The cars line up for the track’s inaugural race and they are different too (figure 1).
In fact, many of the drivers of this era had worked their way into the sport by building their own racing cars from available parts.
The opening race of the new Raleigh/NASCAR partnership attracted 15,235 spectators, and put Raleigh Speedway on the NASCAR map for the next five years.
The Superspeedway at Darlington provided a new model for the construction of future tracks, including the one in Raleigh.
From its construction until its closing, Raleigh was the only other superspeedway on the NASCAR circuit.
Opened in 1952, it was the second superspeedway built in the South, and it closed in 1958 after only eight major events.
It is also intriguing because of how it relates to evolution of American automobile racing, as well as the era of the 1950s.Most of your 16,000 fellow attendees have never seen such a spectacle, and everyone is wondering what will happen next.The story of the Raleigh Speedway is interesting for many reasons.Gene Hobby, a Raleigh race attendee and 1960s NASCAR driver, suggested in an interview that the track may have been closed due to construction flaws.According to Hobby, the track was not banked enough for the speeds the cars could run, and the racing surface may have been too rough.In addition to this “noisy nuisance” theory, other possibilities include the track not being designed as well as it could be, due to a lack of practice in the design and building of superspeedways during this time, and that it was poorly managed and had to be sold.On the surface, each of these other two theories seem to have some value, so each had to be explored as best as possible, before a conclusion on the “noisy nuisance” theory could be reached.This effort to commercialize the sport contrasted with the small-scale, local racers and dirt racetracks that populated the southern piedmont at the time.This conflict between NASCAR’s drive for national acceptance and its roots as a rowdy, working-class pastime characterized the sport’s major events of the 1950s.In researching the closure of the track, three major theories were presented.The common theory is that by 1958 the residents in the neighboring suburbs were tired of the “noisy nuisance,” and forced the city to close down the track through noise ordinances.