1949: Jim Roper makes history, winning the first race in NASCAR’s Strictly Stock division — now Sprint Cup Series — at 3/4-mile Charlotte Speedway. Roper, a horse farmer from Halstead, Kansas, took the checkered flag in second place behind apparent winner Glenn Dunnaway at the end of 200 laps, but Dunnaway’s car was disqualified for having an altered rear suspension. Fonty Flock was second in the final order, with Red Byron — who became the division’s first champion at season’s end — third. Roper, who was credited with leading the final 47 laps, raced only one other time in NASCAR’s premier series, placing 15th later that year at Hillsborough, N.C.
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