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United States
Darlington, South Carolina

Inspired by a visit to the Indianapolis 500, local peanut farmer Harold Brasington built a speedway in his hometown and instituted a new Labour Day tradition – NASCAR’s Southern 500. The first race on Darlington’s odd, egg-shaped facility attracted a field of 75 cars and was won by Johnny Mantz in a Plymouth. A difficult circuit to master, Darlington has seen many a driver end his day in the unforgiving wall. The banking is different at both ends of the speedway, making car set-up particularly difficult. Turns 1 and 2 are 25 degrees while 3 and 4 are two degrees shallower and each end has a different radius. Modernisation during the 1990s led to the start being moved to allow space for larger 65,000-capacity grandstands.