Difference between revisions of "NASCAR"

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==History==
 
==History==
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NASCAR was founded on in 1948 by William "Bill" France Sr. in Daytona Beach, Florida, as a response to issues with the disorganized nature of stock car racing at the time. Over the next two-plus decades, France would successfully organize stock car racing into divisions, with the top one originally being known as "strictly stock", for how the cars were not allowed to be modified. When that rule was relaxed later on, the top division was renamed the "Grand Nationsl". Most races of the early days were run on short tracks of the American Southeast, although with some exceptions, notably Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina and then Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, which became NASCAR's premier track in 1959 after repleacing the actual sandy beach that had previously been used.
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As the sport grew, NASCAR underwent a transformation in the early 1970s. In 1970, NASCAR signed a title sponsorship deal with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, renaming their top division the "Winston Cup" Series, and giving the title of Grand National to the second division. Two years later, Reynolds would push NASCAR into dropping all dirt tracks and races of under 100 miles. These moves marked the beginning of NASCAR's modern era, and would be key to NASCAR's growth into the top level of American motorsport. That growth would be done without the sport's founder, though, as Bill France Sr. retired in 1970 and his son, Bill France Jr., replaced him.
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Over the next nearly three decades, NASCAR would grow steadily and would expand around the country. A good portion of its growth can be attributed to the success and popularity of its two great superstars, Richard Petty and then Dale Earnhardt. Combined, these two won a grand total of fourteen Winston Cup Series Championships, along with eight Daytona 500 titles, which had become the series' premier race at the beginning of each season. Into the 1990s, the days of the two superstars began to dwindle, which can partially be attributed to the now advanved development of cars and the fact that most races were by then run on superspeedways around the counry rather than Southeastern short tracks. Petty retired in 1992, while Earnhardt continued on into the new millennium before being tragically killed in a last-lap accident at the 2001 Daytona 500 that shocked the racing world and brought about further developments in driver safety on top of previous advances. By then, a new stock of takent had taken over the top NASCAR tier, which was renamed to the "NEXTEL Cup" in 2004 after NEXTEL Communications took over the title sponsorship from R.J. Reynolds. Top names of the new millenium came to be Jeff Gordon, who won four series titles after ironically making his debut in Petty's final race, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., the pouular son of the late Dale Sr. that achieved success by winning the Daytona 500 in 2004. In 2008, the series will again be renamed the Sprint Cup, after Sprint Corporation's merge with NEXTEL. 
  
 
[[Category:Sports]]
 
[[Category:Sports]]

Revision as of 10:18, 28 August 2007

NASCAR is an acronym that stands for National Association of Stock Car Automobile Racing, a sanctioning body for American stock car racing ranging all the way from local dirt track racing on up to the national Nextel Cup Series. NASCAR is currently developing the Nextel Cup Series into a major American sport, along with taking their brand international with their second-teir series, the Busch Grand National Series. Despite these efforts, though, NASCAR still has strong roots in the American Southeast, which is its primary fanbase, and so it is a staple of conservative American life.

History

NASCAR was founded on in 1948 by William "Bill" France Sr. in Daytona Beach, Florida, as a response to issues with the disorganized nature of stock car racing at the time. Over the next two-plus decades, France would successfully organize stock car racing into divisions, with the top one originally being known as "strictly stock", for how the cars were not allowed to be modified. When that rule was relaxed later on, the top division was renamed the "Grand Nationsl". Most races of the early days were run on short tracks of the American Southeast, although with some exceptions, notably Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina and then Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, which became NASCAR's premier track in 1959 after repleacing the actual sandy beach that had previously been used.

As the sport grew, NASCAR underwent a transformation in the early 1970s. In 1970, NASCAR signed a title sponsorship deal with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, renaming their top division the "Winston Cup" Series, and giving the title of Grand National to the second division. Two years later, Reynolds would push NASCAR into dropping all dirt tracks and races of under 100 miles. These moves marked the beginning of NASCAR's modern era, and would be key to NASCAR's growth into the top level of American motorsport. That growth would be done without the sport's founder, though, as Bill France Sr. retired in 1970 and his son, Bill France Jr., replaced him.

Over the next nearly three decades, NASCAR would grow steadily and would expand around the country. A good portion of its growth can be attributed to the success and popularity of its two great superstars, Richard Petty and then Dale Earnhardt. Combined, these two won a grand total of fourteen Winston Cup Series Championships, along with eight Daytona 500 titles, which had become the series' premier race at the beginning of each season. Into the 1990s, the days of the two superstars began to dwindle, which can partially be attributed to the now advanved development of cars and the fact that most races were by then run on superspeedways around the counry rather than Southeastern short tracks. Petty retired in 1992, while Earnhardt continued on into the new millennium before being tragically killed in a last-lap accident at the 2001 Daytona 500 that shocked the racing world and brought about further developments in driver safety on top of previous advances. By then, a new stock of takent had taken over the top NASCAR tier, which was renamed to the "NEXTEL Cup" in 2004 after NEXTEL Communications took over the title sponsorship from R.J. Reynolds. Top names of the new millenium came to be Jeff Gordon, who won four series titles after ironically making his debut in Petty's final race, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., the pouular son of the late Dale Sr. that achieved success by winning the Daytona 500 in 2004. In 2008, the series will again be renamed the Sprint Cup, after Sprint Corporation's merge with NEXTEL.