Racing legends reflect on Bowman Gray Stadium on eve of its 1,000th NASCAR event

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Saturday will be a historic night for Bowman Gray Stadium, as it hosts its one thousandth NASCAR sanctioned event.

“That’s a pretty big milestone for a weekly race track,” said Gray Garrison, with Bowman Gray Stadium management.

The track has been officially running races for 67 years now. In those 67 years, with the exception of some structures, little has changed.

“It’s been paved a couple of times, which creates a little bit of differences for a year or two, but it goes back to the same old flat quarter mile track,” Garrison said.

Some NASCAR legends and local favorites weighed in on their feelings about the stadium.

“It was one of the highlights of my career to win the hundredth race and also win it basically on our home track, because Winston-Salem’s about 40 miles from where we’re at,” said Richard Petty.

“You’d better be tough, ‘cause everybody’s [going to] want to beat and bang, and afterwards they want to fight. So, that’s how you [have to] be tough,” said Richard Childress.

“Even though I had a lot of top 10 finishes, I still didn’t get a win and that’s something that was sort of missing on my resume,” said retired driver Ned Jarrett.

“I think of my mom, sitting in the grandstands pregnant with me. I’ve been coming to this place to watch my dad race, to watch all the greats race,” Chocolate Myers said.

“I can remember I was -- I mean it couldn’t have been 2 years old -- sitting up in the grandstands watching my dad race,” said modified driver Jason Myers.

The first 1,000 fans through the gates Saturday will receive a free commemorative pennant. Management says that Hayes Jewelers also contributed a $1,000 diamond ring for one lucky fan.

 

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