Incorporated September 12, 1972
The Stock Car Racing Association (SCRA) was originally organized as the Phoenix Claimer Racing Association on December 26, 1969, later changing its name to the Stock Car Claimer Association (SCCA). The founding fathers were John Bushell, President; Ralph Hertel, Vice President; Ms. R. H. Crum, Secretary-Treasurer; and Don Moore, John Craig, Len Ward, Larry Dagley, and George Posey, Directors.
The SCCA evolved from the old jalopy cars that raced in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Stock cars were raced for years without any formal organization of drivers. About 1969, however, Manzanita Speedway began to lobby the drivers to organize themselves; Manzanita wanted to deal with one person, not a diverse group of individuals. The result was the informal Phoenix Claimer Racing Association which operated for almost three years before incorporating as the non-profit SCCA on September 12, 1972.
The name "Claimers" in the association’s name came from the rule that any car could be claimed. Specific rules on cars were few, but the claim provision tended to keep competition close. The claim price in 1972 was $149.
During the early days of the organization it was common practice for the Tucson stock car racers to drive up to Manzanita Speedway on Friday night, claim a car for $149 and take it back to Tucson to race on Saturday night. Eventually the SCCA drivers began going to Tucson to claim their cars, causing a big row in Tucson. The retaliation by SCCA did, however, stop the Tucson boys from claiming in Phoenix.
The claim rule ultimately led to the organization of the Modified Stock Division within SCCA. The Modifieds were not subject to a claim; hence the racers could invest more money into their cars. The Modifieds were introduced in 1972 with only four cars, growing to six by the end of the season. The pioneers of the Modified Stock Division were Steve McGuire, 1956 Chevrolet; Paul Bible, 1957 Chevrolet; Jack Thompson, 1955 Chevrolet; and John Craig, 1957 Ford. With the low car count no purse was offered to the Modifieds by Manzanita. To get the division off the ground, the four drivers put up $5 each, ran one heat race at every sanctioned event with the winner getting the $20, with the stipulation that the winner bought the beer after the races. Steve McGuire won the first Modified Stock championship in 1972. The Modified Stock Division today is known as the Super Stock Division.
In 1975 the SCCA was contacted by the Sports Car Club of America complaining that the association’s initials "SCCA" infringed on their trademark. As a result, SCCA formally changed its name on December 1, 1975, to the Stock Car Racing Association (SCRA).
During the early days of SCRA, there were no sticker or title sponsors. If anyone was lucky enough to find a sponsor, they kept them for their own race car. The championship points fund was funded by membership fees and fines after all the association’s bills were paid. The division champion typically received about $150.