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Over the last two decades, sports fans have witnessed the unbelievable rise of NASCAR in popularity. Originally viewed as a Southern phenomenon, Nascar has evolved into the second most-popular professional sport in television ratings, where it resides just behind the National Football League (NFL). Throughout it considerable history, nascar (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) has grown from a regional past time to one of the most lucrative sporting leagues in the world. Its reach extends to over 150 countries, where their races are broadcast. Its website (nascar.com or NASCAR.COM) is visited by the millions each day, as Nascar enthusiasts check it to see the latest Nascar Results, find video of nascar crashes, and learn the latest nascar news.
In addition to its excellent television ratings, NASCAR has the benefit of having an extremely loyal fan base who declare, “I love nascar,” any chance that they can get. The fervent nature of their fans is evident in the fact that nascar currently holds seventeen of the twenty highest attended sporting events in the country. While the high amount of advertising that is evident in nascar has been heavily satirized, it is just an example of how robust NASCAR is. Studies have shown that over 75 million Nascar fans have purchased over $3 billion licensed NASCAR products that is adorned with the nascar logo. For this reason, nascar has the advantage of attracting more Fortune 500 companies in sponsorship deals than any other sport.
Its growth has seeped into pop culture and even politics. One of the biggest issues of the 2004 American election involved the concept of Nascar Dads, who were defined as white, middle-aged, working-class, rural individuals that loved nascar and tended to vote Republican. This concept was used to show the schism between Democrats and Republicans. On a less controversial note, NASCAR has also been satirized in the Will Ferrell comedy, Talladega Nights, which poked gentle fun at some of the quirks of nascar culture but also celebrated the growing sport.
History of Nascar
While NASCAR has grown into a billion dollar industry and one of the most popular sports in the country, the History of Nascar is a fascinating one that begins with regionalism. Considering its appeal of danger that is evident in nascar crashes, it isn’t surprising to learn that Nascar has its roots in rebellion. During the time of Prohibition when alcohol consumption was considered illegal, alcohol bootleggers found that the key to being able to transport alcohol to their distributors was driving small, fast vehicles that were effective in evading police. These bootleg drivers found that they could modify their vehicles to increase the speed and handling.
Although Prohibition would end in 1933, Southerners found that they had developed a love for moonshine. For that reason, drivers continued to transport moonshine and were evading so called ‘revenuers’ that wanted to tax their product. As this became more of a tradition, bootleggers found new ways to improve their cars to the point that there was now significant interest in races with these cars.
Starting in the late 1940s, races began to develop in the rural South where drivers drove these stock cars for profit. This was particularly popular in the Wilkes County region of North Carolina. The first attempt to standardize stock car racing was made by a mechanic named William France who had relocated to Daytona Beach, Florida. While there were a number of star car races going on, France recognized that many of these drivers had been cheated by the race’s promoters. On December 14, 1947 France held talks with the top stock car racers and promoters in the area. What resulted from these talks was the formation of NASCAR on February 21, 1948. The point systems had been established and the first nascar race took place on February 15, 1948 at Daytona Beach.
From there, NASCAR slowly evolved under the tutelage of its first Commissioner, Erwin “Cannonball” Baker. Baker oversaw the construction of the first super-speedway in Darlington, South Carolina which allowed its drivers access to a wider and faster track. Additionally, Baker oversaw the first nascar competition that took place outside of America in a town near Niagara Falls, Canada. After Baker’s death, a midget car racer based in San Jose, California named Bob Barkhimer took over as Nascar’s commissioner. Due to his connection in the Pacific Coast racing scene, Barkhimer was able to establish NASCAR as the sanctioning body of the Pacific Coast in 1954.
As Nascar continued to evolve, it grabbed the hearts of many Southerners that couldn’t get enough of the high speed hi jinks of stock car racing. As the league grew and nascar results were easily understood, Nascar produced a number of racing legends that would become known to a more mainstream audience. From King Richard Petty to the Intimidator Dale Earnhardt, nascar history has produced icons that would help propel NASCAR from a regional oddity to an international institution.
While there are many classes within the NASCAR division, the premier events take place in its Nextel Cup Series. The events that take place in the Nextel Cups often take place on legendary race tracks and they attract the top Nascar drivers. The Nascar Racing Schedule consist of 41 races that take place from February to November. It is important to know what the nascar schedule is because nsacar tickets are difficult to get a hold of. With their thrilling finishes, amazingly fast car, and nascar wrecks, seeing nascar racing live is an incredible experience.
One of the most fascinating aspects of nascar racing is that NASCAR Nextel Cup events take place on different types of tracks. Some tracks are oval shaped, tri-oval shaped, quad-oval shaped, D-oval shaped, triangular, oval with unequal ends, and even somewhat rectangular. Check your Nascar Racing Schedule to find out where the next Nascar event is going to be.
Typically, nascar racing events take place at these courses:
• Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia
• Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee
• California Speedway in Fontana, California
• Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois
• Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina
• Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida
• Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware
• Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida
• Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana
• Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California
• Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas
• Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada
• Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina
• Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia
• Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan
• New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire
• Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona
• Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania
• Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia
• Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama
• Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas
• Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York
While legends like Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt have adorned the Nascar race tracks, there is a new breed of nascar drivers that have helped the sport develop into a national phenomenon. Many Nascar enthusiasts cite the popularity and early winning ways of Jeff Gordon for helping NASCAR get national recognition, for better or worse.
Currently, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has established a prominent name for himself, as he attempts to create his own legacy that is unique to his fathers. Other popular Nascar Drivers include Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Dale Jarrett, Jimmie Johnson, Bobby Labonte, Sterling Marlin, Ricky Rudd, Tony Stewart, and Michael Waltrip.