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|edHelper's suggested reading level:||grades 4 to 6|
|Flesch-Kincaid grade level:||5.84|
Louise Smith: The First Lady of Stock Car Racing
By Joyce Furstenau
1 NASCAR is an acronym that stands for the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. A stock car looks like a regular car on the outside. Stock racing cars look like American-made cars. The cars used in NASCAR races are built for racing from the ground up. A man named Bill France, Sr., founded this car-racing association in 1947. His children and grandchildren still control it. Louise Smith was the first woman to race a car for Bill France. Later, she would be called "the First Lady of Stock Car Racing."
2 Louise Smith was born in Barnesville, Georgia, on July 31, 1916. Her family moved to Greenville, South Carolina, when she was four years old. She had her first driving lesson in her father's Model T Ford a few years later. Louise decided she wanted to learn how to drive. She started the car by herself and began driving it. Then she realized she could drive the car, but she did not know how to stop. She drove it into the family's chicken coop. This was the first of many crashes for Louise.
3 Louise came of age during the Great Depression. It was a time when the country was in financial crisis. For most, there was little money and very few jobs to be had. Then the war years brought shortages of food, gas, and even rubber. When World War II ended, people started to experience a newfound freedom. Jobs were more plentiful, and people were looking for entertainment. Car racing started bringing crowds to the racetrack.
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