And on this day in 1936, that’s exactly what they did. The first oval stock car race was held on what was then known as the Daytona Beach Road Course. It was a big deal for several reasons. First? Well, Daytona – enough said. But even more importantly, that course had a great deal to do with that nifty organization we now call NASCAR.
As you might imagine, the speedway of 1936 bore little resemblance to the one we enjoy today. In fact, the term “road course” was even a bit of a stretch, as the original speedway included about 2 miles of the beach itself. Yes, you read that right: the participants raced on a sandy surface for nearly half the length of the track.
City officials from Daytona Beach had hired promoters to organize that first race, but between driver squabbles about the race itself and the fact that the race was stopped after 75 of 78 laps, it was a losing proposition. The event was a failure, as was a similar event held in 1937. A race participant and organizer, William France Sr., took over running the track in 1938 – a year which included two races, both turning a profit. France continued to run the track until 1942, when WWII put a temporary halt to most racing activity.
As a racer and organizer, France realized the need to get the promoters all on the same page, and in December of 1947, he want into talks to form the racing organization we now call NASCAR.
Whether you’re a fan of the big guys or you’re someone who’s just getting started in racing of any kind, we’re here to keep you up to speed. A number of the NASCAR greats appear in our Sports Collectibles category, and our Automotive category is a treasure trove of cars, parts and trailers. Even better, we log some pretty impressive track speeds, too: we get your ad online within minutes!