To say Bobby Price is a fan of racing is an understatement. The Nashville-based car collector and auto industry entrepreneur owns two decommissioned NASCAR stock cars and a Don Gartlits “Swamp Rat” dragster. Here, Price outlines a brief history of NASCAR racing.
December 1947 – The National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing is born out of a meeting in a Daytona Beach hotel room.
According to Bobby Price, the gathering was organized by Bill France, Sr. and covered fundamentals of the sport including crowd control and vehicle regulations.
February 1948 – The first official NASCAR race is held in Daytona Beach.
September 1950 – The first asphalt race is held at Darlington. Bobby Price notes that all prior races had been on dirt tracks.
December 1963 – Wendell Scott wins at Jacksonville Speedway, becoming the first African-American to triumph at a premiere NASCAR division race.
November 1979 – Richard Petty has the longest-running championship win streak in the industry with seven. This record, notes Bobby Price, remains unbroken until 1994.
June 1992 – NASCAR founder Bill France, Sr. dies at his home in Florida after suffering with Alzheimer’s disease.
1993 – Bobby Price says 1993 was a monumental year for NASCAR with two major speedways built–New Hampshire and Indianapolis. New Hampshire is the first NASCAR facility built in New England.
1998 – NASCAR expands into Las Vegas.
November 2002 – Tony Stewart wins the Winston Cup Championship. At 31 years of age, Stewart was one of the youngest drivers to wins a major championship, prompting other young drivers to compete. This new generation of NASCAR competitor gained popularity with the addition of Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., says Bobby Price.
2003 – Bill France Sr.’s grandson, Brian France, is named Chairman and CEO of NASCAR. Bill France, Jr. had previously held the position after his father’s retirement.
November 2008 – Jimmie Johnson wins his third consecutive Sprint Cup championship and is named by the Associated Press as Male Athlete of the Year. Bobby Price notes that this was the first time a NASCAR driver had been recognized by the award.
December 2012 – NASCAR gets back to roots with unveiling of Generation 6 cars, which are safer than highly modified racers and are similar in appearance to their show-room floor counterparts.