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December, 1947: Bill France Sr. organizes a meeting in Daytona Beach, Fla., to discuss problems facing stock car racing. From that meeting, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing is born.

Feb. 15, 1948: The first sanctioned NASCAR race is held on Daytona's beach course. Red Byron, in his Ford Modified, wins.

Sept. 4, 1950: Darlington International Raceway becomes the first asphalt super speedway to host a NASCAR event. The 500-mile Classic is won by Johnny Mantz in his 1950 Plymouth.

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Feb. 22, 1959: Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500 in front of 41,000 fans.

July 16, 1961: ABC Sports televises the Firecracker 250 from Daytona as part of its Wide World of Sports.

Dec. 1, 1963: Wendell Scott becomes the first African-American to win a premier division NASCAR race at Jacksonville Speedway.

Sept. 14, 1969: Alabama International Speedway – known today as Talladega Superspeedway – opens.

March 24, 1970: Buddy Baker becomes the first driver to break 200 mph.

Jan. 10, 1972: Bill France Sr. hands leadership of NASCAR to his son, Bill France Jr.

Nov. 18, 1979: Richard Petty wins his record seventh series championship.

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March 28, 1982: Diane Teel, a school bus driver from York County, Va., is the first woman to qualify for a NASCAR Busch Series race. She starts 19th and finishes 10th in a 250-lapper at the Martinsville Speedway.

April 30, 1987: Bill Elliott sets fastest speed record at 212.809 mph at Talladega.

Nov. 15, 1992: Richard Petty retires.

1994: Dale Earnhardt wins his seventh series title, matching Petty's record.

Feb. 5, 1995: Mike Skinner wins the Skoal Bandit Copper World Classic, the first race of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

1998: NASCAR celebrates 50 years.

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Feb. 18, 2001: Dale Earnhardt dies in a final-lap crash at the Daytona 500.

Nov. 17, 2002: Tony Stewart's championship season is the beginning of a youth movement in NASCAR. A new generation of drivers, including Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr., gain popularity.

2003: Brian France is named as NASCAR's chairman and CEO, replacing his father, Bill France Jr.

2004: The Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup is announced, giving the sport a post-season comparable to a playoff. Kurt Busch wins the first Chase.

June 7, 2007: Bill France Jr. dies at the age of 74.

Oct. 14, 2009: The inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame – Bill France Sr., Bill France Jr., Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Junior Johnson – is announced in Charlotte, N.C.

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Nov. 22, 2009: Jimmie Johnson wins his fourth consecutive Sprint Cup championship, breaking Cale Yarborough's record set between 1976-78.

December 2012: The Generation-6 car is unveiled, bringing NASCAR racing back to its roots of stock cars. The Gen-6 cars more closely resembled vehicles sold on showroom floors across the country.

January 2014: NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France announces a new championship format that puts greater emphasis on winning races all season long and expands the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field to 16 drivers, with round-by-round advancements.

Sources: nascar.com, abcnews.go.com, legendsofnascar.com

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