First Memories Of Watching Cup Series

Turtle84

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Born in 84' huge surprise. First memory is Daytona and Talladega in late 80's early 90's on tv, no idea what network. Just remember how fast I thought they were going and the colorful cars. And how cool it was to see them come down pit road. Then Rockingham, Bristol, Rusty Wallace, Ricky Rudd, Ernie Irvan, Jeff, Earnhardt, Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin, Labonte brothers. It's some scattered memories, but I remember those involved vividly, along with their unforgettable cars.

My clearest memory is actually Indy 500 though, sitting on my parent's bed picking Jacque Villeneuve pre-race because he had a light blue car, and then being shocked that he won after being 2 laps down. Never forget that one.

Also, I got the Sega Saturn Nascar 98 for Christmas one year, that sparked my interest to watch even more. No one in my family followed or even knew anything about nascar, so I was out there doing my own thing.
 

LewTheShoe

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Just for reference, I was born after Big Bill called his cronies together at the Streamline Motel... but before the first race in the 'strictly stock' division. All this talk about Wide World of Sports definitely brings back memories. Jim McKay had one of the coolest jobs on the planet, but Chris Economaki's job was even cooler.

I definitely remember seeing Dan Gurney win the Riverside 500 in a Wood Brothers Ford. There was a lot of 'agricultural racing' going on, as a lot of cars spent a lot of time out in the dirt, but Dan wasn't one of those. I'm not sure of the year... could have been 1964 or '65. (Gurney also won that race in '63 for Holman-Moody, and '66 and '68 for Wood Bros, but I'm pretty sure I saw the '64 or '65 race.)
 

DIDIT

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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.
Interesting thread topic, thanks for starting it!
 

harkin

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Mid-60s, SoCal. Not sure which race I saw but it had to be on TV for what’s now known as a ‘cup’ race.

My friend’s family were huge racing fans. His dad worked for Peterson Publishing and so they had every gearhead/racing magazine at their house and we used to devour them. Open wheel was my first experience but I slowly became aware of the ‘stock cars’ running local plus the ‘grand nationals’ on Wide World Of Sports. We also went local to Ascot Park in Gardena and other sites but not so much stock car as flat track motorcycles and the digs (aka drag races).

First live grand national: Went to the Western 500 at the great Riverside Raceway and saw my hero Dan Gurney own the place. I always liked his Wood Brothers cars but his car for the first Riverside win was a Holman-Moody Ford Galaxie.

Check out this beauty here:

https://www.speednik.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2013/10/4312_p02.jpg
 

KodiakRusty89

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1987 Winston 500, the one made famous by Bobby Allison's wreck. I was 5 years old, my father was a huge Elliott fan. I remember the delay and the race resuming and my father being happy that Davey Allison won. Another reason that race stands out is that fact it occurred during the Flyers run from the 1987 Stanley Cup Finals. I can still picture our living room decked out in Flyers things during the race.
 

machinistman3

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Wide World of Sports circa 1970. The races if I remember correctly were replays. I built a lot of models and got a AFX slot car track with a couple of endurance cars. I bought a Daytona Charger the first chance got.
 

be9ak7ts16

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My moms cousin starting racing at the local dirt track in 1966. That is what made me a race fan. I became hugely addicted to the modifieds of the time. The natural progression was to Wide World of Sports and the Grand National cars. Two 20 minute segments of two week old races separated by such things as wrist wrestling from Pataluma and cliff diving in Acupulco. My first real memory was Don McTavishes horrific crash at Daytona in 1969. The Pearson Petty rivalry was the driving force in my racing fandom. I was a devout Pearson/ Woods Brother fan.
 

Martin

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The first race I really remember watching was the '82 Daytona 500. I remember there being a bunch of J.D. Stacy sponsored cars and Bobby Allison running away from everyone once he "lost" his rear bumper early on in the race.
 

Hotrod

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Speaking of the '82 Daytona , that was my first live NASCAR race.

We went to the track a day or two before the race and the cup guys were practicing.
We were walking along the track in the turn 4 area and there was a big tv camera hole
in the fence. So what does a 21 year old college kid do ? Yep, stuck my head through it
and watched the cars come by at race speed. Back then , there wasn't a lot of security .
I remember seeing Kyle Petty and Cale Yarborough coming by me and was amazed how
close they sat to the steering wheel. That was the moment I was officially baptized in
the need for speed.
 

superchuck500

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My first memory is in the 80s watching races on TV. I thought the cars were cool and I liked the 44 Piedmont car because we lived in Louisiana but my parents were both from Eastern NC and we often flew on Piedmont to go back to visit my grandparents. I only watched a handful of races but enough that I got a 44 die cast car. My aunt lived in Rockingham at the time and I always asked her why she didn’t go to the race.

About a decade later I went to my first race in college in ‘96 and it all just felt so good and natural. I became a big Terry Labonte fan in part because I remembered that 44 car.
 

NC HillBilly

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With my Dad watching on a C-band dish with no commercials from the time I was in diapers. First races in person were at 311 speedway where I used to play with my diecasts and fall asleep on the front stretch concrete on a blanket while the cars roared by. When I got a little older (probably 1990 or 91) I got to go to my first Cup race at Martinsville Speedway and we would go back for many years in the spring/fall. Spring race always got rained out back in those days. Dad used to pull me out of school on Thursdays and Fridays to watch practice and qualifying and we'd make an entire weekend out of it.

At some point they fixed the encryption on c-band and we couldn't watch races on it without commercials anymore. They also blacked out the Martinsville race in our area so you had to go to the track if you wanted to see it. Sometimes we couldn't make it so you'd have to listen to it on the radio. By the time I was four years old I had all the diecast cars from the last few seasons and could name every driver. Dad started relying on me to keep up with drivers changing sponsors and numbers between seasons. A lot of teams and drivers stayed in our little town during the Martinsville race so I got to meet a bunch of them.

I met Morgan Shepard at a hotdog joint called Spuds when I was 5 years old or so. He was just sitting at the bar eating his supper. Dad pointed him out to me and I was bothering the man before he could stop me. He talked to me about racing for over an hour. You don't get access to the drivers like that anymore. I also met Harry Gant and Rick Mast at 311 the same year I think. Harry won the cup race the day or weekend after I met him. Pulled for him for a long time after that. Still got the picture he signed for me in storage somewhere.
 

Biggreen695

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Couldnt even begin to tell you... seems like Daytona in 97 maybe? Been watching racing since I could crawl into my dads lap and watch it when I was a toddler.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

donthaveanickname

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Some of you will laugh about this...
I've followed NASCAR since I started reading Speedweek in 2011, but since I was a ten-year-old and all the races are on Sunday evening I didn't get to watch any. I became a fan of Tony Stewart during his run in the Chase.
What really got me into American racing was the 2012 Indy 500 which was shown on TV.
The first NASCAR race I actually watched (at least in parts) was Homestead in 2015. Next race I remember watching was Dover in May 2016.
That race along with Smoke's win at Sonoma got me hooked and I haven't missed many races since.
 
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