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The Evolution of NASCAR

Austin Gilmore, Staff Writer

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NASCAR, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, was created by Bill France Sr. during a meeting at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Florida. On February 21, 1948,  NASCAR was born.

The first race in NASCAR history took place at Charlotte Motor Speedway on June 19, 1949 and the winner was Jim Roper.  Charlotte Motor Speedway today is the home of the NASCAR All-Star race. Now let’s talk about the different racing series in American history.

“Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, Let’s Go Racing Boys!!””

— Darrell Waltrip

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The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series was created in 1995, featuring modified pickup trucks as the vehicles used for the races. It is the third series that makes up the national division of NASCAR. It is also the third tier behind the other two series in NASCAR. The first race of the series was held on February 5, 1996 at Phoenix International Speedway and the winner was Terry Labonte. Current NASCAR stars that joined the Truck Series were Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, and Kyle and Kurt Busch.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series is the second series making up the division of NASCAR and is also the second tier behind the main series of NASCAR. The series first started in 1948 as the Late Model Sportsman Series. In 1986, it became the Busch Grand National Series. In 2008, it became the Nationwide Series, then became the Xfinity Series that it is today in 2014. It is the racing series for rookie drivers seeking a chance at the big leagues with legendary drivers.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the crown jewel of NASCAR. It’s the racing series every driver wants to race in. When it first started, it was called the Strictly Stock Series in 1949, then later changed to the Grand National Series in 1950. It was changed again in 1971 and became known as the Winston Cup Series. From 2003 to 2007, it was known as the Nextel Cup, then from 2008 to 2016, it was known as the Sprint Cup Series. The cars used for the Monster Energy Series are capable of reaching speeds of 200 miles per hour. The three most well known champions of the Monster Energy series are Richard Petty who drove the STP # 43, Dale Earnhardt Sr. who drove the Goodwrench # 3, and Jimmie Johnson, who last year, won his 7th championship cup in this series driving the Lowe’s # 48, tieing up with championship wins alongside Richard and Dale Sr.

Now that we have gotten through all of the different series of NASCAR racing, let’s take a ride back to how the race tracks became what they are today. Before we even had stock cars today, drivers raced in Hudson Hornets and Volkswagen Beetles on smooth rally dirt tracks. That is what NASCAR used to be before everything changed in the world of racing. In today’s races, we use superspeedways, mile tracks,and asphalt road courses, but no more rally races.

NASCAR has come a long way since 1948. It has changed so many times from dirt tracks to asphalt high speed supertracks. But the one thing that will never change about NASCAR is the drivers, the cautions, and Victory Lane.

The one thing we all expect to hear on every Sunday, from February to November, are the quotes that have made racing famous. From “Drivers, start your engines!” to former NASCAR driver Darrell Waltrip “Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, Let’s Go Racing Boys!!” there’s no doubt that NASCAR is the greatest sport in the United States.

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The Evolution of NASCAR