First Memories Of Watching Cup Series

JGR_20

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Hey everyone, I thought it might be fun to hear everyone’s first memory of watching Nascar Cup racing...

So when was the first time you recall seeing the Cup series?

For me, it goes back to the 1995 brickyard 400. The huge rain delayed race where it finally got started really late in the day.

What’s funny about those days for me, is this was when you really had to be a fan or have a TV guide to know when a lot of races were coming on. I remember not knowing how often the series races and things like that. I had a friend who clued me all in and by 1996 I was hooked line and sinker on everything.
 

Privateer

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1988. I was 5 years old and a Geoff Bodine fan because he drove the #5 car.

He won a race late in the season that year at North Wilkesboro I remember most. He was running 3rd late and Earnhardt and I think Terry Labonte were battling for the win. They banged in a corner which sent them both high and Bodine went underneath to take the win.
 

Big John Kordic

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Seeing the races on wide world of sports or something, I’m guessing dega or something, and seeing all the wrecks as a child. As an aside, same way I got into hockey, happened to catch a game where the players fought all over the place. That’s so cool!!!

The one early race that stands out is, again, dega I think. Cale was the guy I rooted for, only due to the fact I heard his name so much. Maybe one of the early races with an in-car camera, the job that was mounted on some bar that stretched across the car and was positioned basically in the middle. Cale won the race and as he crossed the line did big fist pumps.

Then in the early 80s my folks got cable and espn along with tnn was at my disposal, hooked from then on. Sunday mornings were F1 then nascar.
 

Ol Smokie

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Wide World of Sports. They didn't broadcast the whole race back then. You only got a 20 minute segment of the show covering the race and you would have to sit through two other sports, like figure skating, etc., before you saw the racing.
 

JGR_20

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The one early race that stands out is, again, dega I think. Cale was the guy I rooted for, only due to the fact I heard his name so much. Maybe one of the early races with an in-car camera, the job that was mounted on some bar that stretched across the car and was positioned basically in the middle. Cale won the race and as he crossed the line did big fist pumps.
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I love seeing the footage from those days with the early on board cameras. I feel like I’ve seen the footage you’re referring to, great stuff.
 

MRM

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I'm sure I saw clips of the Daytona 500 on Wide World of Sports early on. But the first race I actually remember seeing was the spring race in Atlanta in 1975. We drove down to see the race.
 

Greg

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I watched my first races on the radio.
As for first attended in person Cup races:
1971 200 lapper at Greenville Pickens Speedway. Petty won it in an all blue Petty Enterprises Plymouth (before STP) .
Bobby Allison led the first 110 laps and retired with a mechanical issue. He ran the Coca Cola machine and it ended a 4 race win streak. The Cup series at that time was called the Winston Grand National series.

My first big track was the World 600 in 1978, Waltrip won it in the Digard Gatorade Monte Carlo #88.
 

pjmolo

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Wide World of Sports. They didn't broadcast the whole race back then. You only got a 20 minute segment of the show covering the race and you would have to sit through two other sports, like figure skating, etc., before you saw the racing.
Same for me.

Wide World of Sports was an ABC network sports program that aired on Saturday afternoon back in the '60's and '70's.

Like @Ol Smokie says, they would show taped highlights of a race that was probably run the week before.

Of course because there was virtually no media coverage of NASCAR then, a week after the race was actually run you still didn't know who won until the show was over.
 

Kiante

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First race I remember... Probably 1995 or was it 96 Brickyard. I was about three at the time, I was also introduced to Formula 1 first in 1996 at the Australian GP. I became a Villeneuve fan because of his colorful helmet.

Later on, I started watching CART in 1997. Long Beach.

Yes, I'm still a baby to the game.
 

Efisher131

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My first memory is going to the 1999 Pennsylvania 400 at 4 years old. My dad took me and he was a huge Jeff Burton fan. Burton had the fastest car late in the race and blew the transmission with 25-30 to go. My dad is still haunted by it to this day haha.
 

Formerjackman

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My first real memory of racing of any kind was listening to the 1973 Indy 500 on the radio (I was 5). I soon became hooked on Indycar racing, and remember seeing some stock car action on Wide World of Sports, but it didn't leave much of a impression on me. The first stock car race I remember REALLY watching was the 1979 Daytona 500. It was a cold snowy miserable Sunday at our house as the day before our small barn burnt down killing four cattle and my horse. We pretty much moped around the house and watched TV, which of course the 500 was the most interesting thing on. I know I saw races on TV after that, but 1981 was where my interest REALLY picked up, and I started following it seriously. By 1983, my Dad's buddy was giving me his copies of Grand National Scene, I was reading Stock Car Racing magazine, and making frequent Sunday trips to my grandparent's house on Sunday, because they could get cable TV and we couldn't. My first Cup race in person was the August 1983 Michigan race won by Cale. By 1984, I was watching every race that was on TV, and since 1991 when 100% of the races were on TV, I have missed maybe 10-12, mostly because of recording equipment malfunctions.
 

gnomesayin

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My first faint memory is rooting for Buddy Baker to win at Talladega, I believe in 1984 (he didn't). I have a clearer memory of watching Bill Elliott win the Winston Million in 1985. Then Bobby Allison's Talladega wreck in 1987 really stands out, along with Davey's emergence. My Dad was a Ford guy, so most of my early memories involved rooting for Ford drivers.
 

Mark

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1979 Daytona 500 was the first race where I watched most of the race. I have flashes of seeing the 21 David Pearson car in the mid 70s. I watched ABCs Wide World of Sports a lot and I probably caught a glimpse if aa fe races. Pearson was fairly dominant at the time.
 
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I was born in '91, so here goes my list.

I vaguely remember seeing Mark Martin's crash at Talladega when he drove through the fence in 1994. I also remember watching Ward Burton burn his car up qualifying in 1996, I believe.

I was brought up into NASCAR by my dad. It was right at the transition from Dale Earnhardt to Jeff Gordon, too. He taught me to always cheer for Dale and to make fun of anyone wearing anything with a 24 on it. Good times.

I was able to convince my third grade teacher to let me watch the Monday Rockingham race in '01 in honor of Dale. Also talked my eighth grade English teacher into letting us watch rain delayed Talladega coverage in '06.

I really first started understanding NASCAR in 1998 and have only missed a handful of races since then.
 

mack

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1988. I was 5 years old and a Geoff Bodine fan because he drove the #5 car.

He won a race late in the season that year at North Wilkesboro I remember most. He was running 3rd late and Earnhardt and I think Terry Labonte were battling for the win. They banged in a corner which sent them both high and Bodine went underneath to take the win.
The race you're referring to was the fall race at Wilkesboro in 1989. Sr was battling with Rudd, they tangled on the white flag lap. Bodine benefitted well that day.
 

Blaze

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I mean, I know I watched before then(they are home videos of me talking about racing from before then.) but the first race that really stands out to me is probably the race Dale Earnhardt won at Atlanta in 2000 when he beat Bobby Labonte. I don't remember much from before that, but I do know I watched as their stuff of me from 94/95 talking about it as a cute little kid lol. Don't remember much after that either tho up until like a year or so later. 2001 is a season I remember for a lot of sad sad reasons tho.
 

mack

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Bits and pieces of Wide World of Sports as a youngun. For some reason a race that really stands out in my mind was the August Busch 500 from Bristol in 1985. I had watched a ton of races before that one, but that race was fantastic. DW and Tim Richmond put on a show. Everyone was roasting right rears.
 

KTMLew01

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Early 70's for me. Of course started with Wild World Of Sports. I raced dirt bikes back the 70's/early 80's and would skip the dirt bike races to watch the Cup weekends. Loved it. When all the old guard retired i lost interest. Danica brought me back. Now i don't care about it at all. We change.
 

2 Sweet

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I was born in '86, and have very faint memories as early as 1990. I think the first race I can vividly recall watching as a child was the '91 Daytona 500. My dad was a Rusty fan and my oldest brother was an Earnhardt fan. I decided to root for Ernie Irvan, who ended up winning the race.

By the time Ernie jumped to the 28 car late in '93, I was becoming more of a Jeff Gordon fan. By 1994 I was hooked, and didn't want to miss a lap.

Cool thread :cheers:
 

Ford Racing

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I was born in '95 for reference. I have a few early memories before I started watching every race in 2005. My earliest was the 1998 Daytona 500. Don't remember much other than Gordon winning and seeing his car on the track. Probably because the previous Christmas I got one of those Jeff Gordon power wheels cars. He became my favorite driver from that point on. I don't really remember the 2001 Daytona 500 other than some replays and my dad saying "It doesn't look good." I also went to the Brickyard 400 in 2001 (or maybe 1998, it's becoming a blur at this point). After that I started attending the Brickyard 400 again in 2004 and I remember a little of the 2005 Daytona 500. When Carl won at Atlanta though, that's when my fandom kicked in to high gear. I thought it was the coolest thing that he won in a Taurus (we had one then and still do, albeit newer). Then he did a back flip and I was sold lol.
 

DIDIT

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Like a few others, I first watched the cup series on Wide World of Sports probably between barrel jumping and championship arm wrestling. Man I loved that show when I was young.

I got really hooked on NASCAR following Tim Richmond in the early 80s.

First cup race was Dover, 1983.

First race ever was Fremont Speedway dirt track as a toddler, probably late 50s.

One of my best memories is listening to the Indy 500 on our big radio. Those announcers stationed in each corner sharing what they were seeing was one of the best racing experience I can recall.
 
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