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History Channel Show about NASCAR:

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  • History Channel Show about NASCAR:

    Surviving the Early Days of NASCAR - Roger Daltrey buckles up and heads to Georgia's dirt tracks and super-speedways for a road trip through the unlikely evolution of NASCAR--America's top spectator sport. He learns the secret recipe for brewing "White Lightning" in a moonshiner's still, transforms a 1940 Ford Coupe into a smuggler's car, executes "bootleg" turns first used by bootleggers on the run (and later by racecar drivers), joins a winner-takes-all road rumble, and heads to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for a grand finale. Next Airing: Sunday, Nov 23 at 11:30pm ET/PT.
    "These guys generate some serious horsepower," Wallace said. "I wouldn't get out of an electric chair to get in one of these things."


  • #2
    Geez, I sat up on Sunday evening just to catch this program and it was never shown.

    I really wanted to see how that 1940 Ford could have been converted to a "whiskey hauler" and was more curious as to how it could have been run in NASCAR.
    Under the original formula for NASCAR race cars, that Ford would have in no way been competitive and under the 1949 rules it would no longer have been eligible to compete.

    "Bootlegger turns"? Weren't real race cars using that type of turn for years before NASCAR came on the scene? No flywheel or starter, cars were either pushed or pulled to start and drivers often spun the cars around to get headed in the right direction.

    Why in the world is there such a fascination for the fallacy of stockcar racing, and NASCAR in particular, evolving from the transportation of illegal whiskey in the mountains of the southeastern United States?

    Sure, there were some whiskey runners involved. There were also farmers, loggers, businessmen, mechanics and garage owners, millworkers and just about any other trade you care to mention, who were just as involved and probably did more to build the sport than the whiskey runners, but the whiskey runners are, after all these years, still the media and fan's idols and heros.

    Stockcar racing had been around since the late 1890's, events were run all over world, NASCAR publically claims it wants to clean up its image, and yet shows like the above mentioned garbage, perpetrating myths and outright falsehoods, are still filmed and foisted on the racing fans as factual history while the real roots and history of the business are ignored. Even by some who claim to be historians.

    The saddest part is that so many are willing to accept all the falsehoods as fact without any question.
    Just human nature, I guess?
    Think about where you're going in life...
    You may already be there!


    • #3
      You'd be surprised who has skeletons in their closets. I can guarantee that NASCAR's start is nowhere near as controversial as some of the major corporations out there.

      Heck, NASCAR doesn't support it anymore, so why does it matter now?
      He kani 'ano 'e loa kela. Ua 'ai nui anei 'oe ma ke kakahiaka?


      • #4
        The '40 Fords were legal in NASCAR's Modified division. This division ran as the only NASCAR racing in 1948, before the Grand Nationals began.
        "It was actually fun, because you're back fully driving again in these trucks. Ninety percent of the tracks we go to in the IRL, you're flat-out. I was having to lift off the corners some here." - Buddy Rice


        • #5
          Hey racewriter,

          I'm well aware of the fact that a '40 Ford could have run in the modified division and that the modifieds were the only division in NASCAR's initial year.

          I'm also aware that a '40 Ford set up to haul liquor over the highway would not have been very competitive against the other cars set up as race cars.

          I thought that was clear in the wording of my post.

          By the way, it was not the Grand National division in 1949, that name came later.
          Think about where you're going in life...
          You may already be there!


          • #6
            I think your missing the point. The early stock car drivers were mostly bootleggers that raced their cars on some carved out farm land. The locals would even bet on them. Raymond Parks, who had the best cars on the beach for years, was a bootleg driver. He also had shine haulers driving for him, Guys like the Flock brothers, Roy Hall and Lloyd Seay. Parks also ran a garage in Atlanta where he employed Red Voigt, recognized by all the top car owners of his time as the best mechanic on the old beach and road course here in Daytona. There they would build moonshine haulers on one side and soup up the revenuers cars on the other. Since the government paid for the revenuers cars and didn't like to spend money, the shiners cars always was faster.
            I think that the connection of these people and the early days of NASCAR are intertwined as the sport grew.

            Was it politically correct,, I'll let others decide that. Remember, most of the counties in the southeast were dry and that was the reason for the illegal whiskey business.

            As a side note, I attended the Dawsonville Moonshine Festival last month and there were 100, 39 & 40 Ford coupes there. Some were actual shine haulers that have been stored away all these years.


            • #7

              I am not the one missing the point at all.
              I have stated many times that there were whiskey runners involved; at no time have I ever denied that fact.
              The point, indeed the fact, that everyone else seems to be overlooking, or simply choosing to ignore, is that stockcar racing existed from the very earliest days of the automobile.

              Neither whiskey runners, nor NASCAR, invented stockcar racing. Long before NASCAR came into being there were organized stockcar racing events, as well as different sanctioning bodies, all across the country, not just in the southeast region.

              I have also stated that I am unable to understand why NASCAR has always claimed that it has been an uphill struggle to gain respectability for the sport and yet continues to make such an big deal out of its roots being associated in an illegal activity.

              Isn't racing interesting or exciting enough without glorifying the illegal activities of some of the participants?

              How come we never hear of any of the New England, midwestern or west coast guys who provided the engineering and the speed equipment that those good old boys were using in their cars?
              Without those men, racing, indeed probably the whole auto industry might never have grown to the worldwide giant it has become today.

              All I've ever tried to get across was the fact that there is a lot more history to stockcar racing than a bunch of whiskeyrunners chasing each other around a cornfield on a Sunday afternoon.

              Then again, the truth never makes anywhere near as good a story as the one everyone loves to hear.

              But maybe there's another point that I'm missing?
              Must be.
              Think about where you're going in life...
              You may already be there!


              • #8

                The point is that if you go back and read the first sentence of the original post you will see that the show was about the early days and the evolution of NASCAR not stock car racing per se.

                NASCAR was supposedly formed to make all the tracks running under their sanction to pay the purse and have insurance for the drivers. Something that other sanctioning bodies were not always doing. I don't doubt for one minute that Ol Big Bill knew he could become very, very wealthy doing this and the France family sure has.

                You are absolutely correct when you say that the west coast and northeast boys are the brains behind the growth and technolgy of the sport. Even today the winning teams have many "Yankees" on them.
                I have not seen the show yet, as I taped it and have been to busy to watch it, but merely pointed out the fact as I said, it was about NASCAR and not the birth of stock car racing.



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