Fixin to Git: One Fan’s Love Affair with NASCAR’s Winston Cup

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Duke University Press, Jul 25, 2002 - Sports & Recreation - 320 pages
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In the past twenty years, big-time stock-car racing has become America’s fastest growing spectator sport. Winston Cup races draw larger audiences—at the tracks and on television—than any other sport, and drivers like Dale Jarrett, Jeff Gordon, and Mark Martin have become cultural icons whose endorsements command millions. What accounts for NASCAR’s surging popularity?
For years a “closeted” NASCAR fan, Professor Jim Wright took advantage of a sabbatical in 1999 to attend stock-car races at seven of the Winston Cup’s legendary venues: Daytona, Indianapolis, Darlington, Charlotte, Richmond, Atlanta, and Talladega. The “Fixin’ to Git Road Tour” resulted in this book—not just a travelogue of Wright’s year at the races, but a fan’s valentine to the spectacle, the pageantry, and the subculture of Winston Cup racing.
Wright busts the myth that NASCAR is a Southern sport and takes on critics who claim that there’s nothing to racing but “drive fast, turn left,” revealing the skill, mental acuity, and physical stamina required by drivers and their crews. Mostly, though, he captures the experience of loyal NASCAR fans like himself, describing the drama in the grandstands—and in the bars, restaurants, parking lots, juke joints, motels, and campgrounds where race fans congregate. He conveys the rich, erotic sensory overload—the sights, the sounds, the smells, the feel—of weekends at the Winston Cup race tracks.
 

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Fixin' to git: one fan's love affair with NASCAR's Winston Cup

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In contrast to almost every book about NASCAR Winston Cup auto racing, this is not an insider's account; nor does it focus on drivers, races, or NASCAR's history. Instead, Wright offers his ... Read full review

Contents

On the Road to Charlotte
1
1 Car Culture and the American Dream
17
2 Deconstructing NASCAR
57
3 Racin Basics
98
4 The NASCAR Subculture
144
5 The Yankee Invasion
180
6 Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms
217
7 We Are Family
263
Notes
281
Index
293
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Jim Wright grew up in Indiana watching his father race on quarter-mile dirt tracks in the 1950s. After spending a couple of decades establishing himself as an academic sociologist, he began regularly attending NASCAR races in the 1990s. A sociologist who has taught at Tulane University and currently teaches at the University of Central Florida, Wright has written seventeen books. He lives in Orlando.

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