What is NASCAR and its history?

What is NASCAR and its history?

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  1. As a spectator sport, NASCAR is one of the top draws in the United States, thrilling millions of fans on a near-weekly basis between February and November. The origins of this fast-paced sport go back to the beaches of Daytona, Florida in the late 1940s.

    The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing was founded by Bill France Sr. in December 1947, and incorporated in February 1948. France, a driver and promoter of early Daytona Beach races, believed this growing form of motorsports needed a sanctioning body to keep it organized, and enlisted the help of drivers, crew personnel, and promoters to achieve this dream.

    The first NASCAR-sanctioned event ever held was in February 1948 on the beaches of Daytona. A Modified race, it was won by veteran driver Red Byron; NASCAR’s Modified Division still exists today, with much popularity in the Northeastern US. In 1949, the first Strictly Stock Division race was held, paving the way to what is now known as the Sprint Cup Series.

    The sport continued to grow in popularity in the south throughout the 1950s and 1960s, and Corporate America began to take notice. In 1971, RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company stepped up as sponsor for the premiere division in NASCAR, which became known as the Winston Cup Series. The late 1970s also saw television exposure grow, and the 1979 Daytona 500 became the first 500-mile race broadcast live in its entirety.

    Today, NASCAR sanctions ten series through the US, Canada, and Mexico. The premiere series is still the Cup Series, now sponsored by Sprint. The Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series provide both training grounds for young talent looking to make that next step and an extra challenge for the Sprint Cup drivers. There are currently seven developmental regional series, including the Modifieds, which have been split into the Whelen Modified Tour and the Whelen Southern Modified Tour. The K&N Pro Series East and West provide training to some of the brightest young local talent, many of whom have development contracts with larger Cup Series teams. The Whelen All-American Series is a regional series for local short-track racing, where drivers earn points towards an overall national title. Two international series, the Canadian Tire Series and the Mexico Series, introduce drivers north and south of the border to NASCAR-style stock car racing. 

    source: "History of NASCAR," nascar.com

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