Wednesday, March 04, 2009

NASCAR comes full circle

Most people know that NASCAR's history is rooted in "runnin' 'shine." There was a time when "drivers ran bootleg whiskey" from the mountains and the bootleggers "needed to distribute their illicit products, and they typically used small, fast vehicles to better evade the police," according to Wikipedia. "Many of the drivers would modify their cars for speed and handling, as well as increased cargo capacity, and some of them came to love the fast-paced driving down twisty mountain roads."

The repeal of Prohibition in 1933 dried up some of their business, but by then Southerners had developed a taste for moonshine, and a number of the drivers continued "runnin' shine," this time evading the "revenuers" who were attempting to tax their operations. The cars continued to improve, and by the late 1940s, races featuring these cars were being run for pride and profit. These races were popular entertainment in the rural Southern United States, and they are most closely associated with the Wilkes County region of North Carolina. Most races in those days were of modified cars. Street vehicles were lightened and reinforced.

Well, it looks like NASCAR has come full circle.

"Dean Combs, a former NASCAR driver and crew chief for the legendary Junior Johnson, has been charged with making moonshine," says

State agents and Wilkes County sheriff's deputies said they found a 300-gallon still in a shop building on property owned by Combs, 57. Acting on an anonymous tip, the still in a shop building behind a go-kart track near the North Wilkesboro Speedway.

He was charged with making non-tax paid liquor and possessing ingredients and equipment to manufacture non-tax paid liquor.

N.C. State Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement agents said about 1,150 gallons of corn mash was found. Agents also seized 200 gallons of corn liquor and 3,000 pounds of sugar.

"It was a very professional, clean operation...all stainless steel," N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement Agent Shon Tally told the Journal Patriot newspaper.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is, in a nutshell, why NASCAR was stupid to have left its roots and move to Michigan, California and elsewhere.