NASCAR – A History
1947 is the year that the concept of NASCAR (National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing) was born. This was nearly a decade after Bill France participated in the first Florida Daytona Beach rally, and came 5thdriving a lightweight Ford. The drivers who participated in that March 8, 1936 race had no coherently organized system. The race was solely geared towards determining the best drivers and fastest cars.
The challenging sandy terrain made the navigation of the course’s ruts impossible for most cars. Only ten out of the total twenty seven cars made it to the end of the ordeal. The originally scheduled 250 mile course was shortened by ten miles.
The concept in Bill’s mind was a unification of racing competitors in a series. He thus made the announcement of the establishment of National Championship Stock Car Series foundation (NCSCS). With American Automobile Association (AAA) turning down his proposal for the financing of the venture, Bill France declared a trophy and $1000 for the 1947 NCSSC winner and set of rules.
The season was set to begin at the Daytona Beach track in January and end in Jacksonville in December, 1947. This was instantly popular. The close-to-forty events that were logged experienced an excess of the venues’ capacities in attendance.
At the season’s end, Bill France began a series of meeting with the thirty five representatives of NCSCS. The first of these meetings was held on 14th December, 1947. Bill outlined his vision of the organization of race car drivers into a single group.
A name change for the series was also proposed and a mechanic called Red Vogt proposed the name NASCAR.On 21st February, 1948, the foundation of NASCAR by William France, Srwith the assistance of other drivers went on record. NASCAR’s initial divisions were roadster, strictly stock and modified cars. The roadster division soon saw abandonment when it was deemed unpopular as fans saw it as a Midwest or Northeast series.
The modified division prevailed in popularity and the 1948 season saw 52 dirt track races. The first event of the season was on 15th February at Daytona Beach. It was eventually rebranded as the Whelen Modified Tour.
The strictly Stock division faced challenges in the quick manufacture of family sedans to keep up with the demands of post-World War II. However, the division managed a debut a 20-mile exhibition in February, 1949, close to Miami. On 19th June of the same year, the Charlotte Speedway became the first track to hold the Strictly Stock division race.
The cars that raced were referred to as Strictly Stock Division, and had no modifications on their factory settings. At the start of the 1950 season, the division was renamed as Grand National. Many changes followed in the next one and a half decades. Allowances were made for performance and safety modification. The mid-60s witnessed race cars that were purpose-built but with stock-like bodies.
At present, Bill’s grandson, Brian France, is the CEO of NASCAR. The headquarters are in Florida, at Dayton Beach. It is the prime sanctioning body in US, with Nationwide Series, Sprint Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series being its major racing series.
The minor races it sanctions include Whelen- All-American Series, Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR local racing NASCARiRacing.com.series. It has sanctions that are more than 100 tracks and 1500 races in thirty nine states and Canada. It also presents exhibition races in Mexico, Japanese Motegi and Suzuki circuits, and Australian Calder Park Raceway.