The wildest ride: a history of NASCAR (or, how a bunch of good ol' boys built a billion-dollar industry out of wrecking cars)
In The Wildest Ride, Joe Menzer gives us a timely, comprehensive look at the dramatic, rollicking history of stock-car racing in America, exploring both its inauspicious bootlegging beginnings and the billion-dollar industry that it has become. Menzer straps the reader into the driver's seat for a run through NASCAR's history, revealing the sport's remarkable rise from rogue outfit to corporate darling. Menzer also profiles the many superstar drivers who have dominated the sport, men as unpredictable as they are fearless, including "The Intimidator," Dale Earnhardt, whose ferocious driving made him NASCAR's signature personality -- and whose tragic death at the 2001 Daytona 500 was mourned by millions.
Menzer expertly maneuvers through the tight corners and wide-open straightaways of NASCAR's history, examining the circuit's attempt to distance itself from its "redneck racin'" past without compromising its country roots. Simultaneously rowdy and insightful, The Wildest Ride is a thorough and unfailingly honest account of NASCAR's amazing rise to prominence and a sweeping account of a uniquely American phenomenon.
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The wildest ride: a history of NASCAR (or, how a bunch of good ol' boys built a billion-dollar industry out of wrecking cars)User Review - Book Verdict
There have been a number of NASCAR (North American Stock Car) histories and tell-alls over the years, but, refreshingly, Menzer sticks to history, mining the facts of the series and its rise to prominence. Unlike so many other books about stock-car racing (e.g., Mike Hembree's NASCAR: The Definitive History of America's Sport, HarperEntertainment, 2000), this is not merely a picture book (in fact, there are no photos at all). Nor is it a driver's life story or a report from a racing team's season, like Paul Hemphill's Wheels (LJ 4/1/97) or Scott Huler's A Little Bit Sideways (Motorbooks, 1999). Instead, it focuses on the rich legacy of the founding France family, the evolution of the cars from modified stock cars to purpose-built racers, and the fan-base expansion of the 1980s and 1990s that made NASCAR one of the most popular spectator sports in the world. With a nod to both past and present, Menzer describes how the sport has developed into a well-oiled advertising venture for sponsors and how driver personalities have propelled its popularity. Highly entertaining and full of facts rather than fluff. Eric C. Shoaf, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence ...
Review: The Wildest Ride: A History of NASCAR (or, How a Bunch of Good Ol' Boys Built a Billion-Dollar Industry out of Wrecking Cars)User Review - Julie H. - Goodreads
This is a fun little history of NASCAR that takes the sport back through its rum-running origins. Read full review
The Last Lap: The Life and Times of NASCAR's Legendary Heroes
No preview available - 2001