|Credit: Ron McQueeney, Indianapolis Motor Speedway|
The once regional sport of NASCAR is truly a national pastime.
Throngs of NASCAR fans exist in every state of this great nation and abroad, too! While many long for the roots of NASCAR, I applaud the branching out and inclusiveness of the modern version of the sport.
With races in California, Arizona, Kansas, Illinois, and New Hampshire, the country is connected via NASCAR.
Certainly the South lays claim to the formation and growth of the sport, but I do know racing was not restricted to states with red dirt and Southern drawls.
Wherever there were towns and communities with more than one car, racing existed.
Wherever boys with tools tinkered and tuned those cars, racing existed.
Wherever a fast-talkin’ barker could manipulate a crowd to pay for something they had once seen for free, racing existed.
But I want to give credit where it is due. The Southern whiskey runners who ran their Fords to Hell and back, learned their cars and the winding roads better than they ever learned their ABCs, and couldn’t stay away from the racetracks shaped this sport.
The men who slept with their cars more often than they slept with women, smelled of gasoline and oil, sweat and red clay dirt, and lived to race made this sport what it was.
And “Big” Bill France, the South’s best salesman, manipulated the sport and formed it into the likeness that suited him.
It was “Big” Bill France who wanted his Southern sport to go National, hence the name the Grand National Series.
“Big” Bill France was constantly looking to expand the racing circuit for his fledgling series into northern and western markets.
The France family has succeeded in creating a truly national auto racing sport.
NASCAR is truly a mix of rich history and tradition with tracks in Daytona and Darlington, and modern venues like Las Vegas and the aforementioned Phoenix.
I’m always so proud to say I am a NASCAR fan. The fact that it is truly a national sport is yet another reason why I love NASCAR.