The Ole Days
FIRST RIGHT RACE
These days, when even massive Daytona International Speedway
is lighted for night racing, race fans think nothing of it.
Back in 1951, however, night races were a big deal. For one, Saturday night racing freed promoters from the restrictive "blue laws" against athletic events on Sundays.
Second, racing somehow seemed to be more fun under the lights.
Frank Mundy, a one-time 'thrill show" driver from Atlanta, beat Bill Blair by a lap at Columbia Speedway on June 16, 1951, in the first night race in NASCAR history.
Southland Speedway, a harrowing one-mile dirt track in Raleigh, staged the first lighted "superspeedway" race on September 19, 1953. The track had a long and narrow shape, like a paper clip, with the front and back straights about 500 feet apart and the straightaways about 1,850 feet long. The turns were banked at 16° and the straightaways were flat. Herb Thomas was the winner.
FROM NASCAR'S Most Wanted by Jim McLaurin and Wikipedia.com