NASCAR is an acronym for National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing and the association is currently the largest sanctioning body of motor sports in the US. It is hugely popular with sports fans in that country and has the second highest television ratings in the US. Besides this, various NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 150 countries across the globe – proof that the appeal of NASCAR racing is not just limited to the United States.
Part of this relates to the fact that participating vehicles are based on stock cars, which can be bought from a local dealer’s lot. This means that the sport is more accessible to aspiring drivers than other forms of racing. Another factor is that, even though the NASCAR headquarters are based in Daytona Beach, Florida, the sport is widespread with a number of sanctioned races being held at racing tracks across the country on a regular basis. The sport is also well-sponsored since advertisers recognise that NASCAR fans are generally the most brand-loyal of all sports fans.
It all began in Daytona Beach in the early 1900s. During that time, the beach was known for being the best place to set land speed records and many flocked here to watch or prove their worth. As many as fifteen records were set here before the Bonneville Salt Flats were seen as being a decidedly better location. It is said that during this time, many of those with the fastest cars paid for their motoring improvements by means of bootlegging. Their cars doubled as a quick getaway vehicle for their illegal bootlegging runs. Once alcohol was made legal, these wealthy car owners turned to the thrill of racing for entertainment and money and the legacy of NASCAR was born. The actual association was founded in 1948 by Bill France Sr who saw fit to get this burgeoning sport onto closed tracks under one organizational umbrella. Prior to the formation of NASCAR, the various tracks in operation generally made their own rules which made it difficult for drivers and mechanics meet vehicle and engine requirements at each track. Certainly, the organisation of the sport through NASCAR helped to catapult it to new heights.
Today NASCAR racing is clearly one of the most popular sports in the US. There are a variety of noted NASCAR drivers and NASCAR teams who have made their mark on the history of the sport. Many drivers have centred their entire career on the sport, with many enjoying a long and prosperous career. Some even pass on their legacy to their children. There are also a great number of NASCAR tracks which are seen as seasonal favourites and NASCAR racing series which draw larger attendances than normal. This section of Autoracing.com is dedicated to the great sport of NASCAR racing and it’s many different facets.
The acronym NHRA stands for National Hot Rod Association, the governing body for drag racing in the USA that both establishes regulations and organizes events across the country. The NHRA also seeks to promote drag racing and increase the sport’s popularity with fans while retaining sponsors for events and participants.
Founded in 1951 in California by Wally Parks, the NHRA saw as its prime mandate the need to get Hot Rodders off the streets and onto legal drag strips where safety for both racers and the general public could be ensured. Today, the NHRA is the largest drag racing authority in the world, with 300 employees, 80,000 members and 35,000 licensed competitors. The NHRA has over 140 member tracks throughout North America.
The most prestigious NHRA drag racing event in North America is the U.S. Nationals that are held bi-annually in summer and winter. This popular drag racing competition is held at the Indianapolis Raceway Park, home of the legendary Indy 500. The NHRA also stages the PowerAde Drag Racing Series. This series is made up of four classes: Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle, Top Fuel Dragster and Top Fuel Funny Car. Other sportsman classes are held for amateur, or “Sunday” racers, who would like to compete.
The NHRA supports many special educational initiatives such as the Youth and Education Services program and the Street Legal program. NHRA events attract thousands of loyal fans, and members are enthusiastic about their chosen sport. Schedules for upcoming NHRA events can be found in newspapers, racing magazines and online.