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Westside (Hi)story

Westside (Hi)story

If you’ve lived in Charlotte long enough, you already know that NASCAR runs like blood through a southerner’s veins. What you may not know is that our historic ties are found much deeper than the motor speedway located in Concord. Race out to Wilkinson Boulevard, and you’ll find the remnants of a dirt track that has been left behind… but not forgotten.

The story begins in 1947 when landowner, David Allison was approached by brothers Harvey and Pat Charles to lease the property and built a ¾ mile dirt-surfaced racetrack. Not long after the agreement was made, the Charles brothers were found guilty of dealing moonshine and became unable to participate in the racing arena. Mr. Allison shortly found himself in the presence of race promoter, Bill France and the first NASCAR stock car race was planned. On June 19, 1949, over 13,000 fans gathered to cheer on racing legends such as Red Byron, Bob Flock and Roy Hall – with Jim Roper being declared the official winner after 200 laps. This race was the first NASCAR Strictly Stock event, or what would become known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the years to come.

The track hosted only 11 races before it closed in 1956 due to the convenience and versatility of the nearby Concord Speedway and talk of a larger track to come (Charlotte Motor Speedway).

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