incorporated after 6 days of first race
February 21, 1948
Six days after its first race was held,
NASCAR was officially incorporated as the National Association
for Stock Car Racing, with race promoter Bill France
as president. From the beginning, stock car racing had
a widespread appeal with its fan base. As the legend
goes, the sport evolved from Southern liquor smugglers
who souped up their pre-war Fords to outrun the police.
NASCAR brought the sport organization and legitimacy.
It was Bill France who realized that product identification
would increase enthusiasm for the sport. He wanted the
fans to see the cars they drove to the track win the
races on the track.
By 1949, all the postwar car models had been released,
so NASCAR held a 150-mile race at the Charlotte Speedway
to introduce its Grand National Division. The race was
restricted to late-model strictly stock automobiles.
NASCAR held nine Grand National events that year. By
the end of the year, it was apparent that the strictly
stock cars could not withstand the pounding of the Grand
Nationals, so NASCAR drafted rules to govern the changes
drivers could make to their cars. Modified stock car
racing was born.
Starting in 1953, the major auto makers invested heavily
in stock car racing teams, believing that good results
on the track would translate into better sales in the
showroom. In 1957, rising production costs and tightened
NASCAR rules forced the factories out of the sport.
Today NASCAR racing is the fastest growing spectator
sport in America.