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January 23, 2016

Harold Brasington

Charlotte, North Carolina

HAROLD BRASINGTON III: It's such an honor to be here to honor such a great man. I'm going to share some words with you that the man wrote himself. One of the inalienable rights of every American citizen is the privilege of indulging in that delightful and inexpensive pastime, daydreaming. This is the opening sentence of the letter of welcome that Harold Brasington wrote to race fans in the program for the first Southern 500.
Humpy Wheeler once said, "A race fan with a bulldozer is a dangerous man," and he was right. Such a man can cause a lot of trouble, or he could change the world.
In 1949, Harold Brasington called a meeting at the McFaul Hotel on the Darlington public square. There were six other men present: The mayor of Darlington, an engineer, a public relations man, and three local businessmen. When he told them that he was going to build the first superspeedway in Darlington, he could have said we're going to do the first moon launch from the public square, and they would have been no less surprised or doubtful that he could make it happen.
A lot of people thought that he was crazy, but a lot of people stuck right there with him and helped make a dream come true.
Today I would like to thank all the people that have been by his side and supporters and friends over the years, the truck drivers and construction workers that did their best to keep up with him, the management of International Speedway Corporation that kept the green flag flying at Darlington in uncertain times, to Buz McKim, Winston Kelley and NASCAR for creating this Hall of Fame to honor our legends, the members of the voting panel, the Hall of Fame that have been persistent advocates, and a special thanks to two of his friends that are here today, Allan Miller and Russell Branham.
And lastly, I want to thank my granddad for the gift of being a hero to me, to many others. He taught me to always work hard and to have courage and to keep dreaming.
Thank you very much for this award.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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