Barack Obama went into unchartered territory yesterday: NASCAR. He graciously welcomed last year’s NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson to the White House, but managed to blow the history of the racing circuit:
You know, it’s fitting that you’ve all come here to the White House — the American people’s house — because NASCAR is a uniquely American sport. Since its humble beginnings, when moonshiners raced on the sands of Daytona Beach during prohibition, it’s grown into a sport with tens of millions of fans here in America and around the world.
There’s no doubt that NASCAR has its roots in the moonshine business, but Daytona Beach isn’t where they raced. Daytona Beach was home to speed trials between 1902 and the early 1930s, when those trials moved to the Bonneville Salt Flats to avoid the winds at Daytona. The first stock car race at Daytona Beach didn’t take place until 1936, three years after the repeal of Prohibition. Big Bill France put together the first race at Daytona Beach, and eleven years later in 1947 founded NASCAR. (h/t HA reader Benderball)
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Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!