NASCAR launches Strictly Stock series

Sunday, June 19, 1949 – After one season of sanctioning Modified races around the country, NASCAR launches its Strictly Stock series. The inaugural 200-lap event was contested at Charlotte (N.C.) Speedway, a three-quarter mile dirt track. Local racer Glenn Dunaway was flagged the winner, however he was later disqualified for having altered rear springs on his ’47 Ford. As a result, the series’ first victory was awarded to Kansas native Jim Roper.

Roper, who completed only 197 of the race’s 200 laps, had learned of the inaugural event when he saw it mentioned in the nationally syndicated comic strip Smilin’ Jack.

Attendance for the race was estimated at 13,000.

Nine different makes of automobiles were featured.

The 33-car lineup was set via qualifying. Bob Flock was the series’ first pole winner.

Six future NASCAR Hall of Fame members competed in the race: Red Byron, Tim Flock, Curtis Turner, Buck Baker, Lee Petty and Herb Thomas.

Roper made only one more start in the series, finishing 15th later that year at Occoneechee Speedway in Hillsborough, N.C.

The race was the first of eight for the inaugural season; the track hosted 12 races in what is now the Cup series as well as three convertible series events.

Admission was $2 (infield), $3 (grandstand) and $4 (reserved grandstand).

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