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NASCAR History

NASCAR, the acronym stands for the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing.

William France originally founded NASCAR in 1948 to organize and promote racing on tracks. Several racetracks existed across the Southeast, each with their own rules and regulations. Hence, the racing sport lacked in direction. Through William France's steadfast vision, he delivered that much badly needed direction and professionalized a sport, in its time, which was considered a hobby.

As well, William France founded the International Speedway Corporation, which gave NASCAR the Daytona International Speedway in 1959 and subsequently, the Talladega Superspeedway in 1969.

70 years ago, March 8, 1936, the first stock car race ever held in America took place. Bill France, who operated a local gas station, finishes fifth (some records say fourth) in the first stock car race ever held in Daytona Beach. The course includes a southbound leg of Highway A1A, then northbound along the beach south of the city. (The image at upper left is the program cover for that race.) Bill Cummings won the race with an astounding average speed of 70.39 miles per hour.

Four short years later (Jan. 24, 1940) Bill France Sr. was declared the National Stock.

Car champion. At the time racing was considered a hobby, that all changed when France Sr. founded NASCAR as the countries first sanctioning body in 1948.

Upon William France's retirement, his two sons, Bill Jr. and Jim assumed control. Bill Jr, through his vision, set the standard by which all motorsports are measured.

Officials at the brand-new Daytona International Speedway mailed out entry blanks (Jan. 6, 1959) for the inaugural Daytona 500 that boasted a total purse of $67,760. (Program cover image at right) Early February saw Gene White, driving a Chevrolet convertible, the first driver to qualify for the 500 at DIS. The first Daytona 500 sees Lee Petty beat Johnny Beauchamp in a photo finish. It takes officials three days to determine the winner.

Currently, millions of NASCAR race fans come in droves to see NASCAR racing events throughout the U.S. NASCAR racing has to be the most heart pounding, exciting form of motorsports entertainment nationwide.