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Song of the South: Is NASCAR Abandoning Its Southern Roots?

There's no sport more closely associated with a single region of the country than stock car racing. It's as Southern as grits and peach pie.Or at least it used to be.Today, NASCAR is just as likely to be in Michigan or Arizona as it is Tennessee and North Carolina, part of a strategic plan to diversify the fanbase of a growing sport.This week NASCAR takes its traveling carnival show to Sonoma, California. Wine country. To the early pioneers of the sport, it would have been all but unthinkable.From Lloyd Seay to Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR was built on the backs of Southern heroes. Junior Johnson, who learned to drive running 'shine for his daddy in North Wilkesboro, N.C., became the "Last American Hero." He was the most successful and famous rac...

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