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A NASCAR Reunion In Hillsborough

Historic Speedway Group
Gene Hobby's car after a wreck

The pioneers of stock car racing reunite this weekend in Hillsborough, where drivers zoomed around the Occoneechee Speedway in the early days of NASCAR.

The mile-long dirt track hosted more than 30 races between 1949 and 1968. More than 100 of those cars will be on display along with some of the legendary drivers who raced them.

Host Frank Stasio talks with drivers Gene Hobby and Brownie King. He also talks with driver Rex White who will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in February.

Hobby, King and White will be at a car show and reunion of NASCAR drivers at Occoneechee Speedway, starting at 5 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday.

Credit Historic Speedway Group

Occoneechee Speedway in Hillsborough was converted from a horse track to a stock car track in 1948. The Eno River runs along the backstretch.

"After the race when you were dirty and really matted up with dirt, you could go over to the (water) and take a shower," says driver Rex White. "That's what I liked about Hillsborough the most."

Meanwhile, Brownie King raced on the beaches of Daytona in the late 1950s. Listen to King describe the difficulties of sand racing:

Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
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.