It is said that in 1941 Lloyd Seay won the National Stock Car Championship in a Ford coupe he had driven just twelve hours before on a moonshine bootlegging run. A day later, Lloyd Seay was shot and killed by his cousin in an argument over sugar – a primary ingredient of moonshine.

Car culture had begun to take hold in America by the 1940’s, and with it came the American muscle car. Moonshiners of the 1940’s had every bit the need to outrun the Revenuers as did their early American predecessors, but had a little more horsepower available to them.

In order to evade the tax collectors, and the law, bootleggers souped up the engines and suspensions of their cars while leaving the exteriors unchanged as a means to evade, and outrun, police should they happen upon a moonshine run. Moonshine runners became skilled drivers, valued on their abilities to outrun and outsmart the law. Bootleggers began to hold informal races of their moonshine running cars which, moonshine legend has it, led to the organization of these races into auto racing and, eventually, stock car racing.

One famous moonshine runner named Junior Johnson is one of the legends of early NASCAR. It is said that he quit illegal moonshining in 1960 after winning the Daytona 500. But today, ol’ Junior has gone legal, selling Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon Carolina Moonshine 80 proof corn-based liquor.

Keep reading about the history of moonshine:

  1. Moonshine Whiskey and Colonial America
  2. American Revolution
  3. Whiskey Rebellion
  4. Prohibition
  5. Bootlegging
  6. NASCAR and Moonshine
  7. Popcorn Sutton
  8. Moonshining: An American Tradition
  9. The Future of Moonshine

Or you can view the entire Moonshine History article here.


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