I was recently inspired by a fellow B/R member to write this article on why I started watching NASCAR. Enjoy.
About three or four years ago, I asked my Dad why he watched NASCAR. He then told me about my Great Grandfather.
He had raced alongside Lee Petty, Ralph Earnhardt, Fireball Roberts, and many other of the NASCAR greats.
He told me that Grandpa Ralph had raced in the 1954 Daytona beach race. I found this extremely interesting.
To think we had a race car driver in our family! It was just amazing to me.
He told me Grandpa had been good friends with Richard Petty and raced against him at local short tracks.
After that I went to my Great Grandma and asked her if it was true. Not that my Dad would lie to me but because I was in such shock and had to hear it from someone who was there.
She told me that she remembered Richard Petty going to see Grandpa Ralph. She referred to Petty as "that ugly ole thing."
I went and did some research on NASCAR as a sport and found that it was originally started by moonshiners.
So I figured Grandpa Ralph was a moonshine runner. I never asked anyone about that.
I know that when I meet Dale Jr., I'm going to say that my Great Grandpa raced against his Grandpa.
My dad said he can still remember when he would visit Grandpa Ralph and Grandma. He said he and Grandpa would watch the race, Grandpa was pulling for Richard and Daddy was pulling for Earnhardt.
Grandpa Ralph died when my Dad was only 12 years old, so I never knew him.
This past week my Great Grandma Died and that's partially why I wrote this story, in memory of her and Grandpa Ralph.
Thanks for reading. Hope you all enjoyed.