CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Bruton Smith built Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1959, and his son Marcus continues to carry on the legacy he built. This year CMS celebrates it’s 60th anniversary, and ahead of 10 Days of Thunder the speedway unveiled a historical marker to cement those 60 years.
“The vision that he had for what Charlotte Motor Speedway could be is far beyond what certainly I would’ve thought of at the time, and I think where a lot of people thought NASCAR would be," Speedway Motorsports, Inc. President and CEO Marcus Smith said. “So that vision that started back in 1959 and emerged in what it is today - I don’t know if he thought it would be quite like this, but he was certainly aiming high and it’s pretty cool, pretty impressive.”
During Thursday’s historical marker unveiling, the speedway also revealed a 1960 Buick, which showcases the first advertisement that Bruton used for the World 600. Fans will have a chance to view the throwback car during 10 Days of Thunder.
The speedway also had Richard Childress Racing Chairman and CEO Richard Childress and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Austin Dillon and Daniel Hemric take part in the event, as RCR is also celebrating an anniversary of it’s own - 50 years in the sport.
“Charlotte Motor Speedway has meant so much to this area, but not only this area, but all over the world,” Richard Childress said. “For us to be able to win it six times has been great, but the thing they’ve done here at Charlotte is really help carry NASCAR to another level with all the racing, the fans, the things they’ve brought. They would always have something special.”
For driver Daniel Hemric, Charlotte Motor Speedway has always been his home track and to be able to compete the highest level in NASCAR is truly a dream come true.
“I think about back to 1997 when i rolled into CMS for my very first time to race a go-cart - that’s 21 years ago. I never thought i’d be standing here today on this platform to unveil the marker for the 60th running here at CMS and being 50 years of Richard Childress Racing it’s something that dreams are made of,” Hemric said.