Located in the heart of North Carolina, Florence Motor Speedway is one of the most historic racing venues in the United States. The speedway’s history dates back to 1911, and it has been the home of the World Sport Car Championship numerous times. Over the past century, the speedway has hosted some of the most significant sporting events in American history, including the 1941, 1954, and 1966 World Sport Car Championships, the 1961 Southern 500, and many more. The track is currently the property of the City of Florence, but it belongs to the public, and it is open to visitors 365 days a year.
How big is it? The paved 3/4 mile is just over a football field, and it is completely level. In fact, the entire facility is perfectly flat. The track is extremely tight, which makes passing a breeze. It can be a bit difficult to find a parking space, especially during the day, but there are ample visitor spaces available at the speedway. Just a few minutes from the entrance, you will find a large parking lot that can comfortably accommodate thousands of vehicles.
Why is it called ‘Florence Motor Speedway’? The track is named after the City of Florence, which purchased it in 1960. The venue is still located in North Carolina, but it is well outside of the state capital of Raleigh. Before the City of Florence purchased the track, it was known as ‘Langdon Hills Speedway’, named after the owner at the time, Langdon Hills. The speedway got its start when Hills, a successful entrepreneur, established Langdon Hills Speedway in 1911. The owner built the racing track to host automobile and motorcycle racing events, but due to Hills’ untimely death in 1932, the track fell into disrepair. It wasn’t until the late 1940s that the city of Florence decided to purchase the track to save it from total destruction. After the City of Florence took ownership of the venue, they decided to rename it ‘Florence Motor Speedway’. They also decided to add a world championship trophy, which they gave to the track’s first-ever winning driver, George Skene. It took the City of Florence until the 1960s to complete the first of two major renovations to the track, including the addition of grandstands and a replacement of the original roadcourse with a tri-oval layout. Since then, the City of Florence has continued to renovate and update the speedway, adding additional amenities and improving parking and traffic flow.
What Kind Of Venue Is It?
Whether you have climbed the steps to the top of the grandstands or taken a moment to sit in the bleachers, you will find yourself in an incredible setting surrounded by history. The track itself is like a scene out of a movie, with car racing in the spring and summer, and various other sports in the winter. What makes the venue even more special is that it is a ‘public’ track. This means that anyone can attend the events, regardless of whether or not they have a ticket. This is in stark contrast to most other venues, where only the paying customers are allowed inside the gates.
How Many Races Does It Host?
Located in the heart of North Carolina, the City of Florence hosts some of the most historic sporting events in the United States, including the annual World Championship of Sailing, the North Carolina Aquarium’s Whale Shark Attack, and many more. The speedway itself hosts two NASCAR races annually: the Southern 500 in the spring and the Fall Finale in the fall. Both of these events are significant races on the schedule, and thousands of fans pack the grandstands each time they run. There are also various other races that the venue hosts throughout the year, such as motorcycle races, arts festivals, and more.
Does It Have A Good Food And Drinks Department?
As a public facility, the City of Florence’s main goal is to provide as many amenities as possible for its residents and visitors. One way that it does this is through its food and drink department, which is open during the regular season. Venues of this type rarely, if ever, have a good restaurant or bar nearby, and the City of Florence is no exception. For those looking for a quick bite to eat, there is a small café located near the main gate that offers light fare and cold drinks.
For those looking for something a little more substantial, the City of Florence Speedway has one of the best food courts in the South. There are dozens of vendors serving up traditional North Carolina fare like chicken wings, barbeques, and fish and seafood, as well as some more exotic dishes like gator steak and alligator snacks. There is also a full-service restaurant attached to the food court, called ‘Joe’s Bar-B-Que’, which serves the best ribs and chicken in the area. You will find plenty of sit-down restaurants and bars nearby, as well as some fast-food joints as well, should you be in a hurry.
What Amenities Does It Offer?
The City of Florence opened the Florence Motor Speedway in 1911, and ever since then, it has been expanding its offerings to provide more value for its visitors. One of the most recent renovations added BTS (bicycle handling tech), which provides a place for bikers to change their tires and take a break from pedaling. In addition to this, the speedway now offers outdoor concert-style seating, complete with a stage and big-band jazz music, during the summer months. This was a popular addition as many people are afraid of heights, making it difficult for them to enjoy an outdoor concert without feeling nervous or intimidated. Other amenities at the track include a hotel and a marina, both of which offer special discounted rates for drivers and their vehicles. If you are looking for a quick bite to eat or a place to park your boat, the City of Florence also has an excellent marina, with lots of outdoor and indoor space that you can use. In fact, the entire river front on which the marina is located is a public park, so you can walk, bike, or run around the entire area without worrying about where you will put your vehicle.
As part of the City of Florence’s commitment to providing as much value for its customers, the venue now has the only I Love My City flower box sitting in front of the main entrance. The flower box is placed there to encourage people to “love my city” and help spread the word about local events, promotions, and projects. In addition, during one of the community’s biggest events, the Easter Egg Roll, the City of Florence arranges for dozens of local artists and designers to create unique and imaginative eggs for children and adults to hunt for during the festivities.
What Is The Average Weather Like?
The climate in North Carolina is pretty mild, so the weather will not pose a great threat to your physical wellbeing. However, if you are not used to the heat, you might find that the temperatures at the speedway are enough to make you uncomfortable. The best time to visit the place is in the spring or the autumn, when the temperatures are more moderate, or in the winter, when it snows. This makes it easier for everyone to move about without any worries. The average temperature in the summer is about 78 degrees Fahrenheit, and in the winter, it is around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. While it is not difficult to find temperatures in between, it can be pretty uncomfortable if you are not prepared for it.
Is It Worth Visiting?
If you have an appreciation for old cars and vintage modes of transportation, then visiting the City of Florence Motor Speedway is a must. The venue is still owned by the City of Florence, and it is in the process of finalizing its 2016 schedule, which will be posted soon, so be sure to check back for updates.