Here’s a look at NASCAR, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.
It is the main governing body for stock car racing in the United States.
NASCAR was created by William H.G. (Bill) France, a stock car driver and gas station owner.
Stock cars are large, late model sedans that have been built especially for racing.
The stock car’s large engine allows it to reach speeds exceeding 200 miles per hour.
NASCAR runs three national series: NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, which is for trucks only.
Most stock car races are held on oval asphalt tracks. The distance of race tracks can vary from .526-mile to 2.66-mile in the Cup Series and 4.048-mile in the Xfinity Series.
NASCAR has varying colored flags, with different meanings, to direct drivers.
The most common flags are:
- Green: Signals the beginning of the race and any restarts.
- Yellow: Signals an accident or debris caused by contact or mechanical failure, or weather-related issues. The track is not clear. Slow down and hold your position behind the pace car.
- Red: Cars must go to a designated location and stop immediately due to a safety issue.
- White: There is one lap remaining in the race.
- Black and White Checkered: The race is over.
Some of the top races include the Daytona 500, GEICO 500, Coca-Cola 600, Southern 500 and the Brickyard 400.
Richard Petty has the most NASCAR Cup Series career wins of any racer, with 200 wins. He is known as the “King” of stock car racing.
Kyle Busch has the most all-time career wins across the three national series, with 213 wins (as of November 2020).
Petty, Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jimmie Johnson are tied for the most Cup championships, with seven each. Johnson is the only NASCAR Cup Series driver to win five consecutive championships (2006-2010).
Earnhardt Sr. earned 76 Cup Series wins and is the all-time race winner at Daytona International Speedway, with 34 wins. Earnhardt died in an accident on the last lap of the Daytona 500 on February 18, 2001. There has not been a death in NASCAR’s top series since then.
Pre-1947 - Early stock car races are held on local beaches and streets.
December 1947 - NASCAR is formed by amateur stock car driver and gas station owner William H.G. (Bill) France Sr. from Daytona Beach, Florida.
February 15, 1948 - The first NASCAR sanctioned race is held on Daytona’s beach course. Red Byron, from Atlanta, wins the event.
February 21, 1948 - NASCAR is incorporated.
1950 - The Darlington Raceway opens in Darlington, South Carolina, and hosts the Southern 500, the first NASCAR race run on a paved road.
1959 - The Daytona 500 takes place on the newly opened Daytona International Speedway.
1961 - ABC televises the Firecracker 250 from Daytona Beach.
January 10, 1972 - Bill France Sr., passes the leadership of NASCAR to his son Bill France Jr.
1979 - The Daytona 500 becomes the first 500-mile race to be televised live in its entirety.
May 14, 1994 - France Jr. announces the creation of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, then called the NASCAR SuperTruck Series.
February 18, 2001 - Earnhardt Sr. dies in an accident on the last lap of the Daytona 500.
2004 - Nextel becomes the new Cup Series sponsor, replacing R.J. Reynolds’ Winston brand after 33 years.
2004 - NASCAR introduces a new system for deciding a champion. After a 26-race regular season, the top drivers compete for the championship. The driver who has the most points at the end of the final 10 races is the Cup Series champion.
2007 - NASCAR announces that the premier series’ name will change from the Nextel Cup Series to the Sprint Cup Series and that Nationwide Insurance will replace Anheuser Busch as the main sponsor of NASCAR’s number two series.
December 2007 - Sears/Craftsman announces that it will end its sponsorship of the NASCAR Truck Series after 13 years.
October 24, 2008 - NASCAR announces that Camping World will replace Craftsman as the sponsor of the Truck Series. The renamed Camping World Truck Series begins in 2009.
2010 - Sprint becomes the new Cup Series sponsor, replacing Nextel.
March 4, 2013 - Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage announces that the National Rifle Association will sponsor the NASCAR Sprint Cup event in Texas on April 13. The race will be called the NRA 500 and will be run during prime time.
January 22, 2014 - NASCAR makes changes to its post-season process: 16 teams instead of 12 will now compete in a 10 race elimination playoff. Four drivers will compete in the final championship race. The first to finish wins the Sprint Cup.
September 3, 2014 - NASCAR announces that the Nationwide Series will have a new sponsor beginning January 1, 2015, Comcast’s XFINITY.
September 19, 2016 - The CEO of a company called Diversity Motorsports sues NASCAR for racial discrimination, claiming that the organization declined to sanction a team affiliated with African American comedian Steve Harvey. NASCAR releases a statement declaring that the claim of discrimination has no merit and the plaintiff is seeking publicity. Harvey says that he doesn’t want to have anything to do with the $500 million suit during an episode of his radio show. The court dismisses the case without prejudice on November 28, 2016.
December 1, 2016 - NASCAR announces that it has signed a multi-year deal with Monster Energy, which replaces Sprint as entitlement sponsor. NASCAR’s top series of races will be named after the beverage company.
May 8, 2018 - NASCAR announces that sponsorship of the Truck Series will be expanded and renamed for the launch of Camping World partner brand Gander Outdoors. The Gander Outdoors Truck Series begins in 2019.
August 6, 2018 - Brian France announces that he is taking an indefinite leave of absence after being arrested on New York’s Long Island on allegations of aggravated driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance. NASCAR Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President Jim France, Brian France’s uncle, assumes the role of interim chairman and CEO.
August 30, 2019 - The Washington Free Beacon reports that NASCAR rejected advertisements for its souvenir programs from multiple firearms companies over the summer as part of what is being seen as a “gradual shift” in its position on assault weapons.
November 19, 2019 - NASCAR announces that the Gander Outdoors Truck Series will be rebranded as the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series beginning in 2020.
December 5, 2019 - NASCAR announces that the premier series’ name will change to the NASCAR Cup Series beginning in 2020 and will feature four cornerstone brands as Premier Partners, Busch Beer, Coca-Cola, GEICO and Xfinity.
February 14, 2020 - NASCAR reveals that the champion of the NASCAR Cup Series will be awarded the Bill France Cup beginning in 2020. The cup is a tribute to NASCAR founder, France Sr.
March 16, 2020 - Due to the coronavirus outbreak, NASCAR says it has postponed races in its national circuits through May 3.
March 17, 2020 - NASCAR and iRacing announce the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series, an exhibition esport series on a simulated platform featuring former and current NASCAR drivers, slated to premiere on March 22.
June 10, 2020 - NASCAR bans the display of the Confederate flag from all races and events.
September 15, 2020 - NASCAR announces Camping World will resume sponsorship of the Truck Series. Beginning in 2021, it will once again be known as the Camping World Truck Series.