, 1952 in Raleigh, North Carolina, and you and your family are going to go see an automobile race.
Unlike the small dirt tracks that populate the area around you, this track is something different. It is a mile long paperclip oval with high banked turns and asphalt pavement.
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.
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.
The cars line up for the track’s inaugural race and they are different too (figure 1).
Instead of modified street cars and local drivers, these are the open-wheeled race cars from the infamous Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana and the most famous names in the sport.
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.