3,800: In dollars, the entire purse for the first race at Martinsville Speedway, which opened for business in 1949. En route to the first championship in NASCAR’s premier division, Red Byron won at Martinsville, then a half-mile dirt track, on Sept. 25, 1949. Runner-up Lee Petty was three laps down at the finish, completing 197 of the scheduled 200. Byron collected the lion’s share of the purse, earning $1,500 for the victory. The last seven drivers in the 15-man field took home $50 each. By way of contrast, the purse for last year’s spring race at the .526-mile speedway was $5,009,303.
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