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NASCAR – What Does It Stand For?
You may know that NASCAR is a type of racing, and you may know that the cars look somewhat like a regular car, but what does the name mean? NASCAR…
Long before speed enthusiasts took to the salt flats to break speed records, they were doing their best at the beach. In the 1920s and 1930s, Daytona Beach was home to the fastest cars in the United States. In the mid-1930s, Prohibition produced bootleggers in the South who modified stock vehicles to outrun the police while delivering moonshine… And so a sport was born.
As smugglers and speed enthusiasts began to compete for bragging rights in the Southeast, the need to organize the races arose. In 1936, Daytona Beach began sanctioning organized races that ran south on A1A and north on the beach, intersecting on defined access roads. In 1947, Bill France Sr. saw the need for a sanctioning body to set rules, promote racing, and oversee championships. He and other racers and promoters met at the Ebony Bar in Daytona Beach in February 1948 and NASCAR was formed.
NASCAR stands for the National Stock Car Racing Association. Although the cars used today are anything but stock, at its inception, NASCAR’s premier division was “Strickly Stock”. The racers used street-legal cars that they modified for speed and traction. Many tricks were used, such as putting gasoline in the frame for more miles per stop, or filling the frame with sand to achieve a specified weight and letting the sand pour down the length of the race for a car lighter and faster.
Today, NASCAR has two top-notch “stock car” divisions, the highest of which is the Sprint Cup Series. They also have a truck series, a Canadian truck series, a Mexico series, and a regional series in the United States. Although they are made in the image of some touring cars, today’s race cars are engineered to perfection. A car you see in a modern NASCAR race costs around $150,000 to produce, not including countless hours of preparation for a specific track. Current teams even have machines that are programmed to pull and push on a car’s chassis like a specific track would at race speed.
Although today’s NASCAR is a far cry from the Bill France Sr. version of 1948, most racers and fans still see the sport as it was in the 1950s. They are loyal to the brand, the driver and see sport as a web of men and machines, pushing the limits of speed and pleasure.
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