Related by Jack Lewis, Reata Whippets
Whippet sprint racing started as a professional sport after WWI, with its height in the 1920's & 30's (Maryland being the biggest location), but pretty much died out as a result of WWII.
In 1957 the Northern California Whippet Racing Assn and the Central States Racing Assn of Illinois combined to organize amateur Whippet racing. They put on a great show at the International Amphitheater in conjunction with the Chicago International all-breed dog show in 1958. That and other similar events convinced the American Whippet Club to sponsor whippet racing as a amateur sport and breed improvement program.
In the early '60s the AWC's Official Rules and Regulations for National Whippet Racing were drawn up (becoming the National Point Racing or NPR program). They added their Award of Racing Merit program in 1967 and ARM winners were considered AWC's Sprint Racing Champions.
NOTRA was founded by David Rosenstock in 1975 and the first two meets (Aug 3 & Dec 6, 1975) were hosted by the Northern California Whippet Club.
In 1983, The Stampede City Whippet Club of Calgary, AB, Canada hosted the first NOTRA meet to feature other breeds - Afghans, Borzoi and Greyhounds joined the Whippets. "Minor Breed" Clubs came on the scene in 1986 to join the Whippet Clubs.
The "Other Breed" entries really took off after Sam Banks convinced David Rosenstock to allow hand slip starts (waiving the starting box requirement), and further, when Sam revised the Other Breed Scoring Process to allow the OBs to attain an ORC before old age set in (heretofore Whippets/OBs shared the scoring process meaning no ORC points were awarded until 15 entries were met, a rare occasion for OBs at that time).
For a detailed history of NOTRA racing download this 4 page pdf file.