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National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is an American auto racing sanctioning and operating company that is best known for stock-car racing.[1] Its three largest series are Monster Energy
Monster Energy
Cup, the Xfinity
Xfinity
Series, and the Camping World
Camping World
Truck Series.[citation needed] Other series include NASCAR
NASCAR
Home Tracks, the Whelen Modified Tour, the Whelen All-American Series, and iRacing.com. NASCAR sanctions over 1,500 races at over 100 tracks in 39 US states as well as in Canada and has presented races at the Suzuka and Motegi circuits in Japan, the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez
Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez
in Mexico, and the Calder Park Thunderdome in Australia.[2] The privately owned company was founded by Bill France Sr.
Bill France Sr.
in 1948, and his grandson Brian France
Brian France
has been CEO since 2003.[3] The company's headquarters is in Daytona Beach, Florida.[4] Internationally, its races are broadcast on television in over 150 countries.[5]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Early stock car racing 1.2 Significant people

1.2.1 William France
France
Sr. 1.2.2 Erwin "Cannonball" Baker 1.2.3 Bob "Barky" Barkhimer 1.2.4 Wendell Scott

1.3 Founding

2 Sanctioned series

2.1 Monster Energy
Monster Energy
NASCAR
NASCAR
Cup Series 2.2 NASCAR
NASCAR
Xfinity
Xfinity
Series 2.3 Camping World
Camping World
Truck Series 2.4 Pinty's Series 2.5 PEAK Mexico Series 2.6 Whelen Euro Series 2.7 Regional racing series

2.7.1 Whelen All-American Series 2.7.2 Whelen Modified Tour 2.7.3 K&N Pro Series 2.7.4 AutoZone Elite and other divisions

2.8 NASCAR
NASCAR
iRacing.com Series

3 Driver safety 4 Criticism 5 Global expansion 6 NASCAR.com 7 Subsidiaries and 'sister' organizations

7.1 NASCAR
NASCAR
Digital Media 7.2 International Speedway Corporation 7.3 Grand-Am 7.4 Education

8 NASCAR
NASCAR
in culture 9 See also 10 Notes 11 References 12 External links

History Early stock car racing

1985 photo of Junior Johnson, 1950s NASCAR
NASCAR
driver who began as a bootlegging driver from Wilkes County, North Carolina

In the 1920s and 30s, Daytona Beach became known as the place to set world land speed records, supplanting France
France
and Belgium
Belgium
as the preferred location for land speed records, with 8 consecutive world records set between 1927 and 1935.[6][7] After a historic race between Ransom Olds
Ransom Olds
and Alexander Winton
Alexander Winton
in 1903, the beach became a mecca for racing enthusiasts and 15 records were set on what became the Daytona Beach Road Course between 1905 and 1935. By the time the Bonneville Salt Flats became the premier location for pursuit of land speed records, Daytona Beach had become synonymous with fast cars in 1936.[8] Drivers raced on a 4.1-mile (6.6 km) course, consisting of a 1.5–2.0-mile (2.4–3.2 km) stretch of beach as one straightaway, and a narrow blacktop beachfront highway, State Road A1A, as the other. The two straights were connected by two tight, deeply rutted and sand covered turns at each end.[9] Stock car racing
Stock car racing
in the United States has its origins in bootlegging during Prohibition, when drivers ran bootleg whiskey made primarily in the Appalachian region of the United States. Bootleggers needed to distribute their illicit products, and they typically used small, fast vehicles to better evade the police. Many of the drivers would modify their cars for speed and handling, as well as increased cargo capacity, and some of them came to love the fast-paced driving down twisty mountain roads. The repeal of Prohibition in 1933 dried up some of their business, but by then Southerners had developed a taste for moonshine, and a number of the drivers continued "runnin' shine", this time evading the "revenuers" who were attempting to tax their operations.[1] The cars continued to improve, and by the late 1940s, races featuring these cars were being run for pride and profit. These races were popular entertainment in the rural Southern United States, and they are most closely associated with the Wilkes County region of North Carolina. Most races in those days were of modified cars. Street vehicles were lightened and reinforced.[10] Significant people William France
France
Sr. Main article: Bill France
France
Sr. Mechanic William France
France
Sr., moved to Daytona Beach, Florida, from Washington, D.C., in 1935 to escape the Great Depression. He was familiar with the history of the area from the land speed record attempts. France
France
entered the 1936 Daytona event, finishing fifth. He took over running the course in 1938. He promoted a few races before World War II. France
France
had the notion that people would enjoy watching "stock cars" race. Drivers were frequently victimized by unscrupulous promoters who would leave events with all the money before drivers were paid. In 1947, he decided this racing would not grow without a formal sanctioning organization, standardized rules, regular schedule, and an organized championship. On December 14, 1947, France
France
began talks with other influential racers and promoters at the Ebony Bar at the Streamline Hotel
Streamline Hotel
at Daytona Beach, Florida, that ended with the formation of NASCAR
NASCAR
on February 21, 1948.[11] Erwin "Cannonball" Baker Main article: Erwin George Baker The first Commissioner of NASCAR
NASCAR
was Erwin "Cannonball" Baker. A former stock car, motorcycle, and open-wheel racer who competed in the Indianapolis 500 and set over one hundred land speed records. Baker earned most of his fame for his transcontinental speed runs and would prove a car's worth by driving it from New York to Los Angeles. After his death, the famous transcontinental race the 'Cannonball Run' and the film that was inspired by it were both named in his honor. Baker is enshrined in the Automotive Hall of Fame, the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Hall of Fame. This level of honor and success in each diverse racing association earned Baker the title of "King of the Road".[12] Bob "Barky" Barkhimer Main article: Bob Barkhimer In the early 1950s, the United States Navy
United States Navy
stationed Bill France
France
Jr., at the Moffett Federal Airfield in northern California. His father asked him to look up Bob Barkhimer in San Jose, California. Barkhimer was a star of midget car racing from the World War II era, and later ran about 22 different speedways as the head of the California Stock Car Racing Association. Young Bill developed a relationship with Bob Barkhimer and his partner, Margo Burke. He went to events with them, stayed weekends with them and generally became very familiar with racing on the west coast. "Barky", as he was called by his friends, journeyed to Daytona Beach and met with Bill France Sr.
Bill France Sr.
In the spring of 1954, NASCAR
NASCAR
became a stock car sanctioning body on the Pacific Coast under Barky. Wendell Scott Main article: Wendell Scott Wendell Scott
Wendell Scott
was the first African-American to win a race in the Grand National Series (now the Monster Energy
Monster Energy
NASCAR
NASCAR
Cup Series), NASCAR's highest level. He was posthumously inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., January 30, 2015.[13]

Logo used from 1976 to 2016. It is still used on the logo of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
and Whelen All-American Series.

Founding On March 8, 1936, a collection of drivers gathered at Daytona Beach, Florida. The drivers brought coupes, hardtops, convertibles, and sports cars to compete in an event to determine the fastest cars, and best drivers. Throughout the race, the heavier cars got bogged down in the sand, while the lightweight Fords navigated the ruts of the course, eventually claiming the top 6 finishes for the race. Of the 27 cars that started the event, only 10 managed to survive the ordeal, as officials halted the event 10 miles short of the scheduled 250-mile distance. Driver Milt Marion was declared the winner, and a young Bill France
France
placed 5th at the end of the day.[14] By early 1947, Bill France
France
saw the potential for a unified series of racing competitors. France
France
announced the foundation of the "National Championship Stock Car Circuit", otherwise known as NCSCC.[15] France approached the American Automobile Association, or AAA, in hopes of obtaining financial backing for the venture. When the AAA declined support of the venture, France
France
proceeded to announce a set of rules and awards for the NCSCC. France
France
declared that the winner of the 1947 NCSCC season would receive $1000.00, and a trophy. The season would begin in January 1947 at the Daytona Beach track, and conclude in Jacksonville the following December. Nearly 40 events were logged during the season, and attendance often exceeded the venue's capacity. The competitors were paid as promised, and by the end of the season, driver Fonty Flock was declared the season champion after winning 7 events of the 24 that he entered. Bill France
France
delivered the $1000 and 4-foot high trophy to Flock at the end of the season, along with $3000 in prize money to other drivers who competed throughout the season.[16] At the end of the 1947 season, Bill France
France
announced that there would be a series of meetings held at the Streamline Hotel
Streamline Hotel
in Florida, beginning on December 14, 1947. At 1:00 pm, France
France
called to order the 35 men who represented the NCSCC on the top floor of the hotel. The meeting was the first of four seminars in which France would outline his vision of an organized group of race car drivers.[17] The name originally chosen for the series was National Stock Car Racing Association; when it was pointed out that that name was already in use by a rival sanctioning body, "National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing", proposed by mechanic Red Vogt, was selected as the organization's name.[18] NASCAR
NASCAR
was founded by William France, Sr., on February 21, 1948 with the help of several other drivers of the time.[3] The points system was written on a bar room napkin. The original plans for NASCAR included three distinct divisions: Modified, Roadster, and Strictly Stock. The Modified and Roadster classes were seen as more attractive to fans. It turned out that NASCAR
NASCAR
fans wanted nothing to do with the roadsters, which fans perceived as a Northeast or Midwest series. The roadster division was quickly abandoned, while the modified division now operates as the NASCAR
NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour. The Strictly Stock division was put on hold as American automobile manufacturers were unable to produce family sedans quickly enough to keep up with post-World War II demand.[19] The 1948 schedule featured 52 Modified dirt track races. The sanctioning body hosted its first event at Daytona Beach on February 15, 1948. Red Byron
Red Byron
beat Marshall Teague
Marshall Teague
in the Modified division race. Byron won the 1948 national championship. Things had changed dramatically by 1949, and the Strictly Stock division was able to debut with a 20-mile (32 km) exhibition in February near Miami. The first NASCAR
NASCAR
"Strictly Stock" race ever was held at Charlotte Speedway, although this is not the same track as the Charlotte Motor Speedway that is a fixture on current NASCAR
NASCAR
schedule. The race was held on June 19, 1949 and won by driver Jim Roper when Glenn Dunaway was disqualified after the discovery of his altered rear springs. Initially, the cars were known as the "Strictly Stock Division" and raced with virtually no modifications on the factory models. This division was renamed the "Grand National" division beginning in the 1950 season. Over a period of more than a decade, modifications for both safety and performance were allowed, and by the mid-1960s, the vehicles were purpose-built race cars with a stock-appearing body.

Richard Petty's 1970 426 C.I. Plymouth Superbird
Plymouth Superbird
on display.

Early in NASCAR's history, foreign manufacturers had shown interest in entering the series; the British car manufacturer, MG, found a few of its vehicles entered, with some placing. For example, in August 16, 1963 in the International 200, Smokey Cook drove an MG to a 17th-place finish.[20][21] The first NASCAR
NASCAR
competition held outside of the U.S. was in Canada, where on July 1, 1952, Buddy Shuman won a 200-lap race on a half-mile (800 m) dirt track in Stamford Park, Ontario, near Niagara Falls. Sanctioned series Monster Energy
Monster Energy
NASCAR
NASCAR
Cup Series

The start of the 2015 Daytona 500.

Main article: Monster Energy
Monster Energy
NASCAR
NASCAR
Cup Series The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
is the sport's highest level of professional competition. It is consequently the most popular and most profitable NASCAR
NASCAR
series. Since 2001, the Cup Series season has consisted of 36 races over 10 months. Writers and fans often use "Cup" to refer to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
and the ambiguous use of "NASCAR" as a synonym for the series is common. The 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR
NASCAR
Cup Series Champion is Martin Truex, Jr.. Jimmie Johnson won five consecutive Cup Series drivers' championships from 2006 to 2010. Previously, the most consecutive championships had been three in a row by Cale Yarborough
Cale Yarborough
in the late 1970s, the only other time when a driver has won three or more NASCAR
NASCAR
Cup Series championships in a row. The Cup Series had its first title sponsor in 1972. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, which had been banned from television advertising, found a popular and demographically suitable consumer base in NASCAR fans and engaged NASCAR
NASCAR
as a promotional outlet. As a result of that sponsorship, the Grand National Series became known as the Winston Cup Series starting in 1971,[22] with a new points system and some significant cash benefits to compete for championship points. In 1972, the season was shortened from 48 races (including two on dirt tracks) to 31.[22] 1972 is often acknowledged as the beginning of NASCAR's "modern era". The next competitive level, called Late Model Sportsman, gained the "Grand National" title passed down from the top division and soon found a sponsor in Busch Beer.

Dale Earnhardt
Dale Earnhardt
Jr. (bottom), and team in victory lane in 2004

In 2004, Nextel Communications
Nextel Communications
took over sponsorship of the premier series from R. J. Reynolds, who had sponsored it as the Winston Cup from 1972 until 2003, and formally renamed it the Nextel Cup Series. A new championship points system, the "Chase for the Sprint Cup," was also developed, which reset the point standings with ten races to go, making only drivers in the top ten or within 400 points of the leader eligible to win the championship. In 2007, NASCAR
NASCAR
announced it was expanding "The Chase" from ten to twelve drivers, eliminating the 400-point cutoff, and giving a ten-point bonus to the top twelve drivers for each of the races they have won out of the first 26. Wins throughout the season would also be awarded five more points than in previous seasons. In 2008, the premier series title name became the Sprint Cup Series, as part of the merger between Nextel and Sprint. In 2011, NASCAR
NASCAR
announced a number of major rules changes. The most important was a simplified points system that is also being adopted by the Nationwide and Truck Series. The winner of a race now receives 43 points, with one-point decrements for each subsequent position (42 for second, 41 for third, and so on). The winner also receives 3 bonus points, and single bonus points are awarded to all drivers who lead a lap, plus the driver who leads the most laps. Another significant change involves the qualifying process for the Chase. The number of qualifying drivers will remain at 12, but only the top 10 will qualify solely on regular-season points. The remaining two Chase drivers will be the two drivers in the next 10 of the point standings (11th through 20th) with the most race wins in the regular season. In 2014, NASCAR
NASCAR
announced another revamp to the Chase format, expanding the Chase pool to 16 drivers, and eliminating four drivers after every three races, leaving four drivers to compete for the championship at the season finale at Homestead. In addition, wins were given an increased emphasis, with the 16 drivers with the most wins (15 if the points leader is winless; points leader will receive an automatic berth) gaining a spot in the chase. If there are less than 16 winners, the remaining spots will be filled based on the conventional points system.[23] Monster Energy
Monster Energy
became the title sponsor in 2017, which changed the series' name to Monster Energy
Monster Energy
NASCAR
NASCAR
Cup Series.[24] NASCAR
NASCAR
Xfinity
Xfinity
Series

The Busch Series field following the pace car at the O'Reilly 300
O'Reilly 300
at Texas Motor Speedway
Texas Motor Speedway
in 2007.

Main article: NASCAR
NASCAR
Xfinity
Xfinity
Series The NASCAR Xfinity Series
NASCAR Xfinity Series
is the second-highest level of professional competition in NASCAR. The most recent series champion is William Byron in 2017. The modern incarnation of this series began in 1982, with sponsorship by Anheuser-Busch
Anheuser-Busch
Brewing's Budweiser
Budweiser
brand. In 1984 it was renamed to the Busch Grand National Series, then later just the Busch Series. The Anheuser-Busch
Anheuser-Busch
sponsorship expired at the end of 2007, being replaced by Nationwide Insurance
Nationwide Insurance
from 2008–2014, and the series is now sponsored by Comcast
Comcast
through its Xfinity
Xfinity
brand.[25]

The Nationwide Series at Road America
Road America
in 2011, using the Car of Tomorrow design.

The season is usually a few races shorter than that of the Monster Energy NASCAR
NASCAR
Cup Series, and the prize money is significantly lower. However, over the last several years, a number of Cup Series drivers have run both the Xfinity
Xfinity
and Cup Series events each weekend, using the Xfinity
Xfinity
race as a warm-up to the Cup event at the same facility. Furthermore, several drivers not only participated in both Cup and Busch/Nationwide events in the same weekend but also began to compete in both series on a full-time basis. Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick
was the first Cup series driver to compete full-time in the Busch Series and win a title, actually doing so twice; in 2001, he did this for Richard Childress Racing but only did so out of necessity as Dale Earnhardt's death forced him into the Cup series ahead of RCR's intended schedule for him. His win in 2006, where he raced three separate cars for RCR and his own race team, was the first of five consecutive titles in NBS/NNS that were won by Cup series regulars. The practice received criticism because it was thought to give the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
teams an unfair advantage, and that the presence of the Cup Series drivers squeezes out Nationwide Series competitors who would otherwise be able to qualify. These dual-series drivers have been labeled "Buschwhackers", a play on words which combines the original series sponsor's name with the notion of being bushwhacked. In May 2007, NNS director Joe Balash confirmed that NASCAR
NASCAR
was exploring options to deal with the Buschwhacker controversy. One of the most often-cited proposals was for Cup Series drivers participating in the Nationwide Series to receive no points for their participation in a Nationwide race. In 2007, NASCAR
NASCAR
chairman Brian France
Brian France
indicated that all options, except an outright ban of Cup competitors, were still being considered.[26] On January 11, 2011, NASCAR.com reported that beginning with the 2011 season, drivers would be allowed to compete for the championship in only one of NASCAR's three national series in a given season, although they could continue to run in multiple series.[27] This change was officially confirmed by France
France
in a press conference less than two weeks later, and has remained in the NASCAR
NASCAR
rules ever since.[28] Beginning in 2010, the Nationwide cars adapted somewhat to the current "Car of Tomorrow" (or COT) design used by Cup cars, with different bodies from the Cup Series. In 2016, the Chase format was extended to both the Xfinity
Xfinity
and Truck Series. Instead of the four-round, 10-race format used in the Cup Series, the Chase in each of the two supporting series consists of three rounds and seven races in all, with each preliminary round consisting of three races. The Xfinity
Xfinity
Series Chase involves 12 drivers instead of the 16 participating in the Cup Series Chase. Four drivers are eliminated at the end of each preliminary round of the Chase in the Xfinity
Xfinity
Series, which also mirrors the Cup Series Chase. This means that four drivers are eligible for the series title entering the final race, as in the Cup Series.[29] Camping World
Camping World
Truck Series

Mike Skinner racing Todd Bodine
Todd Bodine
in the Texas Craftsman Truck Series race.

Main article: NASCAR
NASCAR
Camping World
Camping World
Truck Series The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
features modified pickup trucks. It is one of the three national divisions of NASCAR, together with the NASCAR Xfinity Series
NASCAR Xfinity Series
and the Monster Energy
Monster Energy
NASCAR
NASCAR
Cup Series. The most recent series champion is Christopher Bell in 2017; it was Bell's first championship in the series. In 1994, NASCAR
NASCAR
announced the formation of the NASCAR
NASCAR
SuperTruck Series presented by Craftsman. The first series race followed in 1995. In 1996, the series was renamed the NASCAR
NASCAR
Craftsman Truck Series to emphasize Craftsman's involvement. The series was first considered something of an oddity or a "senior tour" for NASCAR
NASCAR
drivers, but eventually grew in popularity and has seen drivers move straight to the Cup Series without running a full season in NASCAR
NASCAR
Xfinity
Xfinity
Series competition. These include Kurt Busch
Kurt Busch
and Carl Edwards
Carl Edwards
(who both ran for Roush Racing). In addition, veteran drivers who have had only moderate success at the other two levels of the sport have revitalized their careers in the truck series, including Ron Hornaday Jr., Todd Bodine, Mike Skinner, and Johnny Benson. Beginning in 2009, the series became the Camping World
Camping World
Truck Series.[30] As noted previously, the Chase format was extended to the Truck Series in 2016. The format is identical to that used in the Xfinity
Xfinity
Series, except that only eight drivers qualify for the Chase (instead of 12 in the Xfinity
Xfinity
Series) and only two drivers are eliminated at the end of each preliminary round (instead of four in the Xfinity
Xfinity
Series). As in both the Cup Series and Xfinity
Xfinity
Series, four drivers are eligible for the series title entering the final race.[29] Pinty's Series Main article: NASCAR
NASCAR
Pinty's Series The NASCAR Pinty's Series
NASCAR Pinty's Series
is a NASCAR
NASCAR
racing series in Canada that derives from the old CASCAR
CASCAR
Super Series (founded in 1981 and bought out by NASCAR
NASCAR
in 2006). The new series has races through six of Canada's provinces for a total of 13 events with TV coverage on TSN. Many drivers are content running in Canada while others move up to bigger NASCAR
NASCAR
series including J. R. Fitzpatrick
J. R. Fitzpatrick
and Andrew Ranger. The cars are a bit different from the cars seen in America with more of a street look with steel tube-framed silhouette bodies powered by carbureted spec V8 engines. PEAK Mexico Series Main article: NASCAR
NASCAR
PEAK Mexico Series In December 2006, NASCAR
NASCAR
also announced the creation of a new series in Mexico, the NASCAR
NASCAR
Corona Series (now PEAK Mexico Series), replacing the existing Desafío Corona
Desafío Corona
Series, to begin in 2007.[31] Main article: NASCAR Mexico
NASCAR Mexico
T4 Series In 2004, NASCAR
NASCAR
also began to sanction a mini stock racing series in Mexico, known as the Mexico T4 Series. Whelen Euro Series Main article: NASCAR
NASCAR
Whelen Euro Series In early 2012, NASCAR
NASCAR
announced that it would sanction the existing European-based Racecar Euro Series
Racecar Euro Series
as a " NASCAR
NASCAR
Touring Series".[32] On July 1, 2013, with partnership from NASCAR
NASCAR
Whelen Engineering, the series was renamed the NASCAR
NASCAR
Whelen Euro Series.[33] Regional racing series Main article: NASCAR
NASCAR
Home Tracks In addition to the six main national series, NASCAR
NASCAR
operates several other racing divisions.[34][35] Whelen All-American Series Main article: Whelen All-American Series Many local race tracks across the United States and Canada run under the Whelen All-American Series
Whelen All-American Series
banner, where local drivers are compared against each other in a formula where the best local track champion of the nation wins the Whelen All-American Weekly Series National Championship. The Whelen All-American series is split into four car divisions as well as state and track championships separately. Each division champion receives a point-fund money payout and even more goes to the National champion (driver with most points out of the four division winners). The Whelen All-American Series
Whelen All-American Series
is the base for stock car racing, developing NASCAR
NASCAR
names such as Clint Bowyer, Jimmy Spencer, Tony Stewart, the Bodine brothers, and many others along the way.[36] Whelen Modified Tour Main article: NASCAR
NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour The Whelen Modified Tour races open-wheel "modified" cars in Northern and Southern divisions. This is NASCAR's oldest division, and the modern division has been operating since 1985 as the Winston Modified Series and later in 1994 as the Featherlite Trailers Modified Series. K&N Pro Series Main articles: NASCAR
NASCAR
K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR
NASCAR
K&N Pro Series West The K&N Pro Series, which consists of East and West divisions, race pro-stock cars that are similar to older Nationwide Series cars, although they are less powerful. The east division was originally divided into the Busch North series, which raced in Northeastern states, and the Busch East Series, which raced throughout Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. The west division was originally known as the Winston West Series and raced throughout Southwestern and Coastal Pacific states. In 2008, the series came together in east and west divisions under sponsorship from Camping World
Camping World
as the Camping World Series. K&N Filters took over the sponsorship in 2010. AutoZone Elite and other divisions Main articles: NASCAR
NASCAR
AutoZone Elite Division, Southeast Series; NASCAR
NASCAR
AutoZone Elite Division, Northwest Series; NASCAR
NASCAR
AutoZone Elite Division, Southwest Series; and NASCAR
NASCAR
AutoZone Elite Division, Midwest Series In the past, NASCAR
NASCAR
also sanctioned the AutoZone Elite Division, which raced late-model cars that were lighter and less powerful than Cup Series cars, and was originally split into four divisions: Northwest, Southwest, Southeast, and Midwest. At the end of 2005, NASCAR announced that the AutoZone Elite Division would be discontinued after the 2006 season due to having trouble securing NASCAR-sanctioned tracks to successfully host AutoZone Elite Division events, plus escalating costs of competing and downsizing of the Division in recent years. In 2003, NASCAR
NASCAR
standardized rules for its AutoZone Elite and Grand National divisions regional touring series as to permit cars in one series to race against cars in another series in the same division. The top 15 (Grand National) or 10 (AutoZone Elite) in each series will race in a one-race playoff, called the NASCAR
NASCAR
Toyota All-Star Showdown, to determine the annual AutoZone Elite and Grand National champions. This event has been hosted at Irwindale Speedway in California since its inception. Many drivers move up through the series before reaching the Monster Energy NASCAR
NASCAR
Cup Series. In 2002, over 9,000 drivers had licenses from NASCAR
NASCAR
to race at all levels. The winners of the All-American Series National Championship, the K&N Pro Series East and West championships, the two Whelen Modified and Grand National Divisions, and the three national series are invited to Las Vegas in December to participate in Champions Week ceremonies. NASCAR
NASCAR
iRacing.com Series In 2010, NASCAR
NASCAR
officially sanctioned its first sim racing series, partnering with iRacing.com to form the NASCAR
NASCAR
iRacing.com Series. This sim racing series is made of up of five "Amateur Series" divisions, the NASCAR
NASCAR
iRacing.com Pro Series, and the NASCAR iRacing.com World Championship Series. Each year, the champion of the NASCAR
NASCAR
iRacing.com World Championship Series is invited to NASCAR's Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Homestead-Miami Speedway
to receive their prize money and championship at the track. Driver safety

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2008 Dodge Charger
Dodge Charger
"Car of Tomorrow", driven by Kurt Busch

Main articles: Safety in NASCAR, Death of Dale Earnhardt, and Car of Tomorrow Although NASCAR
NASCAR
frequently publicizes the safety measures it mandates for drivers, these features are often only adopted long after they were initially developed, and only in response to an injury or fatality. The impact-absorbing "SAFER Barrier" that is now in use had been proposed by legendary mechanic Smokey Yunick during the 1970s, but his idea had been dismissed as too expensive and unnecessary. Only after the deaths of Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin
Kenny Irwin
and Tony Roper in 2000, and Dale Earnhardt
Dale Earnhardt
in 2001 did NASCAR
NASCAR
revisit the idea of decreasing the G-forces
G-forces
a driver sustained during a crash. Other examples of available safety features that were slow to be implemented include the mandating of a throttle "kill switch". The "kill switch" was mandated after the death of Adam Petty, along with the requirements of an anti-spill bladder in fuel cells. Fire-retardant driver suits were required only after the death of Glen "Fireball" Roberts, who died from complications of burns suffered in a crash when flames engulfed his car during a Charlotte race.[37] Dale Earnhardt
Dale Earnhardt
was killed after he received massive head and neck trauma from a hard crash in the 2001 Daytona 500. Earnhardt's death prompted NASCAR
NASCAR
to require all drivers to use the "HANS device" (Head And Neck Support Device), a device that keeps the driver's neck from going forward in a wreck. In the mid-2000s, NASCAR
NASCAR
redesigned the racing vehicle with safety improvements, calling it the Car of Tomorrow. The car has a higher roof, wider cockpit, and the driver seat was located more toward the center of the vehicle. Criticism Main article: Criticism of NASCAR NASCAR
NASCAR
has been the target of criticism on various topics from various sources. Some critics note the significant differences between today's NASCAR
NASCAR
vehicles and true "stock" cars.[38] Others frequently cite the dominance of the France
France
family in NASCAR's business structure, policies, and decision making. Recently, the increased number of Cup drivers competing consistently in the Xfinity
Xfinity
Series races has been hotly debated. Another general area of criticism, not only of NASCAR but other motorsports as well, includes questions about fuel consumption,[39] emissions and pollution, and the use of lead additives in the gasoline. Originally scheduled for 2008, NASCAR adopted the use of unleaded fuel in all three of its top series in 2007.[40] In 2011, NASCAR
NASCAR
switched to E15 "green" fuel (15% ethanol and 85% gasoline) for all three touring series.[41] As NASCAR
NASCAR
has made moves to improve its national appeal, it has begun racing at new tracks, and ceased racing at some traditional ones – a sore spot for the traditional fan base. Most recently, NASCAR
NASCAR
has been challenged on the types and frequency of caution flags, with some critics[42][43][44] suggesting the outcome of races is being manipulated, and that the intention is not safety, as NASCAR
NASCAR
claims, but closer racing. There have been a few accidents involving fans during races and even some off the tracks, but no spectator has ever been killed during a race in an accident relating to the race,[45][46][47] although a fan was killed by a lightning strike in 2012 after the 2012 Pennsylvania 400
2012 Pennsylvania 400
at Pocono was called short due to the storm.[48] It was revealed in 2008 that a wrongful death lawsuit against NASCAR
NASCAR
stemming from the crash of a company plane was settled for $2.4 million.[49][50] Global expansion In 2006, Toyota
Toyota
announced they would be joining NASCAR's ranks.[51] Toyota
Toyota
generated early success winning several races off performances from Denny Hamlin
Denny Hamlin
and Kyle Busch.[52] Other foreign manufactures are looking to jump in the mix of NASCAR. Honda
Honda
is speculated to be interested in joining the NASCAR
NASCAR
ranks in the near future.[51] The increase in foreign competition is expected to raise the price of putting a car on the track.[51] Another topic on the NASCAR
NASCAR
circuit is the increase in foreign born drivers and the effects they may have on the future of NASCAR.[citation needed] Juan Pablo Montoya, Patrick Carpentier, and Dario Franchitti
Dario Franchitti
are among the foreign-born big names who have crossed over from Formula One
Formula One
and the Indy racing
Indy racing
circuit.[53] These drivers have made an impact on NASCAR
NASCAR
not only by winning races and dominating road courses, but by expanding NASCAR's point of view.[52] NASCAR
NASCAR
included a race at the Mexican road course Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in the Nationwide Series schedule from 2005 through 2008, as well as a race in Montreal, Canada at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve from 2007 through 2012, with the Camping World
Camping World
Truck Series adding a date at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
in 2013. There has been talk of possible expansion with exhibition races in Japan and a return to Canada.[54] Expanding into international markets could increase NASCAR's popularity and allow foreign sponsors and manufactures to get involved in the sport.[citation needed] Some think this could be a very positive move for NASCAR, which has seen its television ratings drop 21 percent between 2005 and 2007.[55] During the same 2-year period, NASCAR
NASCAR
also saw the greatest drop in tickets prices observed in over a decade.[55] In 2010, NASCAR
NASCAR
saw television ratings drop 10% from the year before, which was down 33% off its peak in 2005.[56] Some think that an increase in international diversity would translate into growth and generate greater opportunities for NASCAR
NASCAR
fans.[53] NASCAR.com In October 2000, Turner Sports
Turner Sports
acquired the digital rights to NASCAR, and subsequently took over its website, which features news, information, and interactive features (such as RaceView and RaceBuddy) surrounding its series. While NASCAR
NASCAR
had extended Turner's contract to operate the site through 2016, the association announced in January 2012 that it would take operation of the site back in-house in 2013. As a result, a new NASCAR.com was launched on January 3, 2013, which features a multimedia-oriented design enhanced to provide a higher level of fan interaction, and provide an improved second screen experience for viewers on mobile devices.[57][58] Subsidiaries and 'sister' organizations NASCAR
NASCAR
Digital Media NASCAR Digital Media is a television production company located in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. The company is a subsidiary of NASCAR
NASCAR
and produces programs designed to promote the sport of professional stock car racing. It also manages the NASCAR
NASCAR
website.[59] International Speedway Corporation While not officially connected to NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation (ISC) was founded by Bill France Sr.
Bill France Sr.
in 1953 to construct and manage tracks that NASCAR
NASCAR
holds competitions at. Since several members of the France
France
family are executives at ISC, it is sometimes the subject of antitrust lawsuits.[60] Grand-Am The Grand American Road Racing Association
Grand American Road Racing Association
(Grand-Am) was a sanctioning body of sports car racing. While it was founded independently of NASCAR
NASCAR
by several members of the France
France
family, NASCAR
NASCAR
took over Grand-Am, but allows it to operate autonomously. The series merged with the American Le Mans Series
American Le Mans Series
in 2014 to form the United SportsCar Championship. Education NASCAR
NASCAR
Technical Institute located in Mooresville, North Carolina, is the country's first technical training school to combine a complete automotive technology program and a NASCAR-specific motor sports program, and is the exclusive educational partner of NASCAR. NASCAR Kinetics was established in 2009 with the mission of connecting college students nationwide to NASCAR, and mentored its last round of students in 2013. NASCAR
NASCAR
in culture Movies about NASCAR
NASCAR
racing include Days of Thunder
Days of Thunder
(1990), Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005), Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), and Logan Lucky (2017). NASCAR
NASCAR
drivers have made appearances in many television series, and TV movies including The Cleveland Show[better source needed][61] Sullivan & Son, Last Man Standing.[better source needed][62] See also

NASCAR
NASCAR
portal

Book: NASCAR

Book: Auto racing
Auto racing
in North America

Criticism of NASCAR NASCAR
NASCAR
rules and regulations NASCAR
NASCAR
lore List of NASCAR
NASCAR
champions List of NASCAR
NASCAR
drivers List of NASCAR
NASCAR
race tracks List of NASCAR
NASCAR
seasons List of NASCAR
NASCAR
series List of NASCAR
NASCAR
teams List of NASCAR drivers who have won in each of top three series Closest NASCAR
NASCAR
Sprint Cup Series finishes NASCAR
NASCAR
dad NASCAR
NASCAR
Hall of Fame NASCAR
NASCAR
Rookie of the Year NASCAR
NASCAR
Video Games NASCAR
NASCAR
Angels NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers List of foreign-born NASCAR
NASCAR
race winners NASCAR
NASCAR
in Australia

Notes Note 1: The largest NASCAR
NASCAR
tracks can accommodate upwards of 190,000 people in the stands and infield, far larger than any non-motorsport venue in North America. References

^ a b "History of Stock Car Racing". Stock Car Racing Collection at Belk Library. Appalachian State University. 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.  ^ "Exhibition Races". racing-reference.info. Retrieved April 18, 2009.  ^ a b "History of NASCAR". NASCAR
NASCAR
Media Group. August 17, 2010. Archived from the original on May 30, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.  ^ "Racing FAQ, NASCAR
NASCAR
Trivia and TECH Questions". Jayski LLC, ;; Owned and served by ESPN. February 15, 2009. Retrieved April 18, 2009.  ^ Christley, Jason (December 26, 2008). " NASCAR
NASCAR
Camping World
Camping World
Series East 2009 schedule announced". Dover International Speedway. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009. Retrieved March 8, 2010.  ^ Cutright, Thomas. "Table of Official Land Speed Record". Department of Physics, University of Miami. Archived from the original on July 25, 2008. Retrieved December 24, 2007.  ^ Dickens, Bethany (October 1, 2014). "Episode 27 Leather Cap and Goggles". A History of Central Florida Podcast. Retrieved January 27, 2016.  ^ Williams, Deborah (November–December 2003). "Daytona beach: sun-seekers and race car fans flock to this Florida vacation haven". Travel America. Travel America. Archived from the original on January 1, 2005. Retrieved December 24, 2007.  ^ Fielden, Greg (2005). "Beachfront View". In Editors of Consumer Guide. NASCAR: A Fast History. Lincolnwood, Illinois: Publications International Ltd. p. 31. ISBN 1-4127-1155-X. CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link) ^ Hinton (April 4, 2009). "Little Widow made a big impression". ESPN. Retrieved April 30, 2009.  ^ Induction in the Automotive Hall of Fame
Automotive Hall of Fame
Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved April 18, 2009. ^ Lap No. 1 How Barky Got Started RACING Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., Davis Motorsports, reminiscence by Bob Barkhimer, former race driver and Business Manager for BCRA (Bay Cities Racing Association) and NASCAR
NASCAR
co-founder ^ Price, Zenitha Prince (Senior AFRO Correspondent) (February 6, 2015). "First African American to Win NASCAR
NASCAR
Premier Series Trophy Inducted into Hall of Fame".  ^ Fielden, Greg (2005). "The First Beach Race". In Editors of Consumer Guide. NASCAR: A Fast History. Lincolnwood, Illinois: Publications International Ltd. p. 10. ISBN 1-4127-1155-X. CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link) ^ "No Debate Needed Regarding Induction of 'Big Bill' Into NASCAR
NASCAR
Hall of Fame". Darlington Raceway. Retrieved February 15, 2013.  ^ Fielden, Greg (2005). "The National Championship Stock Car Circuit". In Editors of Consumer Guide. NASCAR: A Fast History. Lincolnwood, Illinois: Publications International Ltd. p. 15. ISBN 1-4127-1155-X. CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link) ^ Fielden, Greg (2005). "The Streamline Hotel
Streamline Hotel
and the Birth of NASCAR". In Editors of Consumer Guide. NASCAR: A Fast History. Lincolnwood, Illinois: Publications International Ltd. p. 15. ISBN 1-4127-1155-X. CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link) ^ Moriarty, Frank (1998). The Encyclopedia of Stock Car Racing. New York: Metro Books. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-56799-459-9.  ^ Fleischman, Bill; Al Pearce (1999). The Unauthorized NASCAR
NASCAR
Fan Guide (1998–99). Visible Ink Press. p. 6.  ^ the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide. "HowStuffWorks "1963 NASCAR Grand National Chronology"". Auto.howstuffworks.com. Retrieved February 26, 2014.  ^ " NASCAR
NASCAR
Grand National Drivers, NASCAR
NASCAR
Drivers, Auto Racing Drivers - ESPN". Espn.go.com. Retrieved February 26, 2014.  ^ a b Fielden, Greg. NASCAR
NASCAR
Chronicle. Publications International, Ltd., Lincolnwood, Illinois, USA, 2006. p. 36. ^ " NASCAR
NASCAR
ANNOUNCES CHASE FOR THE SPRINT CUP FORMAT CHANGE". NASCAR.com. January 30, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014.  ^ " Monster Energy
Monster Energy
replaces Sprint as title sponsor for NASCAR's top series". USA Today. December 1, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016.  ^ Ryan, Nate (September 18, 2013). "Nationwide to end sponsorship of NASCAR's No. 2 series". USA Today. Retrieved September 18, 2013.  ^ Fryer, Jenna (December 9, 2007). " NASCAR
NASCAR
toying with ideas for 'Buschwhackers'". AP Auto Racing Writer. The World Link, Southwestern Oregon Publishing Company. Retrieved April 17, 2009.  ^ Rodman, Dave (January 11, 2011). " NASCAR
NASCAR
drivers must elect championships in '11". NASCAR.com. Retrieved January 11, 2011.  ^ "Changes for 2011 include emphasis on winning – Jan 26, 2011" (Press release). NASCAR. January 26, 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2011.  ^ a b "Chase Format Extended to Xfinity, Camping World
Camping World
Truck Series" (Press release). NASCAR. January 19, 2016. Retrieved March 23, 2017.  ^ Official Release (October 24, 2008). " Camping World
Camping World
to be title sponsor for Truck Series". nascar.com, Turner Sports
Turner Sports
Interactive, Inc. Retrieved April 17, 2009.  ^ "El Desafío Corona
Desafío Corona
será en 2007 Nascar-México". La Jornada. December 8, 2006.  ^ "Touring Series" (PDF). Racecar-series.com. Retrieved July 7, 2013.  ^ "A new era for NASCAR
NASCAR
in Europe". NASCAR
NASCAR
Whelen Euro Series. July 1, 2013. Archived from the original on July 10, 2013. Retrieved July 7, 2013.  ^ " NASCAR
NASCAR
History". RacinNation.com. Retrieved April 30, 2009.  ^ "CANADA RACE TRACK NEWS/RUMORS". Gilles Villeneuve Circuit. Jayski LLC; ESPN. March 24, 2004. Retrieved April 30, 2009.  ^ "PaddockTalk". PaddockTalk.com. Retrieved April 30, 2009. [permanent dead link] ^ "Fireball Roberts". Fireball Roberts. Retrieved May 2, 2012.  ^ "News & Media". Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2016.  ^ " NASCAR
NASCAR
a waste of resources". Mndaily.com. June 4, 2008. Retrieved May 2, 2012.  ^ "Unleaded fuel passing Cup test at Las Vegas". NASCAR.com. February 1, 2007.  ^ "NASCAR's Switch to Unleaded Gas". Nascar Items. March 7, 2008. Retrieved May 2, 2012.  ^ "Skinner joins Stewart in exposing NASCAR
NASCAR
manipulation". Autoracingsport.com. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2012.  ^ Yeazell, David. " Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson
and Jeff Gordon: Did NASCAR Manipulate Phoenix Results?". Retrieved December 30, 2016.  ^ "Does NASCAR
NASCAR
manipulate its races in any way?". Autoracingsport.com. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2012.  ^ " Daytona 500
Daytona 500
2000 – Bodine, fans escape serious injury in fiery crash". Retrieved November 26, 2011.  ^ "Ed Hinton: NASCAR
NASCAR
has major decisions to make on restrictor-plate racing – ESPN". Retrieved November 26, 2011.  ^ "David Newton: Some Daytona fans out of hospital - ESPN". Retrieved August 13, 2013.  ^ "Associated Press: Fan dies, 9 others injured after lightning strikes Pocono Raceway
Pocono Raceway
NASCAR
NASCAR
event - CBS". Retrieved August 13, 2013.  ^ AP Top Headlines (September 27, 2008). "Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against NASCAR
NASCAR
settled for $2.4 Million". daytonapost.com. Retrieved April 17, 2009.  ^ " NASCAR
NASCAR
verbally agrees to settle in death of pilot". CBS Sports; Auto Racing. CBSsports.com, CBS Interactive. September 18, 2008. Retrieved April 17, 2009.  ^ a b c Bernstein, Viv. "World of change is likely as Nascar lets Toyota
Toyota
join." January 24, 2006. May 1, 2008 ^ a b "Season Results." NASCAR.com. May 1, 2008 ^ a b Swan, Raygan (February 9, 2008). "This year's Daytona 500's grid looks like an Indy 500 grid". NASCAR.COM. Turner Sports
Turner Sports
and Entertainment Digital Network. Archived from the original on December 19, 2008. Retrieved May 29, 2016.  ^ Bowles, Thomas. "Bowles-Eyed View." NASCAR's international expansion missing a foreign star. March 5, 2006. May 1, 2008 Archived January 12, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. ^ a b 8f83f019ce4b&k=13233 "NASCAR's foreign invasion." Archived November 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Fischer, Doug. February 17, 2007. May 1, 2008 ^ Ryan, Nate (February 18–20, 2011). "5 Ways to fix NASCAR". USA Weekend Weekend.  Missing or empty url= (help) ^ "NASCAR, Turner extend partnership through '16". NASCAR. January 30, 2012. Retrieved January 3, 2013.  ^ " NASCAR
NASCAR
flips switch on new website". NASCAR. January 3, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2013.  ^ Privacy policy. Retrieved September 4, 2015. ^ ESPN.com "Speedway says it was jilted in NASCAR
NASCAR
conspiracy". Retrieved August 21, 2009. ^ Boarman, John. " NASCAR
NASCAR
Drivers to appear on The Cleveland Show". Tireball.  ^ " Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart
to guest star on ABC's Last Man Standing". MRN. Archived from the original on June 6, 2012. 

External links

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