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Early NASCAR at Daytona Beach

I used to be a huge fan of the American auto racing series, NASCAR. I’m not anymore, due to a variety of reasons, chief of which is that it’s just become too corporate and buttoned-down for my taste; too controlled, in my opinion. I first started to enjoy the races in the late 1970s, when “King” Richard Petty still ruled the track. Petty won a record 7 Daytona 500 races, NASCAR’s biggest event, which is also called “The Great American Race.” It’s a harbinger of spring, since it’s held near the end of February in Daytona Beach, Florida. (I guess it’s almost always spring in Florida in February, if not summer. :smile:)

I was browsing Yahoo! when I found this photo essay from Time Magazine that was published on the 50th Anniversary Race. It mostly features some of the early races at the beach and at the racetrack. Yeah, they used to race right on the beach. Awesome!

Here’s a photo I lifted from the Time site. I hope they don’t mind–I am giving them credit, but if they have a gripe about me using the photo, I guess I’ll have to pull it, not that they’ll notice this little backwater blog. The caption on the website reads:

Airborne
A competitor in the 1953 race hits a pothole on the beach. The early road course, over four miles long, was notoriously treacherous.

nascar_03

If you enjoy vintage auto racing, I encourage you to visit the web site to see more of these classic shots.

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