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February 21, 1948 – NASCAR is founded

The roots of NASCAR can be traced to smuggling moonshine during America’s prohibition era. Drivers delivering the illegal alcohol needed fast cars to outrun police so they found themselves regularly tuning their vehicles for more power and better handling. Following prohibition the deliveries continued, but now drivers were outrunning the tax man. By the 1940s organized races featuring the shine runners’ hopped up cars were taking place for profit. William France Sr. was a fan of the races but believed it needed better regulations to be a successful endeavor. The Daytona Beach mechanic and race car driver was already very familiar with fast cars as he had been living on the beach that had become the prime location to chase land speed records since 1935. France wanted to see a set of standardized rules, racing schedules and a points system for stock car racing. He began talking with influential racers and race promoters to create a governing body for stock racing. France, with the assistance of several other drivers, founded NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) on this day in 1948. The original points system was written on a bar room napkin.
Photo reportedly shows the first race put on by NASCAR in 1948 at Daytona Beach

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