Only Hard Core NASCAR Fans Can Ace This Test

By: Nicole Lopez

There’s a story for every sport that includes humble beginnings, unexpected twists and unique figures. Perhaps none hold a candle to the eye-raising past and iconic characters that have colored NASCAR.

The high-speed sport sprung up out of a perfect storm of two unique driving phenomenon during the first half of the 20th Century. Following a fabled race between Alexander Winston and Ransom Olds at the turn of the century, Daytona emerged as a racing Mecca. During the 1920s and 1930s, American car enthusiasts challenged countries such as France and Belgium for speed-record supremacy. From 1927 to 1935, eight world records were recorded at the Daytona Beach Road Course. But speed and sportsmanship weren’t the linchpin that made NASCAR a national sport.

Prohibition wasn’t well-received in the South. Bootlegging moonshine was big business in the Appalachian area and it took fast cars to outrun the law. “Runnin’ shine” led drivers to modify cars and drivers took pride in their car-handling abilities. After Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Southerners had a real taste for racing. NASCAR was born out of speed and swagger.

Early NASCAR figures include William France Sr., who relocated to Daytona Beach in 1935 during the Great Depression to race. He made “stock car” racing more legitimate, ensuring drivers were paid, developed rules and sanctioned above-board events. By 1947, his groundwork grew into modern NASCAR.

NASCAR’s first commission was Erwin “Cannonball” Baker who raced stock cars, motorcycles, and even the Indy 500. He was famous for transcontinental speed driving. The “Cannonball Run” race and movie are named in his honor.

Bob “Barky” Barkhimer helped establish NASCAR-sanctioned races on the West Coast. After trekking to Daytona and spending time with Bill France Sr., he used his position of running 22 California speedways to make NASCAR a coast-to-coast thrill.

Over the years, NASCAR drivers have emerged as national and international legends. In 1992, the Hooters 500 was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway and six drivers had a shot at winning the series championship that day, Davey Allison, Bill Elliott, Alan Kulwicki, Kyle Petty, Harry Gant and Mark Martin. The race would also mark the final race for NASCAR icon Richard Petty and the first for Jeff Gordon. After crashes and car breakdowns, Elliot and Kulwicki slugged it out in a 2-man sprint to the finish line.

Racing enthusiasts may also not be aware that household name Dale Earnhardt didn’t always outpace the field. In fact, he failed to gain the checkered flag 19 times before finally winning the Daytona 500 in 1998.  Apparently, the 20th try is the charm.

Today, NASCAR is a household name best-known for three distinct racing series, Monster Energy Cup, Xfinity Series and the Camping World Truck Series. The organization sanctions more than 1,5000 races in 39 states on upwards of 100 tracks. NASCAR-sanctioned races have been held in Canada, Mexico, Japan and Australia, among others. It’s also televised to more than 150 nations.

NASCAR is rich with amazing stories, unique facts and quirky characters. Test your skills and see if you can answer the following questions correctly!

Quiz Written By:
Nicole Lopez, Quizmaster
Nicole Lopez is the President of Comercia Bank in Dallas, Texas. She attended the University of Texas at Austin where she earned a master degree in finance. Nicole has always considered her self very detailed oriented and someone who likes a good challenge. She fell in love with trivia games in her high school years while attending a youth camp that hosted trivia game nights. Nicole has always had a passion for history and wanted to be a historian before realizing she had a knack and a passion for numbers as well. Nicole believes that being surrounded by her four creative siblings and no-nonsense parents are what instilled in her a desire to learn and grow in knowledge even as a young child. It was not out of the norm for the family to spend weekends and vacations at libraries, historical landmarks, art galleries and museums. While thankful for her upbringing, Nicole admits that there wasn’t a lot of free time to just be a kid. Something she wants differently for her own children. In college, Nicole spent the majority of her free time watching documentaries and participating in fundraisers. Her creative mind, love for numbers and a passion for history have enabled her to oversee multiple fundraising opportunities during her college years and eventually landed her a job working in the activities department on campus. Nicole jumped right in and planned multiple events hosting trivia game nights for students. After a day of working, you will most likely find Nicole and her husband Brent watching trivia game shows with their three children. And most of the time, even their dog, Max, sits in front of the TV watching trivia too. The family enjoys hiking, camping and spending time in the great outdoors, as well.