NOTE### - any date in PINK and BOLD is an event pre-NASCAR - but is associated to bringing about the sport of NASCAR

1949 - NASCAR's public relations office releases the winner of the first Most Popular Driver poll.  Curtis Turner garners the most votes by a panel.

1970 - R.J. Reynolds announces its Winston brand of cigarettes will become the title sponsor of NASCAR's premier stock car racing series. The official title will be NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National Series.

2003 - Reports indicate NASCAR will adopt a new points ­procedure to determine the 2004 NASCAR Cup champion. NASCAR will adjust the points awarded to race winners, and develop a 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Cup.  The top 10 in the points standings after the 26th race qualify for the final 10-race chase.

12-1

1963 - On this date Wendell Scott would win his first and only Cup race.  As the race started he took the green flag in 15th position.  Jack Smith won the pole while Richard Petty would pull off second.  Petty would lead 103 of the laps and be the dominant car.  This race is also notable because Buck Baker was officially flagged as the winner.  The race was scheduled for 200 laps, but after a protest scoring determined Scott had lapped Baker twice.  Scott was not scored for four laps, and when the recheck was done it was determined Scott actually led from laps 176-202.  So instead of finishing two laps behind, he actually outran the field by two laps.  Baker got all the victory lane accolades in front of the fans.  But long after everyone was gone, NASCAR admitted it's mistake and Scott was given his trophy.  They waited until the fans had left because they were unsure how fans would react to a black man kissing a white woman in victory lane (Kissing the Victory Lane Queen was a custom in those times).  Rumor is Baker refused to relinquish the winners trophy to Scott, and he had to be given a substitute one.  This would also be the first start for Buddy Arrington. He would start 20th, and drive his Dodge to an 8th place finish.

1969 - Kenny Francis' birthday - Crew chief

1981 - Harry Melling, a Michigan industrialist, bought the #9 Ford from the Elliott family for Bill to campaign in the 1982 NASCAR Cup season.  The homespun Elliott operation had performed admirably with a shortage of sponsorship, but was facing a shutdown if operating funds couldn't be located.  Melling rescued the team and gave Bill Elliott an opportunity to display his talents.  Elliott ran a strong third in the April Rebel 500.

12/2

1982 - Eric Darnell's birthday.up - Dale Earnhardt would receive accolades for his seventh Cup Championship; held at the banquet held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

2016 - NASCAR announced on Thursday at Wynn Las Vegas a multi-year deal that will make Monster Energy only the third entitlement sponsor (RJ Reynolds/Winston and Sprint/Nextel) in premier series history.  The length and terms of the deal were not disclosed, but both parties hailed the partnership as the perfect fit for both brands.  "Monster Energy is a brand built on excitement and enthusiasm, qualities that align with NASCAR," said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO.  Along with naming rights to NASCAR's top series, Monster Energy will also hold race sponsorship to the NASCAR All-Star Race and become the Official Energy Drink of NASCAR.  Monster Energy also said it will continue to sponsor Stewart-Haas Racing's #41 Ford of Kurt Busch.  Thursday's announcement is the culmination of a lengthy and thorough search by NASCAR to find the successor to Sprint, whose entitlement sponsorship will end on December 31, 2016.

2016 - Betty Jane France Posthumously Receives 2016 Myers Brothers Award: In recognition of her leadership and accomplishments as founder and chairwoman emeritus of the NASCAR Foundation, the late Betty Jane France was named the recipient of the 2016 Myers Brothers Award.  The prestigious honor recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to stock car racing and is voted upon by the National Motorsports Press Association.  A philanthropist in support of children's health causes, France started the NASCAR Foundation in 2006.

12/3

1937 - Bobby Allison's birthday.

2010 - Jimmie Johnson and the Hendrick Motorsports crew would once again be at the head table as Johnson won the NASCAR Cup Championship for a fifth consecutive time.  Most certainly a record that could stand for all time.

12/4

1981 - The first NASCAR Cup Series Awards Banquet to be held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City with Cup Champion Darrell Waltrip and his owner Junior Johnson being the highlight of the evening.  

2009 - The annual NASCAR Championship Awards banquet moved from New York City to Las Vegas Nevada in 2009.

12/5

1926 - Jim Paschal's birthday

1938 - JD McDuffie's birthday

2008 - Jimmie Johnson won his third consecutive Cup Championship.  The banquet held at New York's Waldorf Astoria also had Cale Yarborough in attendance as he was the only other driver to win three consecutive Championships

12/6

2016 - Dodge is talking about again returning to NASCAR competition.  Sergio Marchionne, who is the CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, said he spoke with NASCAR vice-chairman Jim France and International Speedway Inc. CEO Lesa France Kennedy about the return of Dodge to the stock-car series.  "I was the one who made the decision to pull out of NASCAR.  I am the guilty party at the table.  In 2009, we came out bankruptcy and tried to race NASCAR (but) with the big bills and make payroll was a stretch.  We are in a different place now.  I think it is possible we can come back to NASCAR.  I think we need to find the right way to come back in.  Stipulations say that any manufacturer wanting to come into NASCAR for the 2017 season would have had to make a formal request by September 2015.  The current NASCAR rules require race-car renderings for new models to be submitted by more than a year before they ever are raced on the track.  The deadline is Oct. 1 (more than 15 months before the actual debut), if the production car is already in production, and Jan. 1 (13 months before the debut), if the production car will start being sold in the year the Cup model debuts.  A full-scale race car must be submitted to NASCAR by April 1 prior to the year of debut.  To accomplish those tasks, an incoming manufacturer likely would have to hire some top personnel away from current NASCAR teams, and that has yet to happen. More to come later...

12/7

2005 - NASCAR announces it has signed an eight-year, $4.48 billion television contract with ABC, ESPN, FOX, and TNT that will be effective starting with the 2007 season.

12/8

1952 - NASCAR stock car racing and newly crowned champion Tim Flock are featured in the Dec. 8 issue of Time magazine.

1967 - Jason Ratcliff's birthday. Crew chief in the Cup or Xfinity since 2000.  He led Kyle Busch on the Xfinity series to victory lane 34 times.  In 2012 he moved full time to the Cup series with Joey Logano, and the pair posted their first win.  In 2013 Ratcliff moved to crew for Matt Kenseth.  Together they would see victory lane on six occasions, and would finish second in the points.

1969 - Kerry Earnhardt's birthday

1975 - Kevin Harvick's birthday

1977 - Ryan Newman's birthday

1982 - on this date we lost Marty Robbins. Marty raced for fun.  He often said of himself "I'm not a singer who races.  I'm a racer who sings."  As a CUP competitor Robbins ran in 35 CUP events, most all of them on Super speedways.  He had seven top 10 finishes, with a seventh place finish in the Southern 500 in 1971.  In October 1982, Robbins was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.  Despite undergoing surgery, Robbins died a few days later, on December 8, 1982, in a Nashville hospital.  He was 57 years old.

2015 - Ron Bouchard dies - Ron passed away after battling cancer for many years.  Bouchard began his racing career at 14 years old at the former Brookline Speedway in the 1960's.  He made his name winning in Modified events across the Northeast and became the star attraction at Stafford Motor Speedway in the 1970's.  Though Bouchard was most known for his lone Cup Series victory, coming in the Talladega 500 at the Talladega Super speedway on Aug. 2, 1981.  It was his eleventh career Sprint Cup Series start. Bouchard was the 1981 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year.  He had 160 Sprint Cup Series starts between 1981 and 1987 with 19 top-five finishes, 60 top-10's and three poles.  He won the Talladega event driving for New England car owner Jack Beebe.

12/11

1953 - Tony Eury Sr birthday.  Crew chief in the Cup series starting full time in 1999; he led Dale Earnhardt Jr to some of best seasons.  In five full time season, the duo claimed at least two wins per year, and a season high of six victories in 2004.  Together they visited victory lane 15 times.  After that period Eury would only head up nine more Cup races (for Paul Menard).  He has been a part time crew chief ever since in the Xfinity series for a long list of drivers.  The only exceptions was in 2008 and 2009 when he headed up the race efforts of Brad Keselowski in the Xfinity series.  They paired for six wins.  The only other full time effort since was in 2011 with Aric Almirola, and the pair posted seven top five finishes.

1978 - Eric McClure's birthday

2015 - Three time West Coast Champion Lloyd Danes dies - Dane won three of the first four championships held for the Pacific Coast Late Model championship, the forerunner to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.  Dane also competed in 52 races over 11 years in NASCAR's premier series, collecting four wins.  He picked up victories in 1956 at California State Fairgrounds in Sacramento and Oregon's Portland Speedway, in 1957 at California's Eureka Speedway and 1961 at Riverside International Raceway in California.  In 1964, Dane received the Naughton Award for Sportsmanship in NASCAR racing.  He withdrew from a race at Sacramento, in October and loaned his car to Ron Hornaday Sr.  This helped Hornaday to win his second straight win the Pacific Coast championship.  Dane competed in the Cup series sporadically; making 52 starts over an 11 year span.  He posted 23 top five finishes and 36 top tens in his 52 starts.  Many believe if he had moved East and ran full time in the Cup series he would of won at least one title.

12/12

1934 - David Pearson's birthday

1947 - Red Byron gallops to victory in the 1947 NCSCC finale at Jacksonville, Fla.  Fonty Flock, winner of seven races during the season, is declared the champion.  Flock finishes 235 points ahead of two-time winner Ed Samples.  Nine-time winner Red Byron finishes third in points.

1953 - NASCAR president Bill France discloses plans for a 2.5-mile super speedway in Daytona Beach.  France estimates the facility will cost $1,674,000 to build and could open as early as 1955. Construction didn't start until 1957.  Construction cost ended up being near 3 million dollars and France was running out money as construction eared completion; so he had to use oney from advance ticket sales to complete the project.

1971 - Richard Petty roars to his 21st win of the season in the finale at Texas World Speedway.  Petty also wraps up his third NASCAR Cup Champion­ship once again beating James Hylton.

12/14

1919 - Lloyd Seay's birthday

1927 - Hershel McGriff's birthday

1947 - Bill France meets with 35 others who share a concern for the future of stock car racing at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach.  A set of rules is established and Red Vogt coins the name National Asso­ciation for Stock Car Auto Racing, which becomes NASCAR.  Fonty Flock, winner of the NCSCC title, will be listed as "1947 NASCAR Champion" in all early season press releases.

1954 - Alan Kulwicki's birthday

12/15

1953 - Eli Gold's birthday - sports announcer; In 1976, Gold became a member of the NASCAR’s Motor Racing network, which gives over 600 stations the broadcast of the NASCAR races.  Eli had many different jobs in the station, including co-anchor, turn announcer and pit reporter.  Since 1982, Gold has broadcast the show “NASCAR Live” and it is a weekly show that is heard all over the United States.  During the 1996 NASCAR season, Gold was the anchorman for the Nashville Network’s.  He also worked with ESPN, CBS Sports and NBC Sports in all of their coverage of NASCAR racing. Gold "is one of the most recognizable voices in NASCAR and in all of sports broadcasting."  Gold is also known as the radio voice for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team.

1967 - Lance McGrew's birthday.  Crew chief became a crew chief for Rick Hendrick Motorsports in 2001 as the head wrench for Rick's son Ricky Hendrick.  They claimed a win their initial season, and in 2002 moved up to the Xfinity series.  Hendrick decided his career wasn't as a driver, but as a car owner.  In 2003 McGrew led Brian Vickers on the Xfinity series and claimed the championship title.  In 2004 He headed up the Xfinity efforts of Kyle Busch, the pair claimed five wins, but finished second in the points chase.  For 2005 and 2006 McGrew moved up to the Cup series, and was again paired with Vickers.  Over those two years they posted one win, and ten top five finishes.  2008 saw him switch back and forth from Xfinity to Cup events with drivers Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Martin Truex.  2009 and 2010 he led Earnhardt Jr full time on the Cup series, but the pair only posted four top five finishes in that period.  2011 saw McGrew paired up with Mark Martin.  They struggled, and could only manage two top five finished that season.  In 2012 Lance moved up into a management role with Hendricks team; and in 2013 he came on board top head up the Truck series efforts of up and coming second generation racer Chase Elliott.  They only ran nine races, but posted a win, and seven top ten finishes.

12/16

1981 - AJ Allmendinger's birthday

2014 - NASCAR Series title sponsor Sprint announced on Tuesday that it will not extend its sponsorship of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beyond 2016.  The significant changes within Sprint and the highly competitive business environment it is in led to a decision not to extend its Cup Series entitlement position.  In 2004, Nextel signed a 10-year agreement, the longest series entitlement partnership in NASCAR history at the time.  In 2005, the company introduced a next-generation scanner known as FanView.  In 2007, Miss Sprint Cup joined the sport, and the ambassador program now reaches 1.5 million social media followers.  While the name changed to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2008, the innovations continued that year with the launch of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile application. "NASCAR and Sprint have enjoyed a long and productive partnership that has returned significant value to both parties.  To those brands that are looking to partner with us, we bring a great fan base that's highly engaged in the sport, and they're highly engaged with the sponsors that support the sport," NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar said. (In late 2016 NASCAR signed with Monster Energy to be the new entitlement Sponsor for the series.)  NASCAR was looking for $1 billion over 10 years from new title sponsor of top series: Rumor is Moster Signed for closer to 20 million dollar per year.

12/17

1955 - Mike Beam's birthday; crew chief in one of NASCAR's stop three series since 1981.  

1955 - Todd Berrier's birthday. crew chief  

1969 - NASCAR signs a contract with ABC Television, which will televise nine NASCAR Cup races, including five live broadcasts during the 1970 season.

2014 - NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams were given the 2014 rules package on Tuesday, less than a week after the final on-track test at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  The changes for 2014 include: Statically set car at race ride height -- eliminate pre- and post-race front height rules and inspection.  The use of a front splitter with a square leading edge.  Skirts at 4-inch minimum ground clearance on both the left and right sides.  Rear fascia trimmed 1.375 inches higher in current scallop region.  The use of an 8-inch high rear spoiler.  The use of a 43-inch wide by 13-inch long radiator pan.

12/18

1955 - Ted Musgrave's birthday

12/19

1960 - Patty Moise's birthday

12/21

1980 - Tim George Jr's birthday

1984 - Michael McDowell's birthday

2012 - On this date we lost Curtis Crider.  He started 232 Cup events, but was never able to break into victory circle.  He raced from 1959-1965 and posted 14 top five finishes.  Seven of his top fives came in 1964 when he finished fourth in points.  He had a best finish of third on three occasions at: Moyock, Augusta, and Harris.

12/22

1934 - David Pearson's birthday

12/23

1956 - Peter Sospenzo's birthday - Crew chief in the Cup series since 1994. A journeyman crew chief all his career he seldon headed up a team for a full season. He led such drivers as Phil Parsons, Lake Speed, Joe Ruttman, Kyle Petty, Joe Nemechek, Brian Vickers and Jeremy among many others. Mayfield posted two wins with him in 2000 and had 11 top ten finishes. His only other win came with Joe Nemechek at the wheel in 2003 at Richmond. He remained as a crew chief through 2013; with only top five finish posted (by David Gilliland) who finished third in the Daytona 500 in 2011. After that he seems to have retired

1964 - Tony Roper's birthday 1969 - Greg Biffle's birthday

1990 - On this date we lost Wendell Scott.  He was the first African-American man who ever competed in the cup series, and the first to win.  Scott ran 495 career cup events, and this was the only race he ever finished on the lead lap.

12/24

1944 - Mike Curb's birthday. Car owner and a motorsport enthusiast, Curb is a co-owner of the CURB/Agajanian/3G Racing.  In 2016 Mike Curb Racing still competed in the Cup and Truck series fielding the #98 race vehicles.  In the Cup series his cars were driven by a variety of drivers.  In the Truck series Rico Abreu drove full time.  His sponsorship and ownership have included three of NASCAR's most celebrated drivers: he previously owned Richard Petty's famed #43 in 1984 and 1985, including the 199th and 200th career wins for Petty.  Curb was also a sponsor for Dale Earnhardt during his 1980 Winston Cup championship winning season.  Some of his other wins include Dale Earnhardt Sr winning the 1980 Bud Shoot-Out;  Bobby Allison also claimed a win at Daytona in 1980;  In 2012 he supplied the winning car for the Daytona Rolex 24 Hour race; and he and JC Agajanian fielded the car that won the 2011 Indy 500 with Dan Wheldon in the cockpit.  He also owns cars in several other race series including the World of Out Law winged sprint cars, USAC Midgets cars, USAC Championship cars, and K&N Super Late Model series machines.  Along with all that he is also an American musician, record company executive; founder and owner of Curb Records.  Curb is also a song writer having written songs performed such singers as: Roy Orbison, TG Sheppard, Donny and Marie Osmond, Sammy Davis Jr, Andy Williams, Steve Williams, Anne Murray and many others.

1985 - David Ragan's birthday.

12/26

1951 - Terry Schoonover's birthday.

12/28

1936 - Jack Ingram's birthday

1998 - On this date we lost Cup series racer Shorty Rollins.  He would compete in 43 races from 1958-1960.  He won his only Cup race in 1958 and posted 22 top ten finishes in 29 starts; ending up fourth in the points chase.  He would be NASCAR's first Rookie of the Year.  He died of a heart ailment at the age of 69.

12/29

1936 - Waddell Wilson's birthday.  Crew chief who began as an engine builder for Holman Moody in the early 1960s and he worked for them into 1970s.  Wilson took over as a crew chief and his driver Buddy Baker won the 1980 Daytona 500.  Cale Yarborough drove a Wilson-prepared car to victory in the 1983 Daytona 500, and the combination repeated their win in 1984 Daytona 500.  He would also be the chief for such drivers as Darrell Waltrip and Ricky Rudd.  Between 1979 and 1993, Wilson was the crew chief for 22 NASCAR Winston Cup race wins.  Wilson was selected to be one of three retired crew chiefs to vote for the inaugural class for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

1963 - Jack Smith would make his final Cup start here at Savannah Speedway in GA.  It was orginally scheduled to be ran before Thanksgiving, but rain postponed the event until late December.  Smith is one of the lesser know stars of NASCAR.  He only started 264 events, and won on 21 occasions.  An impressive 10% win percentage almost.  He also had 142 top ten finishes - over 53%.  In this race Smith would start on the outside of the front row next to pole sitter Ned Jarrett.  Jarrett led 67 laps before his power plant billowed smoke and he was done for the day finishing 20th.  Richard Petty would assume the lead and go on to hold it the final 133 laps to get the win by over a lap over Smith.  Tiny Lund would finish third with Maurice Petty and Curtis Crider making up the top five.

2013 - On this date we lost Andy Granatelli; CEO of STP who had a major hand in getting STOP involved in auto racing.  Granatelli eventually became very visible in the racing world in the 1960s as the spokesman for STP oil and gasoline treatment products, appearing on its television and radio advertisements as well as sponsoring race cars.  He clad his pit crews in white coveralls with the oval STP logo scattered all over them, and once wore a suit jacket with the same STP-laden design.  His cars became a significant presence at the Indianapolis 500.  His most famous entries were his turbine-powered cars in 1967 and 1968.  In both years, he endured the excruciating frustration of seeing probable race-winners fail near the end.  He was finally rewarded with an Indianapolis 500 win in 1969 driven by Mario Andretti.  As far as NASCAR he is well known for the STP clad race cars of Richard Petty.  His biggest claim to fame will always be the $250,000 deal he struck as chairman of STP with seven-time Sprint Cup champion Richard Petty.  From the beginning of the partnership in 1972 through the end of Petty’s driving career in 1992, STP was there to back NASCAR’s “King” on his car.  Petty won the championship in his first season with STP, and would run a car backed by the familiar red oval up through his final race at NASCAR's top level, at Atlanta in 1992.  Granatelli died from congestive heart failure at the age of 90 in Santa Barbara, California.

12/30

1934 - Fred Lorenzen's birthday.

1956 - Fireball Roberts leads a 1-2-3-4 sweep for Peter DePaolo Fords in the 90-mile NASCAR Grand National race on the Titusville-Cocoa Airport runways in Florida.  The DePaolo Engineering team is managed by master mechanic John Holman.

12/31

1989 - John Wes Townley's birthday

1993 - Ryan Blaney's birthday

2015 - On this date we lost Marvin Panch.  He attempted his first East Coast race at Darlington Raceway in 1953.  NASCAR founder Bill France, Sr. convinced him to come East for 1954.  Lee Petty invited Panch to race in the 1954 Darlington race, where he finished third.  The finish impressed Tom Horbison, who hired Panch to race his car during the 1955 season.  His 1955 finishes impressed Pete DePaolo, who hired Panch to race in his factory Ford team.  Panch won his first NASCAR race on July 20, 1956 at Montgomery Speedway after starting on the pole position and dominating the entire race.  He won the two races in 1957 for DePaolo.  He added another victory in April before Ford ended its factory support in the middle of the season.  Panch joined the legendary Holman-Moody team for the rest of the season.  He won three more events in the season, and finished second in the final points standings.  The end of the Ford factory sponsorship hurt Panch's career.  Over the next three seasons he was only able to race in 24 races.  He was offered a ride by legendary NASCAR mechanic Smokey Yunick in the 1961 Daytona 500.  The car was a year old 1960 Pontiac. Panch took the offer, and won the 1961 Daytona 500 to put his career back on track.  During the 1962 season he was offered a ride by legendary car owners the Wood Brothers.  He accepted the ride in the Ford factory sponsored team. Panch had eight wins and 30 Top 3 finishes in 69 races for the team.  He stayed with the team from 1962 to March 27, 1966, when Ford had another dispute with NASCAR.  In 1965, A. J. Foyt finished the Atlanta 500 in Atlanta Motor Speedway in a car Panch started, taking it to victory. Panch received credit for the win.  On Feb. 14, 1963 at Daytona International Speedway.  Panch escaped death in a fiery crash, driving an experimental Ford-powered Maserati in a test session.  He suffered serious internal injuries and severe burns to his back, neck and hands.  Among his rescuers was a South Carolinian racer named Tiny Lund, who won the Carnegie Medal for heroism for his actions.  Ten days later, Lund drove the Wood Brothers No. 21 entry earmarked for Panch to his first premier series victory in the 1963 Daytona 500.  Panch was hired by Petty to race for Petty Enterprises for the 1966 World 600 in a year old car.  Panch won the race for his final career victory, when Richard Petty was his relief driver.  Panch raced for Petty Enterprises until he announced his retirement after the National 500 at Charlotte in October 1966.  Panch was presented the Myers Brothers Award in 1963 to honor his outstanding contributions to the sport of stock-car racing.