November 2, 1989 |
Big Bill France was a flamboyant, dynamic--some said tyrannical--promoter who founded NASCAR, the world's foremost stock car racing organization, in 1947 and ran it as a family business for 25 years. Stock car racing grew out of the ruts left by bootleggers running white lightning through the winding back roads of the Carolinas. France brought it out of the woods and onto speedways in Southern towns--Darlington, S.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Daytona Beach, Fla., and, later, Talladega, Ala.
June 8, 1992 |
William France, the father of big league stock car racing and founder of the Daytona 500, died Sunday at 82 at his home in Ormond Beach. He had been seriously ill for the past two years. The National Assn. for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) was a personal dream that the 6-foot-5, broad-shouldered auto mechanic turned into reality. He came to Daytona Beach in 1934 when his car broke down there, short of his Miami destination while moving his family from their Washington, D.C., home.
October 10, 2010 |
Reporting from Daytona Beach, Fla. ? Henry Ford gets the credit for one of the most famous ? and oldest ? quotes about competitiveness among automobile drivers: "Auto racing began 5 minutes after the second car was built. " Ford, however, wasn't the inventor who would prove his prowess behind the wheel. That credit goes to Ransom Olds, who ? more than a century ago ? brought an early souped-up Oldsmobile to a sleepy coastal town in Florida. In a creation that looked more like a soapbox-derby entry than a motor vehicle, Olds squared off against Alexander Winton, a friend, on the hard-packed sand of Daytona Beach.
September 5, 2004 |
During the Summer Olympics, NBC consumed millions of dollars' worth of airtime with promos proclaiming, "NASCAR goes Hollywood!" Actually, today's stock car race is a world away from Tinseltown -- about an hour's drive east in working-class Fontana. But the commercials did speak loudly about the landscape NASCAR is determined to conquer.