NOTE### - any date in PINK and BOLD is an event pre-NASCAR - but is associated to bringing about the sport of NASCAR
1947 - Bill France announces he will direct a series of stock car races under the National Championship Stock Car Circuit banner in 1947. France's slogan for the new touring series is "NCSCC: Where The Fastest That Run, Run The Fastest." 1947 saw nearly 40 sanctions races held.
1949 - saw France head up two different series. The "Modified" series continued, while France also conceived the idea of a "Strickly Stock" division (The precurrsor to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series). Several 'exhibition Strickly Stock races were held prior to kicking off the points chase in June.
1950 - Entering its second season, NASCAR's Strictly Stock late-model division is renamed the "Grand National" division because, NASCAR president Bill France explains, "Grand National indicates superior qualities."
1972 - NASCAR announces the 1972 NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National season will be reduced to 30 events. Only races of 250 miles or more will be part of the schedule.
1975 - NASCAR announces a new points system, the fourth different method of distributing points in the last five years. For the first time in NASCAR history, each race will carry an equal points value throughout the season.
1979 - The CBS Sports television network prepares for its live, flag-to-flag telecast of the Daytona 500. It marks the first time in history that a 500-mile NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National event will be televised by a major network in its entirety.
1986 - Following an announcement in late 1985, NASCAR changes the names of its premier stock car racing series and its second-ranked division. "Grand National" has been dropped from the Winston Cup Series and shifted to the old Late Model Sportsman division. "We feel our friends at Winston deserve a name of their own," says NASCAR president Bill France, Jr. The first official titles of NASCAR's two leading stock car racing series become NASCAR Winston Cup and NASCAR Busch Grand Series
1957 - Dan Elliott's birthday (crew chief) - Elliott was only the crew chief for one driver - Brother Bill Elliott. Together with brother Dan, the trio won the CUP Championship in 1988, and finished second in the points three times. - twice winning the Daytona 500, three times winning the Southern 500, and once winning the Brickyard 400.
1965 - New NASCAR rules go into effect that eliminate the Chrysler Hemi engine and the Plymouth and Dodge models that were raced in 1964. Chrysler balks at the new rules and announces it will boycott all NASCAR races in 1965.
1971 – Scott Riggs' birthday
1950 – Grant Adcox's birthday
1969 - Robby Gordon's birthday
1932 - CooCoo Marlin's birthday
1959 – Willy T Ribbs' birthday
1973 - Tony Eury Jr's birthday (crew chief) He has lead such teams as Dale Earnhardt Jr, Danica Patrick, and Michael Waltrip. He has claimed only two wins; both with Earnhardt Jr.
1974 - In the wake of the crippling energy shortage, NASCAR announces all races will be reduced 10 percent in length to conserve fuel. In addition, NASCAR plans for smaller starting fields and limited practice sessions.
2009 - on this date we lost Sam McQuagg - 1 time race winner; 1965 CUP Rookie of the Year; died of cancer
1965 - Billy Wade is killed during a tire test at Daytona. Wade had replaced the late Joe Weatherly on the Bud Moore Mercury team and had become the first driver to win four NASCAR Grand National events in a row.
2007 - on this date we lost Bobby Hamilton - 4 time race winner; 1991 CUP Rookie of the Year; 2004 Truck Series Champion; died of cancer
1978 – Bobby Hamilton Jr's birthday
1987 – Tim Richmond announces he will miss the first part of the 1987 NASCAR Winston Cup season with an illness he says is "double pneumonia." Team owner Rick Hendrick announces Benny Parsons will replace Richmond until he can return.
1959 – Mark Martin's birthday
1987 – Stephen Leicht's birthday
1940 – Harry Gant's birthday
1959 - Larry McReynold's birthday (crew chief) for such famous drivers a Dale Earnhardt Sr, Ricky Rudd, Ernie Irvan, and Davey Allison. McReynolds was a crew chief from 1982-2000. Allison collected 11 of those wins. He won the World 600 with Allison, and the 1992 Daytona 500. He also served as crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Sr's lobe Daytona 500 win in 1998.
1971 - West Coast driver Ray Elder surprises the NASCAR touring pros by winning the season-opening Motor Trend 500 at Riverside International Raceway.
2017 - In a surprise announcement Carl Edwards announced he was retiring from NASCAR racing immediately. In a press conference the following day he started by thanking his owners; Mittler Brothers; Roush; Gibbs; also the other drivers; the fans; the media His reason were he said that he was personally satisfied with his career. Also racing was an all encompassing thing and he needs to take “that” time right now and devote it to people that’s important to him. And that he said his health and it’s importance to him, and he wants to minimize any possibilities of future injuries. Carl stated he is a very private person (and as I considered it I realize I know NOTHING about his kids and never see them on TV). He said he considered 2017 being his final year; but couldn’t come up with a good reason why “NOW” wasn’t a good time. He stated that no one defining thing that led him to this decision. Timing for this is now. When he was asked as to “what comes next” he readily admitted “there’s no life raft – I’m not jumping from one place to another and doing something else. To be honest I don’t have it all figured out yet”. At times it became very personal for Edwards and he almost broke down in tears. For his NASCAR career Edwards ran in 60 Camping World Truck series races winning on six occasions; Drove 245 Xfinity races with 38 wins and in the CUP series raced 445 races collecting 28 wins; including the 2015 Coke 600 and finished second in the points in 2008 and 2011
1923 – Carroll Shelby's birthday racing engineer also responsible for development of the Shelby Cobra Mustangs
1959 – Brett Bodine's birthday
1972 – NASCAR founder Bill France steps down as president and turns the reins over to his son, Bill France, Jr. "I am sure that NASCAR will continue its dynamic leadership in the sport of automobile racing," says the senior France
2008 – Larry McClure announces that due to lack of sponsorship, Morgan-McClure Motorsports is shutting down. The team formed in 1983 and had three Daytona 500 victories and 14 total NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins.
1933 – Henley Gray's birthday
1988 – Brian Scott's birthday
2006 – After three years in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Toyota announces it will field Camrys in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition in 2007. Bill Davis Racing, Team Red Bull, and Michael Waltrip Racing are the first to sign with Toyota.
1953 – NASCAR announces it will require that drivers mail entry blanks to NASCAR headquarters and speedway promoters to earn championship points. Many promoters have complained that they don't know who will compete and have been unable to properly promote their events.
1959 – Ernie Irvan's birthday
1980 - Dan Gurney would make his final career CUP start here at Riverside International Raceway in the Winston Western 500. He would start seventh, but have transmission problems and fall out after 79 laps finishing 28th. Gurney was running second when his transmission gave out. He came out of a ten year retirement to help ticket sales for the event. Darrell Waltrip would win the pole and lead 58 of the 119 laps to get the win, edging out Dale Earnhardt Sr by three seconds. Richard Petty, Joe Millikan and Bill Schmidt rounded out the top five. This would also mark the CUP debut for Lake Speed
2017 - 80 total pages of revisions released Friday afternoon pertain to Sections 20 (Vehicle and Driver Safety specifications) and 21 (Pit Equipment and Crew Safety specifications). Tire allocations changed pretty much across the board. Some races will have fewer tires for a race weekend; and some races will have more. Also starting in 2017 Cup teams will be required to start the race on the tires they used in Coors Light Pole Qualifying. 2017 aerodynamic package for non-restrictor plate tracks in the Monster Energy Cup Series will feature a shortened rear spoiler, measuring 2.35 inches tall. The standard rear-spoiler height for premier series teams last season was 3.5 inches. For super speedway events at Daytona and Talladega, the restrictor plate opening will be smaller by 1/64 of an inch -- reduced from 57/64 to 7/8. Additional safety guidelines were issued for restrictor-plate events for Monster Energy Cup and XFINITY teams. Among them, the previously optional roof hatch is now mandatory as an alternate escape route. Competition officials have also required the use of energy-absorbing materials to strengthen the area occupied by the drivers' feet in the cockpit. The extra materials to be used in the foot box area weigh about 20 pounds; so NASCAR has raised the cars minimum weight by 20 pounds to compensate for the increase. Finally divers in all three series may use biometrics devices in their vehicles in 2017. The wrist-worn health tracking devices may not transmit data, may not connect to the vehicle in any way and must operate on an internal battery. Devices eligible for use are certain models made by Garmin, Misfit, Polar, Samsung, Tom Tom and Jawbone.
2018 – On this date we lost racer Dan Gurney. He raced in all facets of motor sports. He drove for Roger Penske in the NASCAR series 16 times; winning five races. Gurney paired with AJ Foyt to win the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans. He also won four times on the Formula 1 circuit. Gurney made nine starts; and although he never won he did finish second, second, and third from 1968-1970. Gurney died from complications of pneumonia.
1924 – Dick Rathman's birthday
1935 - AJ Foyt's birthday
1952 – Norm Benning's birthday
1985 – Jeremy Clements' birthday
2007 - on this date we lost Benny Parsons - 21 time race winner; 1973 CUP Series Champion; died of lung cancer
1925 - Harry Hyde's birthday (crew chief) - he wrenched for such great drivers as Bobby Isaac, Tim Richmond, Geoff Bodine, Benny Parsons, Bobby Allison, Buddy Baker, and Ken Schrader among others from 1966-1993. Hyde would claim 56 victories as crew chief; 36 with Bobby Isaac at the wheel.
1948 – Lake Speed's birthday
1981 - In light of new guidelines requiring the use of downsized cars (110-inch wheelbase vs. the older 115-inch wheelbase), Richard Petty tests a Dodge Mirada at Daytona. The car is unable to run competitive speeds, so Petty gives up any idea of returning to the Chrysler fold.
1970 - Here in the Motor Trend 500, Parnelli Jones would make his final CUP start. Jones won the pole for the event, but failed post qualifying tech because of illegal tires. He had to start at the back of the field. Dan Gurney then assumed the pole with David Pearson outside. When the green hankie waved, Jones came charging through the field. Passing several cars every lap, he moved his car into the lead by lap 80; he had almost lapped the field when he had clutch issues, and ended up finishing 11th. This was the first start for the Plymouth Superbird. Gurney put it on the pole, but it had mechanical issues and could only manage a sixth place finish. It was a real battle up front as the race featured 20 lead changes among 7 drivers. Jones led the most laps (88), the next closest was Pearson with 39. But when the checkers flew it was AJ Foyt out in front as he just edged out Roger McCluskey by three seconds. The rest of the top five was LeeRoy Yarbrough, Donnie Allison, and Richard Petty.
1964 - Dan Gurney laps the field and easily wins the Riverside 500. Joe Weatherly, two-time defending NASCAR Grand National champion, loses his life when he crashes into a concrete wall in the late stages. Weatherly was a 25 time race winner and 2 time CUP Series Champion.
1964 - After claiming the CUP Championship in 1962 and 1963, Joe Weatherly was set to repeat as the 1963 champ, driving the Bud Moore owned Mercury. Weatherly started 16th and was running well when his throttle stuck and he hit the turn number six concrete wall. Turn number six was a right turn so his car struck drivers side first. Weatherly always refused to wear a shoulder harness, just a lap belt. He also refused to use a window net as he has a fear of fire. Fred Lorenzen started on the pole, but had transmission issues, and finished a disappointing 17th. Dan Gurney would win while Marvin Panch, Fireball Roberts, Bill Amick, and Ned Jarrett comprised the top five. This would be the final CUP start for Indy 500 winner Troy Ruttman, brother of Joe Ruttman. Troy started 17, and worked his way up to 10th by the time the checkers fell. Something worth noting is even though this race is on January 19, 1964 - it is actually the fifth race of the 1964 season. During this era of NASCAR the season would start the previous year. For example; race number one for the 1964 season was actually held on November 10, 1963 at Concord Speedway in Concord NC. This would also be the last CUP start for Lloyd Dane. He started 20th and had his engine expire relegating him to a 19th place finish. Dane won four CUP races in his career.
2016 - NASCAR instituted the play-off system to both the Xfinity and Truck season starting in 2016. Xfinity will take 12 drivers; when the Trucks will advance just eight drivers into the Chase. Both series will only have two rounds. Also announced was that the “Dash For Cash” in the Xfinity format would be changed. Here is the new format: The Dash 4 Cash will be two heat races and the winners will compete for the Dash 4 Cash prize in the feature race. Odd-numbered qualifiers will be pitted against each other in one heat race, and even-numbered qualifiers will compete in the other heat race. The top two finishers in each heat race would be the Dash 4 Cash eligible drivers. Only drivers who are eligible for Xfinity Series points will be eligible to win in the Dash 4 Cash with the grand prize being awarded in the finale at Indianapolis. As an extra incentive, a driver who wins two Dash 4 Cash events will be awarded a spot in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Chase. The Truck series will have a “caution clock” introduced this season. The way this will work will be - A Caution Clock will be utilized in each NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event (except for Eldora Speedway). The clock will be set to 20 minutes and triggered at the start of each green-flag run during race events. When the clock counts down to zero, a caution flag then will be displayed and no ‘lucky dog’ will be awarded. A caution occurring before time expires resets the clock when the subsequent green flag is displayed and the first truck a lap down will be the “lucky dog”.
• The caution clock will be turned off with 20 laps to go at all events in the series, with the exception of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Pocono Raceway, where the clock will be turned off with 10 laps remaining.
2016 - For the first time in its history, NASCAR will have specific penalties for specific behavioral infractions. The comprehensive rule book changes cover everything from deliberately wrecking another competitor on track to fights between drivers, using racial slurs, DUI arrests and publicly criticizing how NASCAR is run.
Section12.8.1 goes on to explain specific infractions.
A - Member action(s) that could result in a mild response such as a meeting, warning, probation:
● Heat-of-the-moment actions or reactions, either on or off the race track;
● Member-to-Member confrontation(s) without physical violence (e.g. shoving match, shouting match, or general “venting”).
B - Member actions that could result in a $10,000-$50,000 fine and/or probation:
● Disparaging the sport and/or NASCAR’s leadership;
● Verbal abuse of a NASCAR Official, media members, fans, etc.;
● Intentionally damaging another vehicle under yellow or red flag conditions or on pit road with no one around.
C - Member actions that could result in a loss of 25-50 Championship driver and Team Owner points and/or $50,000-$100,000 fine and/or one Race suspension, indefinite suspension, or termination:
● Physical confrontation with a NASCAR Official, media members, fans, etc.;
● Member-to-Member confrontation(s) with physical violence and other violent manifestations such as significant threat(s) and/or abuse and/or endangerment;
● Attempting to manipulate the outcome of the Race or championship;
● Intentionally wrecking another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from Competition as a result.
D - Member actions that could result in a loss of 50-100 Championship driver and Team Owner points and/or $150,000-$200,000 fine and/or two Race suspension, indefinite suspension, or termination:
● Targeting another driver who is in a highly vulnerable position, such as already stopped with window net lowered; or whose vehicle has already had one or more of its safety systems affected by crash damage, such as an exposed fuel cell, damaged roll cage, and so on.
● Premeditatedly removing another Competitor from championship contention in a dangerous manner when not racing for position based on the available evidence and specific circumstances of the incident.
● Without limiting the scope, examples could include a Competitor “waiting” for another Competitor and then taking action; taking a trajectory with the vehicle not normally taken such as from pit exit directly up into a vehicle in the racing groove; clearly forcing another Competitor into the wall in an abrupt and unambiguous manner; and so on.
E - Member actions that could result in a fine and/or indefinite suspension or termination:
● Public statement and/or communication that criticizes, ridicules, or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, or handicapping condition.
● Being charged with or convicted of significant criminal violations (e.g. Domestic Violence, Trafficking, Assault), or having had determinations rendered by criminal or civil authorities that in NASCAR’s judgment necessitate action. NASCAR will not pre-judge guilt or innocence in the criminal or civil legal system, or the guilt or innocence of the Member, but rather review each matter in its own context and circumstances and with regards to its potential effects upon the sport.
F - Factors that NASCAR may consider when reviewing a matter might include:
● When and where the incident(s) occurred;
● The perceivable or potential ramifications to others and/or to the sport;
● Available empirical data;
● Member’s past history;
● Possible effects to fans, safety workers, crew members;
● Any extenuating circumstances;
● Was the explanation(s) plausible given the circumstances;
● Was there an indication of genuine remorse or attempts to work things out with the other party(s) in a civil manner; and so on.
2018 - Red Byron, Ron Hornaday Jr, Robert Yates, Ray Evernham, and Ken Squire were the five people inducted as the NASCAR Hall of Fame class of 2018.
RED BYRON - Robert “Red” Byron was there at the outset, to say the least. Byron won the sanctioning body’s first race in 1948, on the Daytona Beach-Road Course. He went on in 1948 to win NASCAR’s first season championship—in the NASCAR Modified Division. The following year, driving for fellow NASCAR Hall of Famer Raymond Parks (2017), he won the first-ever NASCAR Strictly Stock Division (now Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) title. The Strictly Stock Division schedule had eight races; Byron won two of them. Wounded in World War II, he drove with a special brace attached to the clutch pedal to assist his injured left leg—making his accomplishments even more impressive. That injury contributed to Byron’s relatively brief career, after which he continued to be involved in motor sports. When he died in 1960 at the age of 45, he had branched out, striving to make more history by developing an American car capable of winning the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car event. In 1998, he was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers, recognition of a highly significant career.
RAY EVERNHAM - In the 1992 season finale, a young driver and crew chief made their NASCAR premier series debut. Less than a decade later, Jeff Gordon and Ray Evernham were in the record books. Evernham guided Gordon and the No. 24 team to three championships in four seasons (1995, 1997, 1998), and a series-leading 47 wins in the 1990s. Among their triumphs were two Daytona 500s (1997, 1999) and two Brickyard 400s (1994, 1998). Matching Evernham’s mechanical prowess was his innovation on pit road. Under his direction, the “Rainbow Warriors” revolutionized the art of the pit stop. In 2001, Evernham tried his hand at ownership, leading the return of Dodge to NASCAR. His drivers won 13 times, including NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott’s (2015) triumph in the 2002 Brickyard 400. After selling majority ownership of his team in 2007, Evernham worked for ESPN as a race analyst before joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2014 as a consultant for its competition department.
RON HORNADAY JR - One of the forefathers of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, few drivers can be mentioned in the same breath as Ron Hornaday Jr. when it comes to wheeling a truck around a track. The second-generation racer from Palmdale, California, boasts a record four Truck Series championships and 51 wins competing on the rough-and-tumble circuit. Hornaday also holds the Truck Series all-time marks for top fives (158) and top 10s (234). In 2009, Hornaday won five straight Truck Series races, a feat matched only three other times in NASCAR national series history. Given his first opportunity in the Truck Series by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt (2010) after “The Intimidator” discovered him during a NASCAR Winter Heat Series event on ESPN2, Hornaday gave back to the sport by allowing young West Coast upstarts to stay at his home while pursuing their stock car racing dreams, including future NASCAR premier series champions Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick.
KEN SQUIRE - With a smooth voice and knack for weaving a simple note into an epic tale, Ken Squier carved a massive footprint during NASCAR’s formative broadcast years. One of NASCAR’s original broadcasters, Squier co-founded the Motor Racing Network (MRN) in 1970. It was his golden voice that took NASCAR to a national audience thirsting for live coverage, giving his insider’s view of what he famously described as “common men doing uncommon things.” He is perhaps best known for calling the 1979 Daytona 500, a milestone moment for the entire sport, as Squier’s voice on CBS welcomed millions to the first live flag-to-flag coverage of "The Great American Race"—a moniker he coined. Following that signature moment, Squier proceeded to call races for CBS and TBS until 1997 before shifting to the studio as host for NASCAR broadcasts until 2000. In 2012, NASCAR announced the creation of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence, which would be housed in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Squier and MRN’s Barney Hall were inaugural winners of the award. ROBERT YATES - Robert Yates was the rare breed, excelling in any field he chose. But two in particular placed him among NASCAR’s greats: engine building (his first love) and team ownership. Yates, who began his career at Holman-Moody Racing in 1968, landed a job with NASCAR Hall of Famer Junior Johnson (2010) in 1971. The rest is history. He provided the power behind NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison (2011) and Cale Yarborough (2012), later leading Allison to a series championship in 1983 with DiGard Racing. In the late 1980s, Yates launched his own team, Robert Yates Racing. Success came quickly—NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee and driver Davey Allison won the 1992 Daytona 500 and finished third in that season’s championship standings. In 1996, Yates expanded to a two-car team with NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett (2014) and Ernie Irvan and immediately won that year’s Daytona 500 with Jarrett. After that, Jarrett would go on to win another Daytona 500 in 2000, a year after winning the NASCAR premier series championship—all in Yates-owned Fords. His lineage continued on as son Doug carries on his legacy as one of the top engine builders in the sport.
Other awards included the;
Landmark Award Winner; JIM FRANCE - Jim France grew up in the early years of stock car racing, living and learning every detail of the sport from his own experiences and from his father, NASCAR Hall of Famer William H.G. “Big Bill” France (2010), the founder and first president of NASCAR; and brother, NASCAR Hall of Famer William C. “Bill Jr.” France (2010), NASCAR’s former president, chairman and CEO. Joining ISC in 1959, Jim France worked in all phases of operations in his early years with the company. He was elected to the ISC board in 1970 and has served as the company’s secretary, assistant treasurer, vice president, chief operating officer, executive vice president, president and, now, chairman. He has been involved in motorsports most of his life: In 1999, he founded GRAND-AM Road Racing; and in 2012, he was the driving force behind the merger of GRAND-AM and the American Le Mans Series, which began operation as one entity in 2014.
Squire-Hall Award; NORMA "DUSTY" BRANDEL - Norma “Dusty” Brandel became the first woman to report from inside the NASCAR garage at Ontario Motor Speedway in 1972. Her career in motorsports journalism started in 1955 as a writer for the Hollywood Citizen-News and early in her career, Brandel covered sports car races throughout Southern California. She eventually worked in press information at Southern California tracks, including the now-defunct Riverside International Raceway. She received the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) Angelo Angelopolous Award in 2001.
1929 – Fireball Roberts' birthday
1952 – Tim Flock wins the 100-mile season opener at Palm Beach Speedway in West Palm Beach, Fla. Bernard Alvarez escapes injury when his Olds flips over and the roof caves in. NASCAR rules are amended to now require the use of steel roll bars on all race cars.
1963 - AJ Foyt and Joe Ruttman would make their first career CUP starts here at Riverside International Raceway. Paul Goldsmith would start on the pole, while the rookie Foyt would join him on the front row. Goldsmith would fall out after 59 laps with a broken connecting rod. Dan Gurney would claim the checkers first in his Holman-Moody Ford, for his first Career win. Foyt would finish second. Rounding out the top five was Troy Ruttman, Fireball Roberts and Bobby Johns. Joe Ruttman would finish tenth. The race is a grueling affair that takes nearly six hours to complete.
2004 - NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian Z. France announces radical changes to the method used to determine the annual champion in 2004. Officially called the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup," the new points structure calls the top 10 drivers in the points standings through the first 26 races compete for the title over the final 10 races. This format would be changed in later years.
2012 - Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Inman, Richie Evans, and Glen Wood are annnounced as the inductees for the class of 2012.
2016 - The NASCAR Hall of Fame inducted it's 2017 class. Inducted in this year would be:
RICK HENDRICK - The founder and owner of Hendrick Motorsports, Rick Hendrick’s organization is recognized as one of NASCAR’s most successful. A longtime racing enthusiast and driver himself, Hendrick owned drag-racing boat teams that won three championships before founding “All-Star Racing,” the team that would evolve into Hendrick Motorsports, in 1984. Hendrick Motorsports owns an all-time record 11 NASCAR Cup Series car owner championship titles – six with Jimmie Johnson, four with Jeff Gordon and one with NASCAR Hall of Famer Terry Labonte. Hendrick also has 14 total NASCAR national series owner championships, most in NASCAR history. Gordon and Labonte combined to win four consecutive titles from 1995-98. In 2010, Johnson won a record-extending fifth consecutive championship. Some of NASCAR’s most prominent drivers have driven for Hendrick. Geoff Bodine was the first, snaring the organization’s first victory on April 29, 1984, at Martinsville Speedway. The late Tim Richmond, NASCAR Hall of Famer, and three-time series champion, Darrell Waltrip and the late Benny Parsons, the 1973 champion, also are Hendrick alumni.
MARK MARTIN - He’s often described as the “greatest driver to never to win a championship,” but Mark Martin’s legendary career is so much more than that. He came incredibly close to that elusive title many times – finishing second in the championship standings five times. In 1990, Martin finished 26 points behind Dale Earnhardt, his closest run at the championship. He set career highs for wins (seven), top-five finishes (22) and laps led (1,730) in 1998, but was left with another second-place finish, this time to Jeff Gordon. He also finished second in 1994, 2002 and ‘09. Over the course of his 31-year premier series career, Martin compiled 40 wins (17th all time) and 61 runner-up finishes (sixth) in 882 starts (fifth). His 56 career poles rank seventh on the all-time list. Martin saw success at every level of NASCAR. He won 49 times in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, holding the series wins record for 14 years. He retired with 96 wins across NASCAR’s three national series, seventh on the all-time list. In 1998, Martin was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.
RAYMOND PARKS - Raymond Parks is one of stock-car racing’s earliest – and most successful – team owners. Funded by successful business and real estate ventures in Atlanta, Parks began his career as a stock-car owner in 1938 with drivers Lloyd Seay and Roy Hall. His pairing with another Atlantan, mechanic Red Vogt, produced equipment good enough to dominate the sport in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Red Byron won the first NASCAR title (modified, 1948) and first premier series title (1949) in a Parks-owned car. Though Parks’ team competed for only four seasons – 1949, 1950, 1954 and 1955 – his place in NASCAR history is secure. Parks’ team produced two premier series wins, two poles, 11 top fives and 12 top 10s in 18 events. Drivers Red Byron, Bob Flock and Roy Hall drove his cars during the 1949 season. Byron drove for him again in 1950. Fonty Flock drove for Parks in 1954, and NASCAR Hall of Famer Curtis Turner drove for him in 1955. Parks retired from racing in the mid-1950s.
BENNY PARSONS - Benny Parsons, a Wilkes County, North Carolina, native who called Detroit home after driving a taxi for a living during his years in the northern city, won the 1973 NASCAR premier series championship in one of the most dramatic fashions in series history. Parsons could be called an everyman champion: winning enough to be called one of the sport’s stars but nearly always finishing well when he wasn’t able to reach Victory Lane. He won 21 times in 526 career starts but finished among the top 10 283 times – a 54 percent ratio. One of Parsons’ biggest victories came in the 1975 Daytona 500. He was the first driver to qualify a stock car at more than 200 mph (200.176) in 1982 at Talladega Superspeedway. He was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. Parsons also was known as a voice of the sport making a seamless transition to television following his NASCAR career. He was a commentator for NBC and TNT until his passing in 2007, at the age of 65.
Landmark Award Winner - H CLAY EARLES - One of the original pioneers of stock car auto racing, H. Clay Earles played an integral role in the early years of NASCAR's development. Earles built and opened Martinsville Speedway in 1947, and the short track remains the only facility to host NASCAR Cup Series races every year since the series’ inception in 1949. The speedway held its first race on Sept. 7, 1947 – three months before the creation of NASCAR. That initial race drew more than 6,000 fans to the track, which had just 750 seats ready. Built as a dirt track, the .526-mile asphalt and concrete speedway has grown from a dusty, primitive operation into a multi-million dollar facility covering over 340 acres. The track’s unique paperclip shape makes it especially challenging, with 800-foot straights and tight turns banked at only 12 degrees. In 1964, Earles decided it was time for a “different” type of trophy for his race winners. He gave winners grandfather clocks, a tradition that continues today. Earles passed away on November 16, 1999 as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the speedway.
Squire-Hall Award - BENNY PHILLIPS - Benny spent 48 years with the High Point (N.C.) Enterprise, serving as sports editor for 32 years. He also wrote for Stock Car Racing magazine for 27 years and spent 12 years with TBS. Phillips was named the NMPA Writer of the Year seven times and earned many accolades including the NMPA Joe Littlejohn Award in 1977, the IMHOF Henry T. McLemore Award in 1978, the Buddy Shuman Award in 1986 and the NMPA George Cunningham Award in 1988.
1968 - In the 1968 Motor Trend 500 at Riverside, CA. Al Unser would make his first of five CUP starts. Unser would start 14th in 1967 Dodge and the rookie drove his way up to a sixth place finish. Dan Gurney, David Pearson, and Parnelli Jones filled the first three starting positions. Gurney led 124 laps, and the top three finished as they started. Bobby Allison was fourth, and Cale Yarborough finished fifth. This was the first race where the teams used window nets.
1973 - Bobby Unser would make his final CUP start here at Riverside International Raceway in the Winston Western 500. Unser would have four CUP starts. On this day Unser would start seventh, and wheel his Pepsi Cola sponsored, Holman-Moody owned Ford to a fourth place finish. David Pearson started on the pole, but fell out after 91 laps after his clutch burned out. Richard Petty was leading on lap 95 when he blew the motor in his STP Dodge. Road racing ace Mark Donahue would start fourth, but lead the final 75 laps of the 191 circuits to claim the win by over a lap. Bobby Allison finished second, Ray Elder third, Under fourth, and Jimmy Inslo fifth. Donohue's first win comes in his fifth NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National start.
2008 - NASCAR says it will begin donating fine money collected from teams and drivers to the NASCAR Foundation, which supports charities, instead of adding it to the season-ending point fund.
1967 - The Motor Trend 500 held in Riverside, CA. would be the site of Parnelli Jones final CUP win. Dick Hutcherson won the pole in his Bondy Long Ford; with David Pearson starting second. Hutcherson crashed after only 14 laps finishing 39th. Pearson ran well but couldn't keep pace finishing eighth. Fred Lorenzen was leading on lap 50 when rain moved in. The race was restarted one week later. Parnelli Jones led 126 laps - leading the final 100 laps in the 185 lap event. Paul Goldsmith finished second, two laps down. The top five were Norm Nelson, Don White, and James Hylton. On a tragic note Canadian Billy Foster was killed in a practice crash two days before the race. Foster's car lost it's brakes coming into the high speed turn number nine. He was partially ejected from his car through the drivers window. Cale Yarborough had a crash similar as Foster's, but was uninjured. Following this tragedy NASCAR mandated driver side window nets on all race cars.
1978 - Cale Yarborough drives his Oldsmobile to a close decision over Benny Parsons to win the Winston Western 500 on the road course at Riverside International Raceway. It is the first win for the Oldsmobile nameplate since 1959.
1985 – Grant Enfinger's birthday.
2007 - NASCAR announces changes to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points system. Race winners get an additional five points for winning a race. The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field increases from the top ten drivers in points after the 26th race to the top 12. All Chase drivers start with 5000 points plus 10 bonus points for each race win from the regular season.
1937 - Emanuel Zervakis birthday (driver & car owner) - Zervakis drove in 83 CUP events winning twice. His greatest claim to fame came as a car owner. He never fielded a car for a CUP win in NASCAR, but then carved out a long career as an innovative, eccentric car owner and racing businessman. His advice was sought at all levels of the sport. Car owners, drivers and mechanics alike consulted him. Teams hired him to gain an edge over their competition. He did field cars for many drivers that had good careers such as Geoff Bodine, Mark Martin, and Dale Jarrett.
1949 - NASCAR President Bill France promotes a 100-mile race at the new Broward Speedway. The huge two-mile speedway consists of a paved circle used as taxiways at the Ft. Lauderdale-Davie Airport. Red Byron sets the pack in qualifying with a speed of just over 115 mph. Lloyd Christopher wins a preliminary 10-mile "Strictly Stock Late Model" race. Fonty Flock wins the 50-lap modified feature at an average speed of 97 mph.
1966 - Mario Andretti would make his first career CUP start here at Riverside International Raceway. Andretti would start 25th, but would crash out on lap 154 and finish 16th. David Pearson would start on the pole with Dan Gurney outside. Gurney would pilot the Wood Brothers 1966 Ford and lead 148 laps on his way to the victory. Pearson would finish second, followed by Paul Goldsmith, Curtis Turner, and Dick Hutcherson. This would also the the final CUP start for Lloyd Dane.
2006 - NASCAR announces that the "Car of Tomorrow" will be run at 16 races in 2007, 26 races in 2008, and the full schedule in 2009. The schedule could move forward if the teams agree that they want to switch to the new car exclusively.
2016 - The NASCAR Hall of Fame inducted it's seventh class. Inducted in this initial class was;
BOBBY ISAAC: Isaac knew one speed: Fast. His uncanny skill at qualifying a race car proves that. His 49 career poles ranks tied for ninth all-time. Maybe more impressive: Isaac captured 19 poles in 1969, which still stands as the record for poles in a single season. Only 37 drivers have 19 or more poles in their entire career. Isaac began racing in NASCAR’s premier series in 1961. He finished runner-up in the series standings in 1968 behind NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson. In 1969 he finished sixth in the standings after posting 17 wins and those 19 poles. In his breakthrough season, 1970, Isaac won the championship posting 11 victories, 32 top fives and 38 top 10s in 47 starts. A year later, in September 1971, he set 28 world-class records on the Bonneville Salt Flats in his Dodge. Many of his records exist to this day. Isaac won 37 races in NASCAR's top series during his career, which ranks 19th on the all-time wins list. In 1998, Isaac was named one NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers. --
CURTIS TURNER: Called by some the “Babe Ruth of stock car racing,” Curtis Turner was among the fastest and most colorful competitors in the early years of NASCAR premier series racing. Turner posted his first of 17 career victories in only his fourth start on Sept. 11, 1949, at Langhorne (Pa.) Speedway. Although many of Turner’s victories came on short tracks and dirt ovals – much of his career pre-dated NASCAR’s superspeedway era – he won the 1956 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and the first American 500 at Rockingham Speedway in 1965. He also won 38 of 79 races in which he competed in the NASCAR Convertible Division. Turner competed in NASCAR’s first “Strictly Stock” race in 1949 in Charlotte and was the only driver to win a NASCAR premier series race in a Nash. He remains the only series driver to win two consecutive races from the pole leading every lap. Turner drove for many legendary NASCAR owners including the Wood Brothers, Junior Johnson, Smokey Yunick and Holman-Moody. Turner was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. --
TERRY LABONTE: Terry Labonte is a two-nickname NASCAR star. Early in his career he was known as the “Iceman” for his coolness under pressure. But his demeanor belied his determination. Later in his career he became known as the sport’s “Iron Man” due to a record 665 consecutive starts in NASCAR’s premier series, a record which stood until 2002. Two more items to consider when assessing the Labonte legacy: the two premier series championships he won in 1984 and ’96. Two titles would be impressive enough; the 12-year gap distinguishes them further. No other driver has won his first two championships that far apart and Labonte is one of only six drivers to have won premier series championships in two decades. Labonte, from Corpus Christi, Texas – the first driver from outside the Southeast to win the premier series title since New Yorker Bill Rexford in 1950 – was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Great Drivers in 1998, coinciding with the sport’s 50th anniversary. He also was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2001 along with his younger brother Bobby Labonte, the 2000 champion of NASCAR’s premier series. --
JERRY COOK: made his name in modifieds, winning six NASCAR Modified championships, including four consecutively from 1974-77. All the while, he was vying with another driver from his hometown of Rome, N.Y., nine-time champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans, for supremacy in NASCAR’s open-wheel realm. The rivalry was home-grown – and intense. Modified racing is NASCAR's oldest form of competition – the staple of the very first NASCAR season in 1948. Cook has said the cars’ appeal was based on that history and the fact that the racing is unique within NASCAR. After retiring from racing in 1982, Cook stayed with the sport and helped shape the series known today as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Cook served as the series’ director when it began in 1985 and remains with NASCAR as competition administrator. In 1998, he was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers. --
BRUTON SMITH: chairman and chief executive officer of Speedway Motorsports Inc., bought his first race car at the age of 17 and a year later promoted his first stock car race in Midland, N.C. Smith’s early endeavors included operating the National Stock Car Racing Association – seen as an early competitor to NASCAR – and building Charlotte Motor Speedway. CMS became the foundation of Speedway Motorsports Inc., which currently owns eight NASCAR tracks hosting 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and additional high-profile motorsports activities. Smith took SMI public in 1995 to become the first motorsports company to be traded at the New York Stock Exchange. Smith founded Sonic Automotive, a group of several hundred auto dealerships across the United States. Smith is active in child-related causes with his philanthropic foundation Speedway Children’s Charities. He was inducted into the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame and National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame, both in 2006; and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007.
Other awards included the
Landmark Award Winner - HAROLD BRASSINGTON: Laughs. Those were the only responses elicited by Harold Brasington when he showed members of his Darlington, S.C. community plans to build a superspeedway in the small southern farm town. But Brasington had the last laugh. The South Carolina businessman, who believed in Bill France’s fledgling NASCAR business, created the sanctioning body’s first superspeedway - a one-of-a-kind egg-shaped oval, paved on an old cotton and peanut field. Expecting 10,000 fans to show up at Darlington Raceway’s first competition on Labor Day of 1950, 25,000 spectators showed up for the inaugural Southern 500 – NASCAR’s first 500-mile race. A mega-event was born. Darlington's success inspired Brasington to extend his reach north -- to North Carolina. He employed his track building and promoting expertise, helping in the creation of Charlotte Motor Speedway and building North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, North Carolina. --
Squire-Hall award Winner: STEVE BYRNES: from 2001-2014 he served as a pit reporter for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on FOX. He also served as a studio show host and appeared on various programs. Prior to joining FOX, Byrnes hosted a variety of NASCAR programs including Inside Winston Cup Racing with Ned Jarrett and Darrell Waltrip’s Racers on TNN. He also worked as a pit reporter for CBS, TNN and TBS. His courageous battle with cancer served as an inspiration to the NASCAR industry, fans and his peers. In April, shortly before his passing, Bristol Motor Speedway named its Sprint Cup race the Food City 500 In Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand up to Cancer.
1958 – Mike Harmon's birthday
1983 - Scott Speed's birthday
1937 - Harry Ranier's birthday (car owner) - for drivers such as Bobby Allison, Davey Allison, Buddy Baker, Cale Yarborough, Lennie Pond, and Benny Parsons among others.
1941 – Buddy Baker's birthday
1947 – Red Byron captures the inaugural NCSCC event, billed as the "Battle of Champions," on the Beach-Road course at Daytona.
1976 – Scott Wimmer's birthday
2007 – Ground was broken for the $160 million NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte NC.
2015 – After implementing a new winner-take-all chase format in 2014; NASCAR announced it won't change its new championship format, which chairman Brian France said Monday is ''overwhelmingly popular'' with fans. Also announced was NASCAR revealed "Automated Pit Road Officiating". No longer would pit officials be going over the wall to monitor pit crews to insure they attached all lug nuts, etc. NASCAR now has gone to mounting 43 cameras to cover all the pit road action. Each camera will cover two race teams, with cameras duplicating teams as a back-up. The cameras are all monitored by video feed, but cameras have also been designed to make a call should a team or crew break any of the rules. The camera will notify an official as to any rules violations, and an official will review the video to decide if a penalty is warranted. There are will be times when a call has to be over-ridden in extenuating circumstances. Many of the calls will now be caught that could of been missed before - With six or more crew members swarming over a car during a stop at any time, NASCAR has found one set of eyes might not fairly capture all of the issues that develop. “How can a human being watch a car and watch six people jumping over and really judge all this?. It's difficult to do” Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR’s senior vice president for Innovation and Racing Development. Many of the infractions cameras will make will be items such as crew members over the wall too soon; too many crew members over the wall; crew members not in control of tires; driver driving through too many pit boxes entering or exiting their pits. One change is that previously, NASCAR has penalized teams for a loose or missing lug nut (or lug nuts). Now, the onus will now be more on teams. If they feel they have an issue, it will be up to them to pit. Teams may even decide to intentionally not put on the full five lug nuts late in the race to speed up a pit stop. NASCAR has announced a P3 penalty will be issued if a tire falls off during the race
2016 – On this date we lost Barney Hall - whose soothing voice delivered stock-car racing broadcasts over radio airwaves for 54 years, died Tuesday from complications after a recent medical operation. He was 83. From the first running of the Daytona 500 in 1959, Hall missed calling the race only four times. He set the tone for covering NASCAR on the Motor Racing Network from the very start, joining MRN in the year of its founding in 1970. In one of the fastest-moving sports in the world, Hall was revered for navigating any situation — high-speed crashes; confusion in the pits; lead changes; the scramble for the checkered flag – with steady intelligence. He had a unique brand of story telling and could paint a picture as the action unfolded and the fans on the radio could clearly see what was happening. In contrast to the excited style of many TV sports announcers, Hall urged his colleagues to concentrate on being precise and informative. His career was an example of that, and he was credited with guiding younger broadcasters along the same path.
2011 – NASCAR on Wednesday announced that it has added a wild-card element to setting the Chase for the Sprint Cup field and it has simplified its points system for 2011, making it easier for fans, competitors and the industry to understand. While the 12-driver Chase field remains intact, the final two spots will be determined by the number of victories during the first 26 races. Positions 11 and 12 are "wild-card" qualifiers and will go to non-top-10-ranked drivers with the most victories, as long as they're ranked in the top 20 in points. The top 10 Chase drivers will continue to be seeded based on victories during the first 26 races, with each win worth three bonus points. The wild-card drivers will not receive bonus points for wins and will be seeded 11th and 12th, respectively. It's a move aimed toward rewarding winning and consistency during the regular season. The new points system -- which applies to all NASCAR national series -- will award points in one-point increments. As an example, in the Cup Series, race winners will earn 43 points, plus three bonus points for the victory. Winners also can earn an extra point for leading a lap and leading the most laps, bringing their total to a possible maximum of 48 points. All other drivers in a finishing order will be separated by one-point increments. A second-place finisher will earn 42 points, a third-place driver 41 points, and so on. A last-place finisher -- 43rd place -- earns one point. Other competitive enhancements announced Wednesday: Drivers in all three national series now must select the series where they'll compete for a drivers' championship. Drivers still may compete in multiple series and help their teams win owners' titles in series where they're not competing for a drivers' title. The move helps spotlight young talent in the Xfinity and Truck series. The qualifying order will be set based upon slowest-to-fastest practice speeds. If bad weather cancels qualifying, the final starting lineup will be determined by practice speeds. The same rule book procedures will be used to determine eligibility to start a race. If weather cancels practice sessions, then the starting lineup will be set by points, per the rule book. Cup teams now are allowed five sets of tires for practice and qualifying instead of six. They must return four of those sets to Goodyear in order to receive their race allotment, and may keep one set of practice/qualifying tires. Tire allotments for race weekends will vary according to historical performance data. Introduced in the Truck Series, this goes into effect for all three national series in 2011. It combines a more efficient fueling system with the elimination of the catch-can man, considered the most "vulnerable" pit-crew member. Teams now will use six, rather than seven, over-the-wall pit-crew members. NASCAR continues to work with the manufacturers and teams to enhance the look of the Cup Series car. The cars have new fronts this season and the body makeover will continue to help appeal to fans and aid manufacturer identity.
1958 – David Green's birthday
1987 – Chase Miller's birthday
2010 – NASCAR announced that it will relax some on-track rules, putting racing back in drivers’ hands in 2010. The changes, which begin with next month’s season-opening events at Daytona International Speedway, will allow drivers to be even more racy. They also follow the sport's "back to basics" approach, which includes a return to earlier start times for races beginning with the season first race the Daytona 500. Chairman Brian France said that while officials will maintain law and order, the loosening of on-track reins is another step in enhancing competition. “NASCAR is a contact sport — our history is based on banging fenders.” Among the changes: Bump-drafting rules will be eliminated at superspeedways (Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway). Teams also will use a bigger restrictor plate at Daytona. Larger restrictor plates — a safety feature at superspeedways — gives drivers more horsepower. NASCAR also announced a change to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ new car, replacing the wing currently mounted on the rear of the car with a spoiler. Other changes announced Thursday: Beginning with the Feb. 13 season-opener at Daytona, NASCAR Nationwide Series teams will be limited to 15 crew members, including the driver, crew chief, spotter and seven over-the-wall pit-crew members. Teams also won’t be required to provide a scorer. Last year teams had no limit on at-track crew members. NASCAR Nationwide Series teams may run no more than two races in 2010 without using an engine sealed by series officials. Last year they could run three races before using a sealed engine. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams will use double-file restarts in 2010, making restart rules uniform across all three national series. Series teams also will return to traditional pit stops, eliminating last year’s procedure of refueling and changing tires on separate stops. Teams also may use a new, vented fuel dump can, eliminating the need for a catch can.
2014 – The fifth class of inductees were enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The inductees included
TIM FLOCK; a two time champion posting 39 career wins. Flock won his first CUP title in 1952 driving a Hudson Hornet; the second in 1955 wheeling a Chrysler 300. That season he posted 18 wins and 18 poles in 39 races. -
JACK INGRAM; he was known as 'the iron man' and was a strong competitor in the Nationwide series. Ingram won three consecutive championships from 1972-1975 in the Nationwide series precursor; the Late Model Sportsman Division. When the NASCAR Busch series was created (later know as the Xfinity series), Ingram won the inaugural title and won it again in 1985. -
DALE JARRETT; is a three time Daytona 500 winner; two time Brickyard 400 winner, and CUP series champion in 1999. He posted 32 CUP wins. He and father Ned Jarrett become the third Father / Son duo to be elected into the Hall - joining Bill France Sr and Bill France Jr and Lee and Richard Petty. -
MAURICE PETTY; was the chief engine builder at Petty Enterprises and brother of Richard Petty. Maurice supplied the power plants that propelled Richard to the majority of his 200 wins, and all of his seven championships and seven Daytona 500 wins. He is recognized as one of the top engine builders ever in the sport -
FIREBALL ROBERTS; earned his nickname from his a hard-throwing pitcher in high school. He was NASCAR's first super star; and is known as perhaps the greatest driver to never win a Championship. Roberts won the Daytona 500 in 1962 and the Southern 500 in 1958 and 1963. -
CHRIS ECONOMAKI was named the Squire-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. Economaki was know as "the Dean of American Motorsports" began his career with ABC Sports in 1961 and when he joined CBS he made the Daytona 500 into a marquee event. Brian France stated "Chris Economaki dedicated his life to covering motorsports, and his exceptional talent for story-telling helped to bring NASCAR to readers and viewers for more than 60 years"
1930 - Emanuel Zervakis birthday - (car owner) for drivers such as Geoff Bodine, Mark Martin and Dale Jarrett. He won two NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup) races in his career, both in 1961 as a driver . He might be remembered most for fielding a car for Dale Jarrett's first Winston Cup race.
1979 – Wendy Venturini's birthday (tv announcer) - a reporter for FOX Sports 1's pre-race show, NASCAR RaceDay. Along with her pre race interviews around the garage, Wendy is also featured in a segment of the show called "The Real Deal" where she goes one on one with a driver, crew chief or car owner. She is also a pit reporter for selected races on the Performance Racing Network. Previously, she was a pit reporter in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In 2007, Venturini was one of the commentators for DirectTV's NASCAR Hot Pass coverage. With that on her résumé, Venturini is the first female play-by-play announcer in auto racing history. On August 29, 2014, Venturini was announced as the anchor for the Osram Sylvanis 301 Sprint Cup Series race for Performance Network, becoming the first woman to serve such a position. She is the daughter of two-time ARCA Champion and multi-car owner Bill Venturini. Her older brother, Billy Venturini, is also a driver on the ARCA circuit.
2014 – The most popular form of motor sports in the United States announced a dramatic overhaul of its playoff format on Thursday, creating a championship race for the first time in its history. Previously, the Chase for the Sprint Cup was a 10-race playoff. But beginning this year, that will all change. Via a NASCAR statement: "The top 15 drivers with the most wins over the first 26 races will earn a spot in the NASCAR Chase Grid — provided they have finished in the top 30 in points and attempted to qualify for every race (except in rare instances like medical issues). The 16th Chase position will go to the points leader after race No. 26, if he/she does not have a victory. In the event that there are 16 or more different winners over 26 races, the only win-less driver who can earn a Chase Grid spot would be the points leader after 26 races. After Richmond, the field will be whittled down via a series of eliminations — a NASCAR first. After every three Chase races, four drivers will be cut. The first three races of the Chase (27-29) will be known as the Challenger Round with drivers eliminated Sept. 28 at Dover International Speedway. The 12 drivers remaining will have points reset to 3,000. Races 30-32 will be known as the Contender Round with drivers eliminated Oct. 19 at Talladega Superspeedway. The eight drivers remaining will have their points reset to 4,000. Races 33-35 will be the Eliminator Round, with the four remaining drivers having their points reset to 5,000. To reach the final four, drivers will be eliminated at the penultimate race at Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 9. That will leave four drivers still eligible for the championship during the Nov. 16 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Whoever finishes highest among the four title-eligible drivers is NASCAR's new champion. Bonus points will not be awarded in the finale.
2015 – The sixth class of inductees were enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The inductees included
WENDELL SCOTT; the first black man to win a NASCAR CUP race. -
BILL ELLIOTT; 1988 Sprint CUP Champion, 44 time race winner, holder of fastest NASCAR qualifying lap in history (212 mph), and winner of the Winston Million in 1985, a very successful year when he won 11 races. -
FRED LORENZEN: He never ran more than 29 races in the season's 50+ races. In 1964 he entered 16 races and won 8 times. He had wins in the Daytona 500 and World 600 in 1965. Lorenzens retired at the young age of 33. -
JOE WEATHERLY; He only raced two season full time and won the CUP Championship both time (1962-1963). He was leading the points in 1964 when he was tragically killed in a racing accident at Riverside CA. From 1952-1953 he won 101 races in NASCAR's Modified division. -
REX WHITE; He was a short track specialist in an era when those tracks dominated the series. In 1960 he won the CUP Championship winning six times, and posting 35 top 10's in 40 starts. Consistency was his key to success. He finished second in the Championship hunt in 1961. He was just the fourth driver to win the title driving his own equipment -
Sports writer TOM HIGGINS received the fourth annual Squire Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. The award is named after famous NASCAR media announcer Ken Squire and Barney Hall. Higgins spent over 50 years as a writer for the Charlotte Observer. He was know as "the great story-teller" For decades Higgins was a star in NASCAR press boxes. Higgins was the first beat writer to cover every race on the NASCAR schedule, a role he held from 1980 until his retirement in 1997. He started his journalism career in 1957 at the weekly Canton (N.C.) Enterprise where he covered racing for the first time. Higgins joined the sports staff at The Observer in 1964 as an outdoors writer and soon began covering stock car racing as well. He has continued to write motorsports nostalgia columns for the newspaper and its website ThatsRacin.com since his retirement. Mike Persinger, Charlotte Observer sports editor stated, "Tom knew every inductee in the Hall of Fame personally, so it's only natural that he join them". -
For the first time NASCAR introduced the
Landmark Award for Outstanding Achievement. It went to ANN B FRANCE, the wife of Bill France Sr. Ann was the first secretary and treasurer of NASCAR, and when Daytona International Speedway was built she assumed the same role there. She was active in the business until her death in 1992.
1953 - Rick Wilson's birthday
1960 - The CBS television network sends a skeleton production crew to Daytona International Speedway to televise the pole position and compact car races during the opening of Speedweeks. Bud Palmer is the anchorman for the first live telecast of NASCAR stock cars.