The History of NASCAR

August 25, 2009

During a recent car trip from Phoenix to L.A., I drove while Chris took a nap in the passenger seat. Since I was in command of the vehicle, this meant I had control of the iPod. I could force Chris to listen to NPR and various other "nerdy" podcasts while he was, essentially, trapped in our moving vehicle. I think this is partly why he fell asleep, because it was either slip into unconsciousness or jump out of the car a la 007 only to land in the middle of the desert next those signs that read, “State Prison. Do Not Pick Up Hitchikers.”

After I was tired of NPR, the next academic podcast that I forced my husband to listen to was “How Stuff Works,” from the “Stuff You Should Know” franchise. He had slept through most of NPR but he was staring to wake up at this point.

Today’s Stuff: How Moonshine Works (Click here for the full article by Ed Grabianowski)

It’s a fascinating enough enterprise, but one portion of the podcast really caught my attention.

Basically, it said that Bootleggers – the folks who smuggle(d) moonshine – became very mechanically adept in order to make their cars fast enough to outrun the police. This ability “created a culture of car lovers in the southern United States that eventually grew into the popular NASCAR racing series”.

I looked over at my husband. He was staring off into space, awake but drowsy enough that he apparently missed the significance of what we had just heard.

The hosts of the podcast continued: “In fact, the winner of the first ever NASCAR race had used the same car to make a bootleg run just a week earlier.”

And there you have it: INDISPUTABLE PROOF that NASCAR was founded by hillbillies and rednecks who love their booze.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m just sayin’.