From the 1920s, with the rise in the popularity of cars, stock cars began to have a particular reputation among the general public of the United States. This only increased after the Second World War, where, because they wanted to forget the horrors and crises that occurred in that period, the population was crying out for alternatives of diversion.
However, all these competitions were sporadic and took place in precarious conditions, with no rules dictating races in general, which were constantly changing from one event to another. It happened most of the time in Daytona Beach, Florida, and even with precarious conditions, thousands of spectators were attracted.
Initially, stock cars could be defined as” stock cars,”” that is, vehicles that came directly from the factory in that way and that, to compete, could not rely on modifications in search of higher speed and power. It was in this context that Nascar emerged, the largest organizer of such events in the world. In this article, we will tell more about the history of this brand, which today presents itself as one of the biggest.
The foundation and the first years
Above, it was discussed the general context that the United States and more specifically, Florida live in 1948. At a meeting held at the Streamline Hotel, William France and Ed Otto founded the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing on February 21. The two founders had already had experience in this field, since on dates before that time they had already organized events involving modified racing cars.
The main goal of the association was to create rules that would standardize races between stock cars in the United States, as this could favor the growth of that type of activity, as well as its popularity among the general public that was already interested in poorly organized events. The first race of which Nascar is entirely held took place just a year later, on June 19, 1949, in the state of North Carolina.
This was the first year of Nascar competition, becoming known as Strickly Stock and featuring eight stages. In the early days of this sport, the circuits had, for the most part, an average of 800 to 1500 meters long and were made of dirt, due to the high asphalting costs that existed at the time. The first made entirely of asphalt and which was more than 1 mile (about 1.6 km) long was the Darlington Raceway.
The first changes
The first notable changes in the events organized by Nascar occurred in the 1950s. This is because it is in this period that the first modifications are allowed – until now only original hiking vehicles could run at these events – which were mainly related to the safety of the pilot, but also associated with a higher power and speed of the car.
In 1959, Daytona International Speedway opened its doors, not knowing that it would become one of the most striking and essential circuits in the history of motorsport. However, due to the excellent conditions of the channel and the higher power of the vehicles, it would, in the first place, lead to some tragedies.
Among the most notable, in 1960 there was a massive accident in an event promoted by Nascar, precisely at Daytona International Speedway. More than half of the vehicles that participated in that event were involved in the collision, where cars drove, hit each other and even flipped over. After a series of similar events, Nascar began to ensure that the cars had more security.
An example of this is that in 1965 the vehicles were produced especially for the events and for the pilots. This was a perfect choice, given that the level of competitions had risen considerably, the cars had become safer, fewer tragedies had taken place, and more people were interested. All these factors contributed to the entry of great brands in this branch, which was going to change Nascar’s history forever. To advertise their cars, significant carmakers such as Ford, Chrysler, and Chevrolet manufactured and sponsored the teams, which led to several individuals living entirely in this profession.
Nascar as international business and sponsorship
Since the 1980s, Nascar has been seen as a consolidated brand and an active business, as aids were worth millions of dollars and TV broadcasts were not cheap at all. This was further strengthened from 1994, when the first racing-based computer game was released, which was titled Nascar Racing.
Besides, to attract sponsors from other countries, broadcasts began to be made outside the United States. The measure was highly accurate and yielded the expected effect of the company’s organizers. It also motivated the creation of divisions outside the U.S., such as the Nascar Canadian Tires Series in Canada, and the Nascar Mexico Corona Series in Mexico.
All this globalization regarding sport has attracted even more drivers to pursue this career. In this way, new talent performed in Nascar’s primary division, including some from other countries, growing the passion and the fans for the sport also outside the U.S. limits.
How Nascar currently works
Nascar currently organizes and promotes three main national divisions, as well as dozens of regional organizations that take place in the several American States. No clue in all Nascar’s existing circuits is the same. Some are Oval, triple oval, made on street circuits, all with different lengths and conditions. Among all events, the most famous is the Daytona 500 and Allstate Brickyard 400. The main divisions are:
- Sprint Cup: The Sprint Cup is currently Nascar’s top division, with the best teams and the most talented drivers. As of 2004 Nascar has incorporated into this division a concept seen in the vast majority of American sports: the playoffs. Basically, in the first 26 events, the drivers score traditionally and, at the end of them, the top 12 teams qualify for another stage. This, in turn, has ten events where the champion is defined;
- Nationwide Series: it is widely seen as the second division of Nascar, where the central and more traditional teams put their younger drivers to develop and prepare for the Sprint Cup. It is performed in cars also with V8 technology engine but with the power of 800 HP;
In addition to all these events, every year, Nascar promotes a development called the All-Star Challenge. This name is not uncommon since several other American sports make it, such as basketball – also called All-Star – and American Football – called the Pro Bowl.
It does not count the point for the division, but it is done with the best riders in the world, which will be chosen by the following criteria: the winners of this event over the past ten years. Some of the winners from the evidence of the last couple of years in the top flight, a pilot is chosen by the public, and each other, that is ineligible by an event of many that they would not be in the All-Star, according to the previous criteria, where the winner will participate in.