NASCAR column: Memories of Darlington

May 6, 2011 Full story: The Star Online

The first time I attended a race at Darlington Raceway, it was the weekend Cotton Owens was inducted in the press association's Hall of Fame, which was then the sport's Hall of Fame.

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South Gate, CA

#1 May 6, 2011
Yeah buddy!! Darlington holds a lot of good memories for me. The first race I attended was in 1951, Herb Thomas won that race. He drove a danged ol Hudson Hornet. He won the championship that year too. I remember David Pearson raising hell about the bear grease they used to put on the track. It was a sealant but it made the track shiny and slick. I remember camping in the infield and at night drivers and crew would stay with the cars, I actually witnessed them sleeping under tow trucks and racecars. There wasnt no fancy motorhomes and budgets didnt allow motels. It was a working mans sport then. I saw Fireball Roberts and Fonty Flock both win at Darlington. To me the two bset races at Darlington were in 83 and 84, Harry Gant won both races. I dont know why those two are so special to me but they stick out the most in my mind. Lots of memories here at this old track. Even went to jail one time for spinnin donuts in my 65 Chevelle, damn that car was a hoss!! Darlington and Bristol are my two favorite tracks. They have both been on the schedule for many years. Lots of tradition and history, Im proud to be part of it. Thanks Darlington!! For all those awesome races!!!!

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