The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, or NASCAR, is the second most known and supported professional sports franchise in the United States in terms of fans and TV viewers, next to the National Football League. NASCAR is the world’s leading motorsport organization that allows prestigious vans races such as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series. Sanctions more than 1,500 races in 39 US states, as well as Canada, Europe and Mexico.
NASCAR roots go back to the time of bootlegging during the Prohibition period in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s. Whiskey trade was illegal at the time, so people secretly delivered their whiskey at high speed to avoid police. This often ends up as informal races, just to brag about who was riding the fastest.
After World War II, racing car production or unmodified cars are becoming more and more popular. The tracks attracted more drivers and larger crowds, but there is no organization. The rules vary depending on the track, and drivers often fell victim to promoters who fled with driver prizes. Some tracks couldn’t handle the crowd either. These problems were observed by William France Sr., who taught at Daytona in 1938.
France came to Daytona, Florida, from Washington to escape the Great Depression of 1935. He also raced, finishing fifth in the Daytona race in 1936, and then advanced several races before World War II.
On December 14, 1947, France organized a meeting at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach with drivers, promoters, car owners and mechanics to set standards and organized rules for car racing. France took the leadership of the organization. The first race sanctioned by NASCAR took place on February 15, 1948, at Daytona Beach, where he won the Red Byron from Atlanta in his Modified Ford.
The original NASCAR divisions were modified, strictly warehouse and roadster. The roadster division was easily abandoned due to the lack of fan appeal, and the modified division is now called Whelen Modified Tour.
The first NASCAR Strictly Stock race was held at Charlotte Speedway on June 19, 1949, where Glenn Dunaway initially won. However, he was disqualified after the discovery of the changed rear springs in his Ford, so Jim Roper was declared the winner. The strictly warehouse department was originally intended for cars without modifications to the factory models, but modifications regarding performance and safety were finally approved in the mid-1960s. From 1950, the division was renamed the Grand National.
In the 1950s, the international racecourse in Darlington became the first asphalt track to host NASCAR, where Johnny Mantz won in his Plymouth. New racing tracks were created, and the first Daytona 500 took place in 1959. Lee Petty was declared the winner 61 hours after the race. NASCAR officials took a long time to study the relationship of the race between Petty and Johnny Beauchamp because their finish was so close.
Fans were addicted, and with the development of sport new masters appeared. Seventeen years later, Lee Petty’s son Richard raced with David Pearson, and two drivers crashed in front of the finish line. The winner was announced Pearson, who dropped the checkered flag, making him one of the most famous NASCAR races in history. Richard returned three years later and won. He was eventually named the “King” of racing race cars for being the most talented driver in NASCAR history. Petty and Pearson, along with Cale Yarborough, Ned Jarrett, Bobby Allison, and Buddy Baker, introduced NASCAR into an era in which the schedule included over 60 races per year.