Timelines : 30's - 40's - 50's
The 30’s . . . .
April 4, 1933 -- William Clay France, current president of NASCAR, is born in Washington, D.C.
March 3, 1936 -- Tiny Lund, who came from Iowa in the '50s to become one of NASCAR's biggest stars in several different series, is born in Harlan, Iowa. He's best-known for winning the 1963 Daytona 500.
March 8, 1936 -- Bill France, who operates a local gas station, finishes fifth in the first stock car race ever held in Daytona Beach, Fla. It's on a course that includes a southbound leg of Highway A1A, then northbound along the beach south of the city.
The 40’s . . . .
Jan. 24, 1940 -- NASCAR founder and long-time president Bill France Sr. was declared the National Stock Car champion in 1940
Jan. 25, 1941 -- Elzie Wylie (Buddy) Baker, the first man to drive a stock car more than 200 miles per hour and a 19-time NASCAR Winston Cup winner (including three Coca-Cola World 600s, three Winston 500s, a Daytona 500, Mountain Dew Southern 500 and DieHard 500), is born in Florence, S.C.
Jan. 26, 1947 -- Red Byron, returning to stock car racing after an ill-fated attempt at AAA-sponsored Indy-car racing, wins the season-opening 160-mile race on the highway/beach course in Daytona Beach, Fla. Two years later, he would emerge as NASCAR's first Winston Cup champion.
Feb. 21, 1948 -- NASCAR is incorporated.
Feb. 27, 1949 -- An experimental five-lap, 10-mile NASCAR Winston Cup race, won by Benny Georgeson of Ft. Laurderdale, is held at the 2-mile dirt Broward County Speedway in south Florida.
The 50’s . . . .
Feb. 4, 1950 -- Even though racing has been a February fixture in Daytona Beach for years, the first race of the first official "Speed Week" program is a 100-mile Modified race on the 4.17-mile highway/beach course. Gober Sosebee wins it ahead of Fireball Roberts and Red Cummings.
April 2, 1950 -- Tim Flock, who will win two NASCAR Winston Cup championships and 39 more races, gets career victory No. 1 at the 3/4-mile dirt Charlotte (N.C.) Speedway.
April 8, 1951 -- NASCAR Winston Cup makes its debut on the West Coast, as Marshall Teague wins a 100-mile race on a half-mile dirt track at Gardena, Calif.
Jan. 20, 1952 -- Tim Flock wins a 200-lap, 100-mile dirt track race at West Palm Beach, Fla., a victory that kick-starts him toward the 1952 NASCAR Winston Cup championship.
Jan. 28, 1958 -- David Green, the 1994 NASCAR Busch Grand National champion and runnerup for 1997 NASCAR Winston Cup rookie of the year, is born in Owensboro, Ky.
Feb. 10, 1952 -- Joie Ray is the first African-American to start a NASCAR-sanctioned race. Driving a Henry J, he starts 25th and finishes 51st on the beach/highway course in Daytona Beach.
March 30, 1952 -- Only one of the eight Hudson Hornets that start the 200-lap, 125-mile race finish at North Wilkesboro (N.C.), but that was the one of race-winner Herb Thomas. He started on the pole and led all 200 laps in beating Fonty Flock by a full lap.
Feb. 14, 1953 -- A field of 136 entries starts the NASCAR Modified/Sportsman race on the beach/road course in Daytona Beach, Fla. It remains the largest starting field in NASCAR history.
April 5, 1953 -- Dick Passwater wins a 150-lap race on the 3/4-mile dirt Charlotte (N.C.) Speedway after most of the favorites fall out or make late-race pit stops. The 112.5-mile race sees a then-record six drivers swap the lead 18 times before Passwater leads the final three laps for his only career NASCAR Winston Cup victory.
March 26, 1955 -- Fonty Flock gives Chevrolet its first NASCAR Winston Cup victory in a 200-lap, 100-mile dirt-track race at Columbia (S.C.) Speedway
April 3, 1955 — Buck Baker defeats Dick Rathmann by three feet at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway in the closest NASCAR Winston Cup finish to that point.
Jan. 22, 1956 -- Chrysler drivers Buck Baker, Frank Mundy and Tim Flock give owner Carl Kiekhaefer a 1-2-3 finish in a 150-lap NASCAR Winston Cup dirt-track race at the 1-mile Arizona State Fairgrounds at Phoenix.
Feb. 6, 1956 -- Mel Larson is the first driver to use an on-board camera in a NASCAR race. Footage was used in Ford commercials
March 18, 1956 -- Driving a 1956 Mercury that speaks to the music of the time, Jim Paschal finishes fourth in a rain-shortened, 108-lap race at the half-mile dirt Wilson (N.C.) Speedway. The ``CU Later Alligator'' car finishes behind the Smokey Yunick-prepared Chevrolet of winner Herb Thomas and the Carl Kiekhaefer-owned Chryslers of teammates Buck Baker and Tim Flock
Feb. 17, 1957 -- Cotton Owens, in a Pontiac, becomes the first NASCAR Winston Cup driver to win with an average speed faster than 100 mph. He averages 101.541 in winning a 160-mile race on the Daytona Beach (Fla.) highway/beach course.
March 17, 1957 -- Ralph Moody starts fourth and leads the final 100 laps of a 200-lap race at Wilson (N.C.) Speedway, defeating second-place Buck Baker by two laps. It is the fifth and final victory as a driver for Moody, who will go on to earn even greater fame as a car owner with John Holman.
Feb. 23, 1958 -- Paul Goldsmith wins the final NASCAR race ever staged on the highway/beach course in Daytona Beach, Fla.
March 6, 1958 -- 4 days after being flagged third, Lee Petty is certified as winner of a 200-lap, 100-mi Concord, NC dirt-track race
Jan. 6, 1959 -- Officials at the brand-new Daytona International Speedway mail out entry blanks for the inaugural Daytona 500, a race that boasts a total purse of $67,760.
Jan. 9, 1959 -- Mark Martin, successful driver Winston Cup and Busch Series racing, is born in Batesville, Ark.
Jan. 13, 1959 -- Ernie Irvan, winner of the ‘91 Daytona 500 & 14 other major NASCAR events since 1990, is born in Salinas, Calif.
Feb. 1, 1959 -- Cars get on the brand-new 2.5-mile, high-banked Daytona International Speedway for the first time.
Feb. 7, 1959 -- Driving a Chevrolet convertible, Gene White is the first driver to qualify for a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at the Daytona International Speedway
Feb. 20, 1959 -- Shorty Rollins wins the first stock car race at the new Daytona International Speedway, a 100-mile qualifying event for convertibles entered in the Daytona 500.
Feb. 22, 1959 -- The first Daytona 500 at the Daytona International Speedway sees Lee Petty beat Johnny Beauchamp in a photo finish. It takes officials three days to determine the winner.
March 22, 1959 -- After having his apparent victory in the Daytona 500 overturned exactly a month earlier, Johnny Beauchamp gets his first NASCAR Winston Cup victory in a 100-lap race at the 1-mile dirt Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta
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