The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is a family-owned and -operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events. It was founded by Bill France Sr. in 1947–48. As of 2009, the CEO for the company is Brian France, grandson of the late Bill France Sr. NASCAR is the largest sanctioning body of stock car racing in the United States.
The three largest racing series sanctioned by NASCAR are the Sprint Cup Series, the Nationwide Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. It also oversees NASCAR Local Racing, the Whelen Modified Tour, the Whelen All-American Series, and the NASCAR iRacing.com Series. NASCAR sanctions over 1500 races at over 100 tracks in 39 US states and Canada. NASCAR has presented exhibition races at the Suzuka and Motegi circuits in Japan, Mexico, and Calder Park Raceway in Australia.
NASCAR’s headquarters are located in Daytona Beach, Florida, although it also maintains offices in four North Carolina cities: Charlotte, Mooresville, Concord, and Conover. Regional offices are also located in New York City, Los Angeles, Bentonville, Arkansas, and international offices in Mexico City and Toronto. Additionally, owing to its Southern roots, all but a handful of NASCAR teams are still based in North Carolina, especially near Charlotte.
NASCAR is second only to the National Football League amongst professional sports franchises in terms of television ratings in the United States. Internationally, NASCAR races are broadcast in over 150 countries. In 2004 NASCAR’s Director of Security stated that NASCAR holds 17 of the top 20 regularly attended single-day sporting events in the world. NASCAR has 75 million fans who purchase over $3 billion annually in licensed products. Fortune 500 companies sponsor NASCAR more than any other motor sport, although this has been in decline since the early 2000s.