NASCAR (The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) is one of the oldest auto racing sanctioning bodies in the United States. It is currently a privately owned company which was founded in 1948 by William “Billy” France, a.k.a Big Billy.
Jim France, who is the second son of Big Billy has served as the C.E.O of the company since 2018. The company was previously headed by his older brother, Bill France Jr a.k.a, “Little Billy”.
How was NASCAR founded?
On the 8th of March 1936, a number of drivers with different cars- convertibles, hardtops, sports cars e.t.c converged at Daytona Beach, Florida to compete for the title of the best car and best driver. The race was slated for a 400 km journey but was abruptly stopped after 16 km after only 10 ten cars out of the 27 competing cars managed to complete the obstacles with ease. The bigger cars found it more difficult to navigate the obstacles.
A young Bill France Sr competed in this race and placed 5th. Milt Marion was crowned the winner.
After the race, Bill France got the idea of creating a car racing series across the country, not only in Florida but in other states where the best drivers in the country could compete. Prize money and a trophy were to be given to the driver with the most state wins. He pitched the idea to the American Automobile Association at the time but was declined.
He went ahead to organise his own competitions. He funded the races by himself and awarded the best drivers with the promised prize money worth thousands of dollars and a trophy. The first racing series was an astounding success. He later invited the winners of the races to a conference to discuss the formation of the National Championship Stock Car Circuit “NCSCC”
Over the years the “NCSCC” developed into NASCAR. The successes of the company has grown from strength to strength since then. The son of Bill Snr, Bill Jr, took over when his father retired.
William Bill France Sr passed away on the 7th of June 1992 aged 72. He was born on the 26th of September, 1909 to an American father and Irish Immigrant mother.