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Dec. 14 important date in NASCAR history

A plaque at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla., that references the creation of NASCAR by Bill France Sr. at the hotel (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

A plaque at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla., that references the creation of NASCAR by Bill France Sr. at the hotel (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

December 14 is an important day in NASCAR in history, because on this day 70 years ago, Bill France Sr. gathered a group at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla., for an initial meeting to discuss the creation of a stock-car racing sanctioning body. The group met multiple times, and on Feb. 21, 1948, NASCAR was officially formed. Fast forward to Dec. 14, 2017, and several of NASCAR’s current dignitaries have returned to the Streamline to commemorate the beginning of NASCAR’s birth.

NASCAR wasn’t France’s first attempt at forming a stock-car racing sanctioning body. He formed the National Championship Stock Car Circuit in early 1947 and that circuit ran nearly 40 races in a season from January to December that year, with the champion, Fonty Flock, winning $1000 and a trophy as the series champion after winning seven of the 24 races he entered.

France met with 35 drivers from the NCSCC four times at the Streamline Hotel in the process of creating NASCAR in late 1947 and early 1948. The sport’s official birthdate is Feb. 21, 1948, but that birth came from a labor that began 70 years ago today on Dec. 14, 1947.

NASCAR wasn’t the first name thrown around for the new racing sanctioning body. The first name selected was National Stock Car Racing Association. But someone pointed out that name was already in use by another racing sanctioning body. Mechanic Red Vogt is credited with coming up with the name, “NASCAR.”

The Modified division was the top NASCAR series in that first season of 1948. Red Byron won the first race at Daytona Beach and was the first champion of that series, based on a points system that was outlined, first, on a bar napkin.

The Strictly Stock division, the precursor of today’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, debuted a year later with Jim Roper winning the first race in Charlotte, N.C. Byron also was the first champion of the Strictly Stock division. The 1949 season was the only year the top series raced under the “Strictly Stock” banner, with the name changing to the “Grand National Series” in 1950.

A lot has happened in 70 years. Three drivers — Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson — have won seven championships in the premier series, and Petty was crowned the sport’s “King,” partly due to him being the first driver to achieve seven championship and partly due to his series-leading 200 wins.

Many things have changed. NASCAR hasn’t raced on the beach at Daytona since the big Daytona International Speedway opened in the late 1950s. But some things stay the same. Martinsville (Va.) Speedway is still around, as it’s the only track still on the Cup Series schedule that was on the initial schedule in 1948.

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Posted by on December 14, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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