It’s Where NASCAR Began
It was back in 1946 when race promoter Bill France wanted to stage a 100-mile race at the Charlotte, North Carolina Fairgrounds. He wanted to call it a national championship event, but there was no national organization to put its official stamp on it. So he created one – the National Championship Stock-Car Circuit.
Beginning in 1947 he arranged races all over the South beginning with a 160-mile race at Daytona Beach. There were more than dozen tracks on the schedule with a guaranteed purse of $2,000 at each event. France kept track of standings and tried to enforce rules, paid the drivers on time and kept a part of the entry money to award a season champion.
But France had a tough time enforcing rules on so many different types of cars and engines, so he called a meeting in Daytona to create a larger organization with more specific rules and what emerged was the National Association for Stock-Car Auto Racing. We know it today as NASCAR.
NASCAR rules called for various classes of races with the top division featuring only late model stock cars with strict engine rules and on this date in 1949 a crowd of 13-thousand watched as Jim Roper won the very first NASCAR Grand National event on a three-quarter mile track at the Charlotte Fairgrounds.
The Grand Nationals later became the Winston Cup Series. We know it today as Sprint Cup.