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General Discussions => General Chit Chat => Topic started by: Cheryl on March 22, 2007, 05:31:22 PM

Title: "Traditions" of NASCAR
Post by: Cheryl on March 22, 2007, 05:31:22 PM
I mentioned last night in the chat that I am currently reading a book called Driving With the Devil by Neal Thompson, lent to me by Lou's boss, Jim.  I highly recommend it.  It chronicles several moonshiners from Dawsonville, Georgia and the start of stock car racing even before NA$CAR was organized by Big Bill France in 1948. 

One section I was reading yesterday is pretty enlightening.  At the time (1938-40), France was a race promoter AND race car driver.  Here's an interesting excerpt which really tells you how the France family has twisted the rules to suit their own purposes for over 60 years: "France, however, drove one of the slowest qualifying laps and failed to qualify for his own race.  So did Daytona's other star, Smokey Purser, and it looked as if France would have to sit and watch Atlantans dominate his race once more.  But in a move that presaged the self-serviing decision-making style of the future NASCAR, France broke his own rules and allowed Purser and himself - to join the race.  At the time, no other racer was willing to challenge France, which in subsequent years only heightened his willingness to bend and break the rules." 

So there you have it!  This is one tradition that NA$CAR and France family still honors - manipulating the rules to suit themselves. ::)  So I guess you could say this was the start of the "promoters provisionals..."


Title: Re: "Traditions" of NASCAR
Post by: cowboy271 on March 23, 2007, 01:28:43 AM
Cheryl, thanks.  I guess it's evolved to promoters winner?

Title: Re: "Traditions" of NASCAR
Post by: shawn on March 23, 2007, 02:15:06 AM
Sounds like a great book, and I'm going to have to get it. 

Title: Re: "Traditions" of NASCAR
Post by: Cheryl on March 23, 2007, 12:30:40 PM
I guess it's evolved to promoters winner?

Naw, Bill France, Sr. disqualified the winner and 2nd place guy once in the 30s so he could declare himself the winner.  So that tradition goes way back too. 


Title: Re: "Traditions" of NASCAR
Post by: Desmond on March 23, 2007, 04:54:49 PM
And to think, to paraphrase the movie Casablanca, "I am shocked" at what is going on in NASCAR today, with all the fines and penalties for the littlest violations.

I do want to clean up something from the chat.  The book also mentioned that the moonshiners were descendants of the Scots-Irish.  I'm just curious if anyone knows if my character's last name, "Barefoot," is one of them.  According to this link, the name is English in origin, but another source claims that it is Scottish.

http://www.ancestry.com/learn/facts/fact.aspx?&fid=10&fn=&ln=BAREFOOT (http://www.ancestry.com/learn/facts/fact.aspx?&fid=10&fn=&ln=BAREFOOT)

No big deal.  If none of you know, that's understandable.

Title: Re: "Traditions" of NASCAR
Post by: Cheryl on March 23, 2007, 05:42:37 PM
Another good line from the part of the book I read today at lunch.  From post-war 1945 when the people in Atlanta wanted to ban the moonshiners from Lakewood Speedway (by the way, they were unable to do so):

"But the sport's outlaw creators and fans would quickly be challenged by puritans trying to whitewash their sport.

Seems like they have finally achieved their goal.  It just took them over 60 years to do it.   :(


Title: Re: "Traditions" of NASCAR
Post by: old hot rodder on March 24, 2007, 03:53:31 PM
Cheryl---yep they have white washed it all right. :(

Desmond--I had a book which I never got around to reading about the impact of the Scpot Irish folks impact on America. Supposedly natural warriors, the Scot Irish claim R Reagan and people named Bush amongst their descendants, for whatever that means.

Title: Re: "Traditions" of NASCAR
Post by: Cheryl on March 28, 2007, 05:58:09 PM
Here's two more good excepts.  More about the tradition of changing the rules as they go along, from 1947 about Red Byron:

Byron would learn, time and again, that France's rule book was a never-ending work in progress and that he could bend, break, or replace his own rules on a whim.

Sounds like nothing has changed there in 60 years.

Now this part about how pit road came to be was something totally new to me:

In the early days, a trench was dug beside the start-finish line at most racetracks, where each car's backup crew kept gas cans and extra tires.  That trench, or "pit" was later replaced with a ground-level area that came to be called "pit road.

That's pretty fasinating to me!