A History of NASCAR – From Moonshine to Mega Sport
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was originally formed in nineteen forty nine. It was founded by a man named Bill France, and is still controlled by the France family to this day. At it’s inception, it was referred to as the Strictly Stock Series, reason being, that the cars they raced were supposed to be just as they were when originally purchased.
For mostly safety reasons, “stock” cars have rapidly evolved over the years, and are now anything but stock. With safety features such as the HANS device, roof flaps, spoilers on the front, rear, and sides and roll cages, NASCAR Sprint Cup cars look nothing like they did when first rolled off the show room floor.
Though it’s a world wide phenomenon today, stock car racing’s original roots are in the deep south. Moon shine runners would soup their cars up in order to evade the law when running shine. Soon, these highly skilled drivers with their high performance machines took to competing with one another to see who had the fastest car and was the best driver.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has had more than its share of colorful characters over the years. Drivers such as Joe Weatherly and Curtis Turner not only raced hard, but they lived hard as well. While traveling the racing circuit, some of their antics are legendary, and most of them are stories probably not best told in a family setting.
As rough and tumble as many of the stock car racers were, there were others who were very much the opposite. Men like Richard Petty and Ned Jarrett were true ambassadors to the sport.
To make sure that he could represent NASCAR in the best possible light, Ned took public speaking classes, and Richard created an army of devoted fans by spending hours after each race talking with them and signing autographs.
With the passage of time, NASCAR racing events have evolved into a commercial powerhouse. Race events now last an entire weekend rather than just one day, and can feature anything from concert performances by top rated artists to military demonstrations by members of the armed forces.
Though a declining economy has caused a drop in attendance at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, there will always be a legion of devoted NASCAR fans willing to travel across town or across the country to attend a race.
NASCAR is an electrifying sport, and its devout fan base ensures it will be for many years to come.