Thomasville man honors the pioneers of stock car racing

North Carolina

SURRY COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — You won’t find many of the pioneers of stock car racing in NASCAR’s hall of fame, but one man is helping give them the recognition they deserve.

“I’m all about stock car history before there was a NASCAR,” said Bill Blair, Jr., who has witnessed the history of stock car racing first hand. His dad, Bill Blair, Sr., was a pioneer of the sport.

“They were my heroes. My daddy was my first hero,” Blair, Jr. said.

His dad was one of those legendary moonshine runners who used their skills of out running the law on the sandy shores of Daytona and the dirt tracks of the Carolinas.   

“The moonshine boys had money. Not much. But they had more than anybody else,” he said. “They could build race tracks.”

Just outside of Mount Airy was home to the state’s first three-quarter-mile race track.

“I remember going as a teenager,” Blair, Jr. said. “You look up on the hill and see people all over.”

That history makes Mount Airy the perfect place to honor the founders of stock car racing. 

“These guys will never ever get any recognition from NASCAR or NASCAR hall of fame,” said Blair, Jr., who has worked to honor the early drivers on Mount Airy’s Stock Car Racing Wall of Fame. “They made a big contribution to stock car racing, and we aren’t going to leave anyone out.”

Many of them turned out for the honor at this past weekend’s Annual Moonshine and Racer’s Reunion. 

“They are still my heroes today,” Blair, Jr. said. “What they did enabled us to do what we do today.”

You can visit the Wall of Fame in downtown Mount Airy right around the corner from Miss Angels Bakery.

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