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Interview with T. Taylor Warren, Part 2

Warren, T. Taylor (Thomas Taylor), 1925-2008
Wright, Christina
Date of Interview: 
Warren, T. Taylor (Thomas Taylor), 1925-2008; France, Bill, 1909-1992; NASCAR (Association); Charlotte Motor Speedway (Organization); Sports photographers; Photography of sports; Photojournalism; Stock car drivers; Stock car racing; Motorsports; Motorsports--Economic aspects; Women automobile racing drivers; African American automobile racing drivers; Automobile racing managers; Automobile racing--Employees; Automobile racing--Sociological aspects; North Carolina--Charlotte; North Carolina--Concord; Virginia--Martinsville; Interviews (Sound recordings); Oral histories
Motorsports photographer T. Taylor Warren reflects in this second interview on the culture of NASCAR during the 1950s-1980s and on how the stock car industry has changed through the time of the interview in 2006. He begins by discussing the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) and preseason motorsports promotional activities, which generate interest among fans and include photo opportunities for professional photographers. Mr. Warren describes different drivers and their approaches to driving, noting that some drivers, including “Herman the Turtle” (Herman Beam), aimed not to finish first but to avoid damage while placing well enough to win money and earn a living. He shares his thoughts on the role of women and African Americans in stock car racing and why the sport is largely dominated by white men from the South. Mr. Warren then discusses the founder of NASCAR Bill France Sr., whom he worked for as a photographer, and how he feels that Mr. France was an effective businessman and strong leader who could lack compassion at times. He shares his recollections of Charlotte Motor Speedway, its notable personalities including Howard “Humpy” Wheeler Jr. and Bruton Smith, and of the track’s place in NASCAR. He concludes the interview by describing recent changes in motorsports that he views as negative, including extreme stock car engineering for speed, which can increase the risk of injury for drivers; decreased camaraderie between drivers; and the emergence of the International Race of Champions (IROC), where all drivers race the same car.
North Carolina--Charlotte; North Carolina--Concord; circa 1945 - 2006
Interview Setting: 
J. Murrey Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
Motorsports Collection
Interview Audio: