Here’s the story of why the tiny 1/4-mile oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway was originally built…
In 1991, Charlotte Motor Speedway had this brilliant idea to host a legends race. Before that, they had to build a track for them to race on. The 1.5-mile track wasn’t an option.
Watch the video of the 1991 Winston Legends Race below.
The 1/4-mile speedway that sits on the infield grass at the flag stand was constructed just for this race. It didn’t disappoint.
They invited retired NASCAR drivers into the race and were set to turn them loose.
The retired veterans found old Cup cars and put them to good use. Other drivers had teams restore or make old style cars for this single race.
They went at it…
Winston Legends Race
It was only an exhibition race held before The Winston. But, you wouldn’t be able to tell as they were three wide at the drop of the green flag.
They were beating and banging for last place. At the front, Tim Flock and Junior Johnson were door banging, lap after lap.
They were beating the bumpers clear off. Literally, most of the field lost their front bumpers.
As the race went on, Cale Yarborough and Elmo Langley were beating the bumper off to be the leader. Langley hooked Yarborough in the left rear with just a few laps to go.
Yarborough was sideways all the way through turns one and two. He held the lead.
As they took the white flag, Langley again beat on the bumper of Yarborough. Langley worked under him off turn two.
Heading into the final corner, Langley drove it deep the the bottom and aimed for the door of Yarborough. He used the leader to make his car turn.
They banged doors to the finish line. Elmo Langley won by just a few feet! Langley started the race in 16th.
Of the 22 cars that started the race, only 11 were still running at the finish line.
Recalling that race today…
“They destroyed these cars,” Dale Jr says with a laugh. “I mean, just running over each other.”
“That was the original legends race,” Marcus Smith explained.
“It was the original reason to have that quarter mile paved. Just for that race. Then, came the legends car idea.”
“Humpy, my dad, the Allison’s and a couple of others had that legends series idea,” Smith concluded.
Legends Race Results
May 19, 1991
1. Elmo Langley
2. Cale Yarborough
3. Paul Goldsmith
4. Neil Castles
5. Fred Lorenzen
6. Coo Coo Marlin
7. Hoss Ellington
8. Dick Brooks
9. Marvin Panch
10. Tim Flock
11. Junior Johnson
12. Richard Childress
13. Smokey Yunick
14. Tom Pistone
15. Bud Moore
16. Donnie Allison
17. Benny Parsons
18. Cotton Owens
19. Buck Baker
20. Sam McQuagg
21. Larry Frank
22. Pete Hamilton