Historical NASCAR Figures Who Helped Make The Sport What It Is Today

Culture | 10/26/20

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, otherwise known as NASCAR, is an American auto racing company headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. Although most people in the United States are familiar with the name NASCAR, it didn’t become as successful as it is out of nowhere. NASCAR was built by a number of individuals who either took the sport to the next level or were crucial in getting the company off the ground. Take a look to see who these individuals were and exactly how they helped develop the sport into what it is today.

Raymond Parks Started Out As A Bootlegger

Picture of Raymond Parks
ISC Archives/CQ-Roll Call Group via Getty Images
ISC Archives/CQ-Roll Call Group via Getty Images

Although he started out as a bootlegger, Raymond Parks made enough money to buy out his uncle’s gas station, eventually becoming a respected businessman in Atlanta. While Parks was trying to stay away from the bootlegging lifestyle, the men he was involved with created stock car racing on local farms.

After fighting in World War II, he proved himself as one of the first team owners with the help of mechanic Red Vogt, who supposedly came up with the name “NASCAR.” In 1948-1949, Parks won the first two NASCAR championships with his driver, Red Byron, and helped keep the sport financially afloat in the early days.