Driving a Plymouth, Johnny Mantz won the inaugural Southern 500 for his only NASCAR victory in 12 starts. That day in 1950, 75 cars would start the race. Now the fields of Sprint Cup races are filled by a modest total of 43 cars.
The track has hosted 111 Sprint Cup races since 1950, with two being held each year from 1960 to 2004. Of the 13 tracks that were visited in the 1950 season for 19 races, Darlington is one of two NASCAR still visits, with the other being Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. The series still raced on the beaches of Daytona and at a track that predated Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Here’s a snapshot of Darlington and the sport it plays host to.