The 30’s . . . .
April 4, 1933 -- William Clay
France, past president of NASCAR, is born in Washington, D.C.
March 3, 1936 -- Tiny Lund, who
came from Iowa in the '50s to become one of NASCAR's biggest stars in
several different series, is born in Harlan, Iowa. He's best-known for
winning the 1963 Daytona 500.
March 8, 1936 -- Bill France, who
operates a local gas station, finishes fifth in the first stock car race
ever held in Daytona Beach, Fla. It's on a course that includes a southbound
leg of Highway A1A, then northbound along the beach south of the city.
The 40’s . . . .
Jan. 24, 1940 -- NASCAR founder and
long-time president Bill France Sr. was declared the National Stock Car
champion in 1940
Jan. 25, 1941 -- Elzie Wylie
(Buddy) Baker, the first man to drive a stock car more than 200 miles per
hour and a 19-time NASCAR Winston Cup winner (including three Coca-Cola
World 600s, three Winston 500s, a Daytona 500, Mountain Dew Southern 500 and
DieHard 500), is born in Florence, S.C.
Jan. 26, 1947 -- Red Byron,
returning to stock car racing after an ill-fated attempt at AAA-sponsored
Indy-car racing, wins the season-opening 160-mile race on the highway/beach
course in Daytona Beach, Fla. Two years later, he would emerge as NASCAR's
first Winston Cup champion.
Feb. 21, 1948 -- NASCAR is
Feb. 27, 1949 -- An experimental
five-lap, 10-mile NASCAR Winston Cup race, won by Benny Georgeson of Ft.
Laurderdale, is held at the 2-mile dirt Broward County Speedway in south
The 50’s . . . .
Feb. 4, 1950 -- Even though racing
has been a February fixture in Daytona Beach for years, the first race of
the first official "Speed Week" program is a 100-mile Modified race on the
4.17-mile highway/beach course. Gober Sosebee wins it ahead of Fireball
Roberts and Red Cummings.
April 2, 1950 -- Tim Flock, who
will win two NASCAR Winston Cup championships and 39 more races, gets career
victory No. 1 at the 3/4-mile dirt Charlotte (N.C.) Speedway.
April 8, 1951 -- NASCAR Winston Cup
makes its debut on the West Coast, as Marshall Teague wins a 100-mile race
on a half-mile dirt track at Gardena, Calif.
Jan. 20, 1952 -- Tim Flock wins a
200-lap, 100-mile dirt track race at West Palm Beach, Fla., a victory that
kick-starts him toward the 1952 NASCAR Winston Cup championship.
Jan. 28, 1958 -- David Green, the
1994 NASCAR Busch Grand National champion and runnerup for 1997 NASCAR
Winston Cup rookie of the year, is born in Owensboro, Ky.
Feb. 10, 1952 -- Joie Ray is the
first African-American to start a NASCAR-sanctioned race. Driving a Henry J,
he starts 25th and finishes 51st on the beach/highway course in Daytona
March 30, 1952 -- Only one of the
eight Hudson Hornets that start the 200-lap, 125-mile race finish at North
Wilkesboro (N.C.), but that was the one of race-winner Herb Thomas. He
started on the pole and led all 200 laps in beating Fonty Flock by a full
Feb. 14, 1953 -- A field of 136
entries starts the NASCAR Modified/Sportsman race on the beach/road course
in Daytona Beach, Fla. It remains the largest starting field in NASCAR
April 5, 1953 -- Dick Passwater
wins a 150-lap race on the 3/4-mile dirt Charlotte (N.C.) Speedway after
most of the favorites fall out or make late-race pit stops. The 112.5-mile
race sees a then-record six drivers swap the lead 18 times before Passwater
leads the final three laps for his only career NASCAR Winston Cup victory.
March 26, 1955 -- Fonty Flock gives
Chevrolet its first NASCAR Winston Cup victory in a 200-lap, 100-mile
dirt-track race at Columbia (S.C.) Speedway
April 3, 1955 — Buck Baker defeats
Dick Rathmann by three feet at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway in the
closest NASCAR Winston Cup finish to that point.
Jan. 22, 1956 -- Chrysler drivers
Buck Baker, Frank Mundy and Tim Flock give owner Carl Kiekhaefer a 1-2-3
finish in a 150-lap NASCAR Winston Cup dirt-track race at the 1-mile Arizona
State Fairgrounds at Phoenix.
Feb. 6, 1956 -- Mel Larson is the
first driver to use an on-board camera in a NASCAR race. Footage was used in
March 18, 1956 -- Driving a 1956
Mercury that speaks to the music of the time, Jim Paschal finishes fourth in
a rain-shortened, 108-lap race at the half-mile dirt Wilson (N.C.) Speedway.
The ``CU Later Alligator'' car finishes behind the Smokey Yunick-prepared
Chevrolet of winner Herb Thomas and the Carl Kiekhaefer-owned Chryslers of
teammates Buck Baker and Tim Flock
Feb. 17, 1957 -- Cotton Owens, in a
Pontiac, becomes the first NASCAR Winston Cup driver to win with an average
speed faster than 100 mph. He averages 101.541 in winning a 160-mile race on
the Daytona Beach (Fla.) highway/beach course.
March 17, 1957 -- Ralph Moody
starts fourth and leads the final 100 laps of a 200-lap race at Wilson
(N.C.) Speedway, defeating second-place Buck Baker by two laps. It is the
fifth and final victory as a driver for Moody, who will go on to earn even
greater fame as a car owner with John Holman.
Feb. 23, 1958 -- Paul Goldsmith
wins the final NASCAR race ever staged on the highway/beach course in
Daytona Beach, Fla.
March 6, 1958 -- 4 days after being
flagged third, Lee Petty is certified as winner of a 200-lap, 100-mi
Concord, NC dirt-track race
Jan. 6, 1959 -- Officials at the
brand-new Daytona International Speedway mail out entry blanks for the
inaugural Daytona 500, a race that boasts a total purse of $67,760.
Jan. 9, 1959 -- Mark Martin,
successful driver Winston Cup and Busch Series racing, is born in
Jan. 13, 1959 -- Ernie Irvan,
winner of the ‘91 Daytona 500 & 14 other major NASCAR events since 1990, is
born in Salinas, Calif.
Feb. 1, 1959 -- Cars get on the
brand-new 2.5-mile, high-banked Daytona International Speedway for the first
Feb. 7, 1959 -- Driving a Chevrolet
convertible, Gene White is the first driver to qualify for a NASCAR Winston
Cup Series race at the Daytona International Speedway
Feb. 20, 1959 -- Shorty Rollins
wins the first stock car race at the new Daytona International Speedway, a
100-mile qualifying event for convertibles entered in the Daytona 500.
Feb. 22, 1959 -- The first Daytona
500 at the Daytona International Speedway sees Lee Petty beat Johnny
Beauchamp in a photo finish. It takes officials three days to determine the
March 22, 1959 -- After having his
apparent victory in the Daytona 500 overturned exactly a month earlier,
Johnny Beauchamp gets his first NASCAR Winston Cup victory in a 100-lap race
at the 1-mile dirt Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta
The 60’s . . . .
Jan. 31, 1960 -- Television finally
discovers NASCAR as the CBS Sports Spectacular airs a two-hour live special
on the two qualifying races for the upcoming Daytona 500.
Feb. 8, 1960 -- NASCAR enters drag
racing by sanctioning a meet at the Flagler Airport in Flagler Beach, just
north of Daytona
Feb. 28, 1960 -- Richard Petty gets
the first of his record 200 career NASCAR Winston Cup victories. It's in a
200-lap, 100-mile race at the half-mile dirt Charlotte (N.C.) Fairgrounds
March 4, 1961 -- Wendell Scott of
Danville, Va. becomes the first African-American to join the NASCAR Winston
Cup tour on a full-time basis. His debut at Piedmont Interstate Speedway in
Spartanburg, S.C. with a 17th-place finish in a 1960 Chevrolet.
Feb. 24, 1963 -- Tiny Lund, who had
helped rescue Marvin Panch from a burning car 11 days earlier, wins the
Daytona 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race for the Wood brothers.
March 31, 1963 -- Fireball Roberts,
in his first start for the potent Holman-Moody Ford team, leads the final
eight laps to win the Southeastern 500 at the Bristol (Tenn.) Motor
Speedway. He beats teammate Fred Lorenzen, the only other driver in the lead
lap, after they renew an old feud by ramming each other during the middle of
Jan. 19, 1964 -- Defending NASCAR
Winston Cup champion Joe Weatherly is killed during the Motor Trend 500 at
the Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway
Jan. 17, 1965 -- Firestone Tire &
Rubber Co. introduces its "Racesafe" fuel cell into NASCAR racing at
Riverside, Calif. Race.
March 13, 1966 -- Only three of the
13 factory-backed cars finish the Peach Blossom 500 at the N.C. Motor
Speedway at Rockingham, but they finish 1-2-8: the Plymouth of Paul
Goldsmith, the Ford of Cale Yarborough and the Dodge of David Pearson.
Independents Bobby Allison, Harold Smith and John Sears finish third, fourth
Jan. 29, 1967 -- Sports car road
racer Parnelli Jones wins the rain-delayed Motor Trend 500 at the Riverside
(Calif.) International Raceway to snap the four-race RIR winning streak of
fellow road racer Dan Gurney.
Feb. 26, 1967 -- Mario Andretti,
who later will find fame and fortune in Indy-car and Formula One racing,
wins the Daytona 500 in a No. 11 Ford prepared by Holman-Moody.
Feb. 25, 1968 -- Dave Marcis makes
his NASCAR Winston Cup debut in the Daytona 500. He's the only active driver
to have raced in the decade of the '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s. (Later add the
2000’s to that!)
The 70’s . . . .
March 1, 1970 -- James Hylton gets
the first of his two career victories, this one in a 500-lap, 271-mile race
at the .542-mile Richmond (Va.) Fairgrounds Raceway.
March 24, 1970 -- Buddy Baker is
the first stock car driver to run more than 200 miles per hour. He does it
in a winged Dodge Daytona during tire tests at the Talladega (Ala.)
Jan. 1, 1971-- NASCAR announces a
10 % reduction in all of its NASCAR Winston Cup race distances due to energy
Jan. 10, 1971 -- NASCAR's ``modern
era'' of Winston Cup racing opens as Ray Elder wins the Motor Trend 500 at
the Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway.
Jan. 11, 1972 -- NASCAR founder &
president Bill France Sr. retires & passes family business control to his
sons, Bill & Jim.
Jan. 18, 1972 -- STP executive Andy
Grantelli announces his company's sponsorship deal with Richard Petty's No.
43 NASCAR Winston Cup team, an association that continues to this day.
March 12, 1972 -- Bobby Isaac, who
had struggled on superspeedways since winning the 1970 NASCAR Winston Cup
championship, beats Richard Petty by a full lap in the Carolina 500 at the
N.C. Motor Speedway near Rockingham. It was his 37th career victory, but
only his third on a superspeedway.
March 14, 1972 -- David Pearson
wins the first race in NASCAR's new short-track Grand National East series.
It's run at Jax Raceway in Jacksonville, Fla.
Jan. 21, 1973 -- Mark Donohue, who
later will make his mark in Trans-Am and Can-Am racing, gets his only career
NASCAR Winston Cup victory in the season-opening Winston Western 500 at
Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway.
March 25, 1973 -- In a stunning
display of speed and handling, Cale Yarborough leads all 500 laps of the
Southeastern 500 at the Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Driving for owners
Richard Howard and Junior Johnson, he laps the field within the first 100
laps and beats second-place Richard Petty by two laps and third-place Bobby
Allison by five.
Jan. 16, 1975 -- Ricky Rudd
outperforms his brother, Al, in a two-man test session at a Virginia short
track to see which of them gets to try his hand at NASCAR Winston Cup
Feb. 15, 1976 -- Three-time NASCAR
Winston Cup champion David Pearson wins the Daytona 500 after a spectacular
last-lap, last-turn crash with Richard Petty.
March 21, 1976 -- Presidential
candidate and former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter watches in person as
David Pearson beats Benny Parsons in the Atlanta 500 at the Atlanta (Ga.)
Jan. 12, 1978 -- Drivers, owners
and NASCAR officials gather at The Plaza Hotel in New York City to kick off
its 1978 season and introduce the "big-city" media to NASCAR stock car
March 5, 1978 -- David Pearson wins
the Carolina 500 at the N.C. Motor Speedway near Rockingham. It's his 100th
career NASCAR Winston Cup victory, only the second driver besides Richard
Petty to reach that level.
Jan. 14, 1979 -- Terry Labonte
begins his NASCAR Winston Cup-record streak of 569 consecutive races when he
starts the Winston Western 500 at Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway
Feb. 11, 1979 -- Buddy Baker wins
the inaugural Busch Clash at the Daytona International Speedway.
Feb. 18, 1979 -- The first live,
start-to-finish TV coverage of a major NASCAR race sees Richard Petty win
the Daytona 500 after Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison crash each other on
the last lap.
March 11, 1979 -- After wrecking
with Donnie Allison at Daytona Beach and Rockingham, N.C., Cale Yarborough
stays out of trouble and wins the Richmond 400 at the Richmond (Va.)
The 80’s . . . .
March 9, 1980 -- Cale Yarborough
wins the Carolina 500 at North Carolina Motor Speedway near Rockingham in
his backup car after destroying his primary car in practice. The event is
postponed for a week by a snow storm.
Feb. 13, 1982 -- Dale Earnhardt
wins the first NASCAR Busch Series race at the Daytona International
Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
March 28, 1982 -- Diane Teel, a
school bus driver from York County, Va., is the first female to qualify for
a NASCAR Busch Series race. She starts 19th and finishes 10th in a
250-lapper at the Martinsville (Va.) Speedway
Jan. 23, 1983 -- The inaugural
NASCAR Winston Cup Media Tour opens for writers, broadcasters and
photographers at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. The successful event
continues each January.
Feb. 9, 1987 -- Bill Elliott sets
an all-time Daytona International Speedway qualifying record with a lap of
210.364 mph in time trials for the Daytona 500.
March 27, 1988 -- Lake Speed upsets
the favorites for his only career victory in the TranSouth 500 at Darlington
Feb. 19, 1989 -- Darrell Waltrip
gets 132.5 miles from his final tank of fuel to win the Daytona 500 in his
17th try. He beats Hendrick Motorsports teammate Ken Schrader, then Dale
Earnhardt, Hendrick driver Geoff Bodine and Phil Parsons. Waltrip celebrates
his victory with a modified version of the ``Ickey Shuffle.''
March 19, 1989 -- Midwestern
short-track legend Dick Trickle finishes third behind Darrell Waltrip and
Dale Earnhardt in a 500-mile NASCAR Winston Cup race at Atlanta
International Motor Speedway (now Atlanta Motor Speedway). It remains
Trickle's career-best NASCAR Winston Cup finish.
The 90’s . . . .
Jan. 2, 1992-- Anne France, wife of
NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. & mother of Bill & Jim France, dies in Ormond
March 7, 1993 -- Davey Allison, one
of the sport's most popular drivers, gets the last of his 19 career
victories, this one over Rusty Wallace and Alan Kulwicki at Richmond
March 10, 1994 -- Shawna Robinson
becomes the first woman to win the pole for a major NASCAR touring event. It
happens at a NASCAR Busch Series race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, near
March 16, 1997 -- The NASCAR Busch
Series runs a 300-miler at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway, the first time
the tour goes west of the Mississippi River. Jeff Green wins for the Diamond
April 1, 1993 -- Reigning NASCAR
Winston Cup champion Alan Kulwicki and three other men are killed when their
private plane crashes near Bristol, Tenn., arriving for the April 4 NASCAR
Winston Cup race.
Feb. 12, 1994 -- Loy Allen becomes
the first rookie in NASCAR's modern era to win the pole (190.158 mph) for
the Daytona 500.
Jan. 7, 1995-- Chad Little was the
first NASCAR Busch Series driver to come from a provisional starting
position to win a superspeedway race. He did it after starting 42nd in the
1995 season-opening Goody's 300 at the Daytona International Speedway.
Feb. 5, 1995 -- Mike Skinner wins
the first official NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Phoenix (Ariz.)
Feb. 16, 1997 -- Chevrolet drivers
Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte and Ricky Craven give Hendrick Motorsports an
unprecedented 1-2-3 finish in the Daytona 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race at the
Daytona International Speedway.
March 2, 1997 -- Rusty Wallace gets
his 47th career NASCAR Winston Cup victory and his only one of 1997 in the
Pontiac 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. But Wallace must wait
until inspectors pore over his Ford's engine before the victory is certified
the next morning.
March 23, 1997 -- Dale Jarrett, son
of 1965 Mountain Dew Southern 500 winner Ned Jarrett, wins the TranSouth 400
at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway to become only the second second-generation to
win on NASCAR's first paved superspeedway. The others were father Buck Baker
and son Buddy, who combined for five (Buck three, Buddy two) victories at
March 29, 1997 -- At 55, Dick
Trickle becomes the oldest winner in NASCAR Busch Series history by winning
the Galaxy Foods 300-lap race at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
April 6, 1997 -- Jeff Burton gets
his first career victory, and the first of three in 1997, in the inaugural
Interstate Batteries 500 at the new Texas Motor Speedway near Fort Worth.