Scheduled for May 29, 1960 and featuring a purse of $100,000, the inaugural World 600 was actually held on June 19 in order to allow workers time to finish construction on the track then known as Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Joe Lee Johnson (left), winner of the inaugural World 600, is presented with his trophy by track founders Bruton Smith (dark shirt, with microphone) and Curtis Turner. Turner, a legendary NASCAR driver, was credited with a 39th-place finish in the 60-car field.
Compared with the palace that is Lowe’s Motor Speedway today, the track seemed almost primitive in its early years. Note the lack of suites overlooking the frontstretch, dirt roads in the infield and a small pond created by excavated dirt.
After leader Junior Johnson was forced to pit with a blown tire four laps from the end of the 1963 World 600, Fred Lorenzen was able to cruise to victory.
In 14 career starts at the track now known as Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Marvin Panch had one win and five top-10 finishes. His victory came in the 1966 World 600, beating runnerup G.C. Spencer to the finish by two laps.
During the 1965 National 400, Lorenzen is sandwiched between the cars of Curtis Turner (41) and Dick Hutcherson during a furious late-race battle. After A.J. Foyt spun out with six laps left, Lorenzen was able to take the win over Hutcherson by about three car lengths. Turner came in a close third.
Bobby Allison celebrates his win in the 1971 World 600. After winning the National 500 later in the season, Allison became only the second driver to sweep both races at the track in a single season.
Bobby Isaac turns his No. 71 Dodge Daytona under James Hylton during the 1969 World 600. Hylton went on to finish third in the event, while Isaac came home fifth.
Allison’s wife Judy douses him in victory lane following the 1971 World 600.
Buddy Baker (second from left) overcame a midrace spin to win the 1973 World 600, driving a Dodge prepared by legendary mechanic Harry Hyde (second from right).
Moments after the start of the final 10-lap shootout during the 1987 all-star race, Geoff Bodine (5) spins between turns one and two. The mishap was triggered by contact between Dale Earnhardt (3) and Bill Elliott (partially hidden by Bodine’s car).
Driving a Chevrolet owned by Richard Childress (middle), Dale Earnhardt’s reputation as “The Intimidator” was forever sealed by the 1987 all-star race.
Dale Earnhardt scored his only win of 1992 in the Coca-Cola 600. He finished an uncharacteristic 12th in the final point standings that year.
After a gutsy call by crew chief Ray Evernham during a late-race pit stop put him out front, an emotional Jeff Gordon celebrates in victory lane after winning the 1994 Coca-Cola 600. It was the first Cup triumph of his career.
In his first race on a superspeedway, Adam Petty (center) won an ARCA race at the track on Sept. 30, 1998. He’s joined here in victory lane by his grandfather Richard (left) and dad Kyle.
Father and son … Dale Earnhardt Jr. (right) is congratulated by his dad for winning the 2000 all-star race. It was Dale Jr.’s first full year of Cup competition.
Jamie McMurray shocked the motorsports world when he won at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Oct. 13, 2002. Subbing for an injured Sterling Marlin, McMurray was making just the second start of his Cup career.
Lowe’s Motor Speedway is now a showcase facility, offering fans, sponsors and competitors the experience of a lifetime.
Lowe’s Motor Speedway’s incredible pre-race shows are almost as famous as its racing events.
Kasey Kahne followed up his win in the 2008 Sprint All-Star Challenge with another victory a week later in the Coca-Cola 600.
Motorsports visionary Bruton Smith has turned Lowe’s Motor Speedway into one of the top facilities in the sporting world.