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Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Tracks

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NASCAR has a rich history of racing dating back to 1949 at a variety of race tracks across the country. Many race tracks from the past disappeared on their own as victims of financial hard times or urban development. Other tracks were simply bumped from the schedule in order to free up a date for a newer track. Here are the oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup race tracks on the schedule.

1. Martinsville Speedway

Martinsville Speedway
Logo Courtesy of NASCAR

Martinsville Speedway held it's first NASCAR race in 1948. Martinsville is the only race track that still remains from NASCAR's very first season. The following year Martinsville Speedway held the sixth race of the season on September 25th, 1949. This was NASCAR's new series that would continue on to become the NASCAR Sprint Cup series.

2. Darlington Raceway

Darlington Raceway
Logo Courtesy of NASCAR
Built in 1949, Darlington Raceway was NASCAR's first superspeedway. Darlington held it's first race, the Southern 500, on September 4th, 1950. Sadly the great Southern 500 no longer exists, but at least Darlington Raceway is still on the schedule.

3. Richmond International Raceway

Richmond International Raceway
Logo Courtesy of NASCAR
Richmond International Raceway has gone through many changes since it first saw NASCAR action on April 19th, 1953. Originally it was a half-mile dirt oval. In 1968 the track was paved to form a .542 mile asphalt oval. It stayed that way until 1988 when the track was dug up and replaced with the current 3/4 mile 'D' shape configuration.

4. Watkins Glen International

Watkins Glen International
Logo Courtesy of NASCAR

Watkins Glen International first held a NASCAR Cup series event on August 4th, 1957. However it was left off the schedule until racing returned in 1964 and 1965. There is another long gap as the track struggled financially and even closed for a few years. Then NASCAR racing returned for good in 1986 to the revitalized Watkins Glen. This track is the fourth oldest, but it has held fewer races overall than many others currently on the schedule.

5. Daytona International Speedway

Daytona International Speedway
Logo courtesy of NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway
Bill France built this shrine to speed for the 1959 season. It opened in February of 1959 and hosted the very first Daytona 500 on February 22nd of that year. Today Daytona International Speedway is such a modern facility it is hard to remember that it is one of NASCAR's oldest.

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