Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Laura Spielvogel

Second Advisor

Dr. Bilinda Straight

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Ulin

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


A large number of academics who have examined stockcar racing have concluded that stockcar racing is a “Southern tradition.” While the implicit definitions of tradition may vary, many generally agree that there is a clear historical relationship between stock car racing and the South. It is my contention that the idea that stockcar racing is a “Southern” tradition does not represent the reality of stockcar racing fandom for many people outside of the South. I assert that stock car racing is instead a “contextual tradition”, a practice that became labeled a tradition through specific historical and cultural circumstances. By examining the idea that stock car racing is a “Southern tradition” in relation to the history of stockcar racing outside of the South and local cultural understandings of stockcar racing at City Speedway (a Midwestern stock car racing track), I hope to show that there are historical and cultural relationships between stockcar racing and regions outside of the South. These historical and cultural relationships indicate that the relationship between stock car racing and the “South” is far more complex than that posited by most academics.

Included in

Anthropology Commons