 mph (128.47 km/h)
October 1, 1983 Solomon Enterprises 200 Sam Ard Oldsmobile 77.08 mph (124.05 km/h)
April 21, 1984 Mason Day Paving 200 Jack Ingram Pontiac 79.69 mph (128.25 km/h)
June 6, 1984 L.D. Swain & Son 200 Jack Ingram Pontiac 74.18 mph (119.38 km/h)
July 7, 1984 Miller 200 Jack Ingram Pontiac 69.23 mph (111.41 km/h)
June 15, 1985 Puryear Truck 150 Larry Pearson Pontiac 71.66 mph (115.33 km/h) 56 miles (90 km)
September 28, 1985 Goody's 150 Jack Ingram Pontiac 70.73 mph (113.83 km/h)
June 14, 1986 Poole Equipment 150 Tommy Houston Buick 84.40 mph (135.83 km/h)
August 16, 1986 L.D. Swain 150 Dale Jarrett Pontiac 52.56 mph (84.59 km/h)
September 28, 1986 Roses Stores 150 Larry Pearson Pontiac 65.98 mph (106.18 km/h)
June 27, 1987 Poole Equipment 150 Mark Martin Ford 64.88 mph (104.41 km/h)
August 15, 1987 Carpenter Chevy 150 Larry Pearson Chevrolet 62.48 mph (100.55 km/h)
June 11, 1988 Roses Stores 150 Tommy Houston Buick 84.83 mph (136.52 km/h)
August 13, 1988 Poole Equipment 150 Rick Mast Buick 48.84 mph (78.60 km/h)
June 10, 1989 Roses Stores 200 Jimmy Spencer Buick 72.06 mph (115.97 km/h) 75 miles (121 km)
August 12, 1989 Texas Pete 200 Robert Pressley Oldsmobile 67.55 mph (108.71 km/h)
June 9, 1990 Roses Stores 200 Chuck Bown Pontiac 65.98 mph (106.18 km/h)
August 11, 1990 Texas Pete 200 Chuck Bown Pontiac 82.72 mph (133.12 km/h)
June 8, 1991 Roses Stores 300 Robert Pressley Oldsmobile 72.53 mph (116.73 km/h) 113 miles (182 km)
August 10, 1991 Texas Pete 300 Jimmy Hensley Oldsmobile 77.04 mph (123.98 km/h)
June 6, 1992 Roses Stores 300 Robert Pressley Oldsmobile 66.94 mph (107.73 km/h)
August 8, 1992 Texas Pete 300 Jimmy Spencer Oldsmobile 78.72 mph (126.69 km/h)
May 1, 1993 Roses Stores 300 Ward Burton Buick 68.03 mph (109.48 km/h)
September 2, 1993 Polaroid 300 Hermie Sadler Oldsmobile 60.59 mph (97.51 km/h)
April 30, 1994 Pantry Stores 300 Hermie Sadler Chevrolet 70.29 mph (113.12 km/h)

Multiple winners (drivers)[edit]

Wins Driver
5 Jack Ingram
4 Tommy Houston
3 Larry Pearson
3 Robert Pressley
2 Chuck Bown
2 Jimmy Spencer
2 Hermie Sadler

Multiple winners (makes)[edit]

Wins Make
10 Pontiac
7 Oldsmobile
5 Buick
4 Chevrolet
  • Only other car make to win was on June 27, 1987, Mark Martin won driving a Ford.

Notable races[edit]

  • 1986 Roses Stores 150 - This was Larry Pearson's only win on his way to his first Busch Championship. Also future Busch series Champion, Rob Moroso, made his NASCAR debut on his 18th birthday.
  • 1987 Poole Equipment 150 - Mark Martin won the event, giving Ford its first and only Busch Series win at the track.
  • 1989 Roses Stores 200 - Jimmy Spencer was dominant in the event driving a white sponsor-less #34 Buick. Spencer lead 190 of the 200 laps and lapped the field on his way to the win.
  • 1990 Roses Stores 200 - This was the first live televised Busch race at Orange County Speedway. Jeff Burton got his first pole in the Busch Series, while Chuck Bown lead 106 laps on the way for the victory.
  • 1991 Texas Pete 300 - Jimmy Hensley lapped the field on the way to victory. To date, this is the last time anyone lapped the field in a Busch Series race. Jack Ingram withdrew from this race after his son was killed the week before. Ingram never raced again in the Busch series.
  • 1994 Pantry Stores 300 - The last Busch series race at Orange County Speedway. Some confusion accused at the end of the race on who had won the race. With two laps to go George Crenshaw blown an engine and as the leaders when by Hermie Sadler and 3rd place Ricky Craven spun out in Crenshaw's oil. Sadler recovered, but 2nd place Dennis Setzer beat him around to the line for the caution and white flags. NASCAR ruled after replays showed that Sadler had already taken the caution flag and declared Sadler as the winner.

Track champions[edit]

Year Late Model champion Limited Sportsman champion Pure Stock champion Street Stocks champion Super Mini-Trucks champion
1983 Roy Hendrick x x x x
1984 x x x Phillip Walker x
1985 David Blankenship x x x x
1986 Wayne Patterson x x x x
1987 Wayne Patterson x x x x
1988 Jay Fogleman x x x x
1989 Gilbert Hill x x x x
1990 Maurice Hill x x x x
1991 Barry Beggarly x x x x
1992 Wayne Patterson x x x x
1993 Barry Beggarly x x x x
1994 Barry Beggarly x x x x
1995 x x x x x
1996 x x x x x
1997 x x x x x
1998 x x x x x
1999 x Donald Brace x x x
2000 Barry Beggarly x x x x
2001 Frank Deiny, Jr. x x x x
2002 Timothy Peters x x x x
2003 Timothy Peters x x x x
2004-2005 Track Closed x x x x
2006 Ronald Hill Matt Lofton Chuck Watkins x x
2007 Terry Dease x Thomas Penny x x
2008 Stacy Puryear Donald Brace x x x
2009 David Triplett Jr. Michael McGuire Keith Langston x x
2010 Terry Dease Justin Newlin Jarrett Milam x x
2013 Craig Moore Jerry Hinesley Jarret Milam x x
2014 Chris Denny x x x x
2015 x x Danny Winstead x x
2016 Terry Dease Boo Boo Dalton Danny Winstead Jared Gillis John Comstock

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]