NASCAR, which stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, is the largest governing body of stock car racing in the United States. It oversees some of the most popular automotive races in the world including the Daytona 500. NASCAR races are also popular spectator and television events with only one other professional sport, the NFL, drawing more viewers. It is now broadcast into over 150 countries and boasts a truly worldwide audience. Today, NASCAR oversees 1500 races, with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series being the premier series.
Who founded NASCAR?
Stock racing became popular in the 1920′s when moonshine runners needed to improve the performance of their vehicles to outrun police. They soon enjoyed the sport of racing each other to see who had the fastest car. Formal races were soon organized and the sport became very popular. The main problems with this was that there were no formal rules and some tracks prevented them from racing legally.
William France Senior, better known as Bill France Sr., decided to set down regulate the competition. He began talks with racers and promoters to create a formal championship and this culminated in the creation of NASCAR on February 21, 1948. Erwin “Cannonball” Baker was made the first commissioner of NASCAR. The first season began in 1949 and the winner of the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Drivers’ Championship was Red Byron who had 2 wins and 4 top 10 finishes out of a total of 6 races. He won a total of $5,800 (the equivalent of about $53,000 today) in the first season.