Moonshine, motorsports and more make North Carolina a spirited and exciting destination

When I told friends I’d just returned from NASCAR events in North Carolina, they all lit up with excitement at the thought of being there. They have good reason for feeling that way. In NC, NASCAR possesses an almost mythic quality in the minds of residents. They talk about it with knowledge and devotion, and recount stories of actually meeting the great drivers in person, the revered heroes that they are. The races resemble pilgrimages complete with solemn prayers, and the origin story of the sport is told over and over with what would be the quiet air of a gospel reading, if it weren’t for the illegal booze at the heart of it.

Sure, The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is headquartered in Daytona Beach. And sure, it was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1948, who was born in Washington, DC., whose son and current CEO Jim was born in Daytona. But, stock car racing traces its roots to the daredevil drivers who, primarily in Appalachia, ran homemade hooch and had to play cat and mouse with the cops way back when. And all that led to the exciting sport millions of fans know and love today.

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