NASCAR is the largest racing organization in the United States of America, and has been around since its establishment on February 21, 1948. The past 72 years is filled with history about organization, and like with all of history, there’s plenty of obscure information that few people know about or remember. Check out below for fun facts and tidbits that may pique your interest in the renowned races.
- St. James Davis’ team wasn’t willing to pay for the engine builder’s transportation to the Goodyear 500k in Australia in 1988 and had him stowaway in the race car with a sleeping bag, a pillow, and some provisions. Three days into the three-week journey, the engine builder—named Mitch—left the cargo hold the car was in and was detained by the ship’s captain. Mitch was held both in quarantine and by Australian immigration authorities until he was released into the custody of Bob Jane, owner of the park where the Goodyear 500k race was taking place. St. James ended the 280-lap race on lap two at the race itself when, ironically, his car engine failed.
- In 2005, Jeff Gordon was reportedly determined enough to confront Mike Bliss due to an incident that, after a race at Chicagoland, he stole someone’s golf cart to drive to Bliss’ hauler.
- Speaking of Jeff Gordon, his uncle, Pat Houston, was the lead trumpet player for Elvis Presley in the 1970s.
- There’s a 28-year gap between Jimmy Ingram’s Cup starts. His second Cup start was the 1952 Southern 500 at Darlington, while his third and final Cup start was the 1980 Mason-Dixon 500 at Dover. This is the record for the longest gap between Cup starts.
- There was a record-low turnout of 900 people who attended a NASCAR Grand National race in 1957, at the Newberry Speedway in South Carolina.
- Due to how religious the owners of Little Debbie are, NASCAR teams sponsored by them are contractually obligated to either cover up or remove the Little Debbie logo on the Sabbath (Saturday).
- Junior Johnson not only flipped his own car at the Lincoln Speedway in New Oxford, Pennsylvania, in 1958, but he also flipped Jack Smith’s car when he hopped in as a relief driver.
- Morgan Shepherd did a publicity stunt in 2001 where, during a Truck race at Kentucky, “he changed his own tires, hopped over the pit wall, and downed a bag of chips and a soda before returning to the race.” Not long after the publicity stunt, Shepherd dropped out.
- In April 2016, Brad Gillie and Kenny Wallace—hosts of the radio show “The Late Shift with Brad and Kenny”–spoke about how an unnamed driver lost out on a UPS sponsorship because they sent their contract back using FedEx in 1999.