From smuggling to the birth of NASCAR. A travel through American racing history

NASCAR’s history begins in the turbulent times of Prohibitionism in the US, between 1920 and 1933, when producing, selling and transporting alcohol was illegal.
In this context the “moonshiners” were born, which were a group of smugglers that were secretly producing and transporting alcohol, mostly during night. Hence that name.
To escape the police and federal forces, these smugglers modified their cars to make them faster, despite keeping an appearence that was as normal as possible.
These changes included better engines, reinforced suspensions and other changes to improve the car’s speed and improve its speed and manoeuvrability. “Moonshiners” became good drivers, learning to drive at high speed on tortuous routes and in dangerous conditions.
With the ending of prohibitionism in 1933, driving skills and modified cars were not necessary to transport alcohol illegally anymore.
However, adrenaline and excitement that came through speed had created a culture of competition. So drivers began organizing informa races against each other, to challenge themselves and show their abilities.
These races got the attention of Bill France Sr., a promoter of races and a mechanic in Daytona Beach, Florida. He saw the potential of these races and decided to organize them in a formal and structured way. In 1947, alongside other dirvers and promoters, France began working to standardize rules and create an organized championship.
The 21st february 1948, he officially founded the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. Better known as NASCAR.
The first official race happened in 19th june 1949 at Charlotte, North Carolina. From then, NASCAR has grown to becoming one of the most popular and followed championships in the world, with millions of fans and events that happen through the entirety of the US.
This championship’s birth, from alcohol smuggling, gives it a unique and adventurous history. Going from illegal activity to a legitimate and professional sport proves the ability of its first drivers and Bill France Sr.’s vision. This story is now part of the charm NASCAR brings worldwide.

RaceFever: you can’t rule speed.

Tommaso Fatichi


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