A Closer Look At NASCAR

Posted: February 11, 2015

Updated: February 11, 2015

NASCAR is a company that operates the Sprint Cup Championship and the Daytona 500 which is the top racing venue for stock car racing in the U.S.

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is stock car racing league that is extremely popular in the United States. There are over 1,500 races sanctioned by NASCAR on over 100 tracks throughout the U.S and Canada. The association owns and operates many different series but the three most popular are the Sprint Cup Series, the Xfinity Series and the Camping World Truck Series. Also, NASCAR holds exhibition races in Japan, Mexico and Australia. NASCAR results commonly make U.S. gambling news among in-house casinos throughout the U.S.

  • NASCAR is stock car association
  • It’s popularity 2nd to NFL in the US.
  • Started by William France in 1948.
  • Is currently undergoing changes.

NASCAR is owned by the France Family. Brian, grandson of NASCAR founder William France Sr., is the current CEO of the company. The headquarter for NASCAR is located in Daytona Beach, Florida and maintains four offices in Charlotte, Mooresville, Concord and Conover, North Carolina. This makes sense since the company has its origins firmly rooted to the southern United States.

The National Football League (NFL) is the only professional sports franchise in America that has higher popular ratings than NASCAR. It’s television revenue exceeded $6.52 million dollars last year. The Sprint Cup series, NASCAR’s largest sanctioned series, consists of 36 races at 13 entertainment facilities in a single season. Total track revenue for 2014 was $1.137 billion. About 75% of NASCAR’s investment comes through sponsorship. More Fortune 500 companies sponsor NASCAR than any other sport in the World.

Although Formula One is more widely known throughout the world, NASCAR can definitely hold it’s on in comparisons. F-1 has only 24 drivers while NASCAR has 50. F-1 cars have more sophisticated engines and reach higher G forces, yet only reach speeds 5 miles faster than NASCAR stock cars. NASCAR races consist of 4 left handed turns, while F-1 competitions consist of multiple turns from different directions. Fernando Alonso is F-1’s highest paid driver at $37 million, but NASCAR’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th highest paid drivers earn more than Lewis Hamilton; F-1’s 2nd highest paid driver.

The Origins of NASCAR

To learn about the origins of NASCAR, one has to look into the history of land speed records and stock car racing. Although Belgium and France were more popular, from the 1920’s, those seeking to set new World land speed records would travel to Daytona Beach, Florida in the United States. Between 1927 and 1935, 8 consecutive World records were set. Setting a land speed record would require a driver to travel on a 4.1 mile course.

NASCAR in 1959

Stock car racing’s origins are part of the prohibition period in the United States from 1920 to 1933. Manditory under the 18th amendment of the constitution, was a National ban on the sale of, production, importation and transportation of alcohol. Although some states banned alcohol possession, most allowed private possession. Many people were driven to frequent private venues where alcohol was illegally sold and gambling was available. Unfortunately, such gambling wasn’t in accordance to U.S. gambling laws.

As the demand was created, many people started to create their own homemade alcohol. This is often referred to as “moonshine.” Much of this cheap grain based alcohol was made in the higher areas of the Appalachian mountains where the vegetation could hide makeshift factories. Men called “runners” would carry moonshine from the mountains to the cities by car. Often these runners would come into contact with police and races would ensue. Soon the runners would modify their cars to outperform the polices. This eventually turned to modifying cars to outperform each other on designated roads.

After prohibition, runners continued to transport moonshine and outperform IRS employees who attempted to tax their businesses. By the mid to late 1940’s drivers continued to race their performance cars for pride and profit throughout the rural southern United States. This brought the attention of William France, Sr., a mechanic who from Washington D.C. Having experience in race car promotion, France decided to talk to racers and promoters who frequented the Streamline Hotel at Daytona Beach forming the organization, rules, scheduling and championship that would make the creation of NASCAR on February 21st, 1948.

More Current Developments in NASCAR

NASCAR has had some changes throughout the years since 1948. The association had its first full stock car event a year later at the Charlotte, North Carolina Speedway. In 1952, the first NASCAR competition took place outside the United States in Stamford Park, Ontario. The modern era of NASCAR began when the company gained its first title sponsor in 1972. Under the sponsorship of the R.J Reynolds Tobacco Company, what was the Grand National Series became the Winston Cup Series. Due to tobacco company sponsorship, the Winston Cup Series received zero television advertising.

Through the liquidity of the tobacco industry in the 1970’s, NASCAR could easily sustain itself while creating an ever-growing fan base. The inclusion of championship points, a lucrative prize and a reduction to 48 races saw a bright future for the sport. Also the prolific career of Richard Petty, nicknamed “The King” reigned in countless fans through the 1970’s and 1980’s. Winning 200 races, including 7 Daytona 500 titles and 27 record titles, Petty’s the most accomplished racer in the history of stock car racing.

Nextel took over the championship and called it the NEXTEL Cup Series 2007. They installed a new championship points system which gave more incentives to drivers who could achieve earlier victories in the season. Soon NEXTEL merged with Sprint and in 2008 became the Sprint Cup Series. NASCAR instilled a number of rule changes in 2011 including a simplified points system. Drivers would now be eliminated after every 3 races to narrow the championship cup competition down to 16 drivers at the end.

Danica Patrick: First female driver superstar

The sport finally saw the advent of the first female driving superstar in the early 2000’s. Danica Patrick gain immense popularity for her Indy car driving skills as well as her stunning looks. She entered NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series part-time in 2012 and now drives fulltime under the sponsor ship of internet site sponsor GoDaddy. Stock cars are continuously being renovated in response to several high profile accidents leading to deaths such as that of Dale Earnhardt and Adam Petty. Although popularity is currently down, NASCAR is working on the “Daytona Rising”, a $400 million refurbishing of the Dayton Speedway Facility which will be completed in 2016.

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