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NASCAR: THEN AND NOW
 
NASCAR is one of the giant racing sports in America and around the world today. Founded in 1948, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing oversees many types of racing across the country, top among them being the Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series. However, most people when talking about NASCAR are usually referring to the Sprint Cup series.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series originates from a strong “strictly stock car” heritage that begins with a race held in 1949 on a ¾ of a mile dirt racing track known as the Charlotte Speedway. Initially, stock cars had not been altered in any way from the original factory build. As the stock-car racing sport grew, the tracks got tougher and the races got faster and more dangerous. Professional racing leagues such a NASCAR stepped in and put in place strict regulations to ensure the safety of drivers. This necessitated adjustment to the cars to enable them handle the intense conditions of the track and provide the highest degree of safety to drivers. Today, stock cars may look innocuous on the outside but under the hood, they are customized into mean racing machines!

A typical NASCAR league is an ecosystem by itself comprising the race cars, race tracks, race drivers, race fans and of course, the races themselves! Usually, drivers compete against each other in a total of 36 races across 22 different racing tracks! The biggest and most popular Sprint Cup race is the Daytona 500, the season-opening race of the Cup series which takes place on the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, California.

This year’s Daytona 500 Champion is Joey Logano, winning in his No. 22 Penske Racing Ford for the first time ever! Defending Champion, Dale Earnhardt Jr. came in third. The next race in the Sprint Cup series dabbed (and I kid you not!) the SpongeBob Squarepants 400 will go down on Saturday 9th May on the Kansas Speedway and TV Viewers can catch it on FOX Sport.