An Overview of the History of NASCAR

Written by Bonnie Gringer

Automobile racing has been around for about as long as the automobile. Once cars started to gain in popularity on the roads, they were starting to race each other. These races took place on roads, open spaces, and any other place that they could. In fact, some of the earliest races were done by moonshiners who had unofficial races with law enforcement officials in trying to avoid being arrested. These early events were elements in the development of the National Association of Stock Car Racing, which is known as NASCAR.

In the early 1900’s the sands of Florida provided car racers with the opportunity to race their cars on the beaches. These races were in the forms of time trials as well as traditional races. One of the interested spectators was Bill France, Sr. He began to work as a promoter of races in Florida, which started to become a popular destination for would-be race car drivers. The work of France led to the first meeting of the National Association of Stock Car Racing on December 12, 1947. And, in February 1948, the organization held its first sanctioned race on the beach of Daytona Beach, Florida. This was the beginning of one of the most popular racing organizations in the United States.

From the modest start on the beaches in Florida, NASCAR soon expanded to many other areas and began to offer the opportunity for racers to compete for good prize money, and a championship at the end of the season. During the early years of the organization, many of the events competed in the southeastern part of the United States. And, the drivers that participated were also from that portion of the country. However, as the years have progressed, NASCAR has expanded its reach to all parts of the United States, with race tracks in all portions of the country. In addition, drivers come from throughout the U.S. as well as other countries.

NASCAR has grown to be one of the top racing organizations in the world and attracts millions of spectators to races, and much more that follow the circuit through television. The organization has produced several memorable drivers such as Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Jimmie Johnson and many others. Each year classic race tracks such as Daytona, Charlotte, Indianapolis, and Darlington have produced great races.

To learn more about the origins and growth of NASCAR, we have put together the following resources. We hope you enjoy learning about this famous racing organization.