Key player in NASCAR’s birth and growth
Considered NASCAR’s first team owner
First owner to win a title (1948 NASCAR Modified)
First owner to win a NASCAR Cup Series title (1949)
Member of NASCAR’s founding committee in 1947
Key financial contributor during NASCAR’s fledgling years
Without Parks, there might not have been a NASCAR. Beyond helping to start and sustain the series, Parks is considered its first team owner, and one of its most successful. In 1948, the former moonshine runner’s car won the first NASCAR championship ever awarded, taking the NASCAR Modified class title with Fonty Flock at the wheel. The following year, Parks’ car captured the inaugural NASCAR Strictly Stock Series (now Cup Series) title with Red Byron at the wheel. In both appearance and performance, the professionalism of Parks’ entries set a new standard for the fledgling sport. Parks was a key member of the group who met with Bill France at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach in 1947 and created NASCAR. He used his wealth to nurture NASCAR during its fledgling years, keeping the organization afloat by lending France money and new Cadillac pace cars. When Parks died in 2010, he was the last surviving member of the sport’s founders. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2017.