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Restoring The NASCAR Racetrack In Hillsborough

  

The Occoneechee/Orange Speedway in Hillsborough is the only surviving dirt track from NASCAR's first season. 

Stock car legends like Richard Petty and Junior Johnson  ran more than 30 races on the mile-long loop from 1949 to 1968 when a group of clergy pressured local government to outlaw Sunday racing. A new exhibit at the Orange County Historical Museum traces the history of the speedway and the recent restoration efforts that have brought it back to life. 

 

#107460123 / gettyimages.com

Image: MARCH 10, 1963: Junior Johnson poses with actress Jayne Mansfield after winning the NASCAR Cup race at Orange Speedway. (Photo by ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images)

Host Frank Stasio talks with Brandie Fields, executive director of the Orange County Historical Museum; Gene Hobby, a former NASCAR driver and president of the Historic Speedway Group; and Bill Crowther, a historic preservationist who manages the Occoneechee Speedway property.

Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.