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February 21, 1948 – NASCAR is founded

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 15, 1948: The first NASCAR-sanctioned race was held on Daytona Beach in 1948 for modified-sportsman cars. (Photo by ISC Archives via Getty Images)

NASCAR’s roots can be traced to bootleggers and moonshine runners during America’s prohibition era. Drivers who delivered illegal alcohol needed fast cars to outrun police, so they’d tune their vehicles for better power and handling. Following prohibition, these drives continued to possess a need for speed. They organized races so they could put their hopped up cars to the test. In many cases in hopes of bringing home a cash prize. 

Bill France on the sands of Daytona Beach. TOP: DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 15, 1948: The first NASCAR-sanctioned race was held on Daytona Beach in 1948 for modified-sportsman cars. (Photo by ISC Archives via Getty Images).

Daytona Beach mechanic and auto racer William “Bill” France Sr. loved the scene. So much so that he wanted to see standardized rules, racing schedules and a points system for what was becoming known as stock car racing. He began talking with influential racers and promoters to create a governing body for races already taking place around the country. 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, as with many great ideas, fist came to be on a bar room napkin.


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