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Trip Planner: USA / North Carolina / Hillsborough / Occoneechee Orange Speedway
Occoneechee Speedway was one of the first two NASCAR tracks to open. It closed in 1968 and is the only dirt track remaining from the inaugural 1949 season.
It is located just outside the town of Hillsborough, North Carolina.
The Occoneechee farm occupied the land in the late 19th century. The farm was named after the Occaneechi Indians that lived in the area in the late 17th century and late 18th century. The landowner, Julian S. Carr, raced horses, and built a half mile horse racing track.
Bill France noticed the horse racing track and expanse of open land while piloting his airplane. On the site of the earlier horse track, he built a 0.9 dirt mile track in September, 1947, two months before NASCAR was organized. In its earliest days, Fonty Flock and his brothers Bob and Tim dominated the track. Louise Smith became NASCAR's first female driver at the track in the fall of 1949.
The Occoneechee Speedway hosted stock car racing legends such as Fireball Roberts, Richard Petty, Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson.
The track was renamed Orange Speedway in 1954.
In part due the resistance of the local religious authorities, Bill France, Sr. finally gave up on the Occoneechee Speedway. On September 15, 1968 France shut down the operation after Richard Petty's win. Arrange your visit to Occoneechee Orange Speedway and discover more family-friendly attractions in Hillsborough using our Hillsborough road trip app.
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Occoneechee Orange Speedway reviews
Unique site with some interesting NASCAR history; the interpretive signage was very much appreciated. Well used trail.
Unique site with some interesting NASCAR history; the interpretive signage was very much appreciated. Well used trail. more »
Neat place to visit and walk the old track. Encountered several walkers getting their exercise in. Fun to see the old cars and flag stand and think about how racing may have been back in the day.
Neat place to visit and walk the old track. Encountered several walkers getting their exercise in. Fun to see the old cars and flag stand and think about how racing may have been back in the day. more »
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