NASCAR was formed by William France, Sr., who was an auto mechanic from Washington D.C. The current CEO is Brian France who is the grandson of Bill France. NASCAR headquarters is in Daytona Beach, Florida and it has several offices throughout the United States and some in Mexico and Canada. Before Bill France started NASCAR, racing was a very dishonest business where the promoters often stole money from the drivers. France believed that if racing became an organization with rules it would become an honest type of business. In December 1947, France asked many drivers and promoters to meet in Daytona Beach, Florida to create racing rules. NASCAR was created on February 21, 1948 and starting out racing on a track that was half dirt and half asphalt. The track was called Daytona Beach and was located in Florida. (Jordan) I feel that NASCAR is a great sport for the fans and anyone else who likes racing in general. NASCAR has an interesting history and is still fun to learn about today.
Another significant person was NASCARs first commissioner, Erwin “Cannonball” Baker. Baker was famous for motorcycle racing. At the Indianapolis 500 speedway he placed first in 1908 and eleventh in 1922. In 1914, he drove his motorcycle for eleven and one-half days cross country for 3,379 miles and “he combated thirst, desert heat, numerous flat tires, bad weather, irregular terrain and wild dogs…” (King) During his lifetime, Baker rode in more than 14 cross country races and over 5,500,000 miles. (King)
Robert Barkhimer, who was known as “Barky,” was the person who bought NASCAR to the West. Barky was the Bay Cities Racing Association Midget Champion. In 1949, he began promoting more than 20 stock car races in the West. In the early 1950s, he met Bill France in Daytona Beach and they made a deal to bring NASCAR to the West.
“He was the father of NASCAR here on the West Coast," said Kenny Takeuchi, the longtime track announcer at San Jose Speedway and a friend of Mr. Barkhimer's. "He was a promoter who had vision. Before a race, he always said to everyone: 'We're in show business. Do a good job out there.' " (Wilson)
More than 100,000 fans watched the NASCAR Nextel Cup race on November 20, 2006 thanks to the groundwork of Bob “Barky” Barkhimer who passed away on June 18, 2006 at age 90. (Wilson)
In the beginning, NASCAR was connected to bootlegging. The drivers had either been bootleggers or mechanics who worked on bootlegger’s cars. The drivers “souped up their cars to haul their bounty, and then ran from the law like their behinds were on fire” (Houston). The bootleggers started out racing on local highways and back roads and then later made tracks in pastures to race each other. Junior Johnson who is a NASCAR Hall of Famer was also a famous bootlegger. He was once quoted saying:
"It gave me so much advantage over other people that had to train and learn how to drive," Johnson once said of hauling liquor. "When I sat down in that seat the first race I ever ran, it...