The Mecca of NASCAR Racing
If you want to be an actor you go to Hollywood, if you want to be on Broadway you head to New York, if you want to be country music singer is Nashville for you and if you want to be part of NASCAR you head to the fastest county in the country; Cabarrus County. This is where you’ll find the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the original home of nine if the 28 different NASCAR champions including “The Intimidator” himself, Dale Earnhardt who hailed from Kannapolis. Dubbed Carburetor County, this is where many of the famous NASCAR members learned their craft, no matter which part they played.
Why did Cabarrus County become this Mecca and hotbed for NASCAR racing and development? It all started back in the early 1930s when the residents, of which there were few, needed to find a way to make more money. The dirt of Cabarrus County is made of mostly red clay, which is amazing for driving cars on when its treated right, but is awful for growing crops with the exception of corn. Taking that corn and learning how to make it into something a bit more profitable became an important industry in Cabarrus County for many years.
The product of this corn yield was Moonshine, which was an illegal alcoholic beverage, but the residents of the area simply wanted to make a living and needed the sales of their new beverage to do that. Because this count is also surrounded by several dry counties they had an instantly ready and willing customer base and simply needed to find a way to get their product to the customers. Being a bit more bold and brash than most who perform illegal actions, the residents of this area made their cars faster than the law enforcement vehicles that were chasing them, which is how they delivered their products.
Eventually the car alterations became more interesting than actually making corn whiskey in the woods and many of the different Moonshiners wanted to find out who’s car was faster. This brought out spectators and teams and eventually some large gatherings to see these races on the red clay tracts that has been cared for. Someone finally had the idea to take these races and turn it into a sport and legitimize the sport. This man was Bill France, who organized a meeting of some of the top drivers and car owners from across the country to bring them together as the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR).
As they say in most cases, “the rest is history.” NASCAR has become one of the most popular racing organizations in America and gives us excitement all year long. Some of the early drivers that have become official champions admit to being some of the Moonshiners that would run alcohol across county lines to bring this drink to their customers, making Cabarrus County the fastest county in America, a least when you consider it the home of NASCAR, the birthplace of Moonshining and the home of nine of NASCAR’s champions.