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NASCAR’s history of racing on Mother’s Day

Jeff Gordon Denny Hamlin 2007
Jeff Gordon crosses the Start/Finish line at Darlington Raceway in the 2007 Dodge Avenger 500 victorious over Denny Hamlin. It was the last Cup Series race held on Mother’s Day. Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR

In the 71-year history of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, seven points-awarding races have been held on Mother’s Day.

The premier series of NASCAR has held Saturday races before the holiday at venues including Darlington Raceway, Talladega Superspeedway and Kansas Speedway.

According to, Mother’s Day was recognized as a holiday when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure in 1914 to have it observed on the second Sunday of May annually.

Buck Baker
Buck Baker. Courtesy photo.

The first race held on Mother’s Day was run in 1954.

Two-time series champion Buck Baker lapped the 16-car field at the half-mile Wilson Speedway dirt track en route to his first of four wins that season.

The tradition of running on the holiday continued for two more consecutive seasons, with Tim Flock lapping the field at the Arizona State Fairgrounds one-mile dirt track in 1955 and Buck Baker winning in 1956 at the nine-tenths mile Orange Speedway dirt track.

Nine-time Cup Series winner Bob Welborn was victorious when the series raced on the holiday in 1958. Welborn lapped the 20-car field at the Greensboro Fairgrounds third-mile dirt track.

The 1960s didn’t feature any races run on the holiday. During the decade, the series ran at Darlington the Saturday night before the holiday seven times.

NASCAR’s premier series ran a race on Mother’s Day twice during the 1970s.

Benny Parsons lapped the field in 1971 at the .357-mile South Boston Speedway in the Halifax County 100. In 1978, three-time champion Cale Yarborough picked up the win at Talladega Superspeedway. Called Alabama International Motor Speedway at the time, Yarborough led on 12 separate occasions for 81 laps.

It would be 30 years before the next race in the Cup Series would be run on Mother’s Day.

In 2007, the Darlington race was run on the holiday. The race, originally scheduled for the night before, was postponed because of inclement weather.

Jeff Gordon led the final 22 laps to score his seventh and final win at the raceway.

This year will mark the sixth straight year Kansas Speedway will host a Cup Series race the day prior to Mother’s Day.

The Digital Ally 400 at Kansas Speedway will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 Saturday night (May 11) at 7:30 p.m. ET.


Dominic Aragon View All

I am a co-owner and reporter for

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