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NASCAR: The Definitive History of America's Sport Hardcover – March 22, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

From the early days of dirt track, clay track, and beach track racing to today's superspeedways, NASCAR has come a long way in just over 50 years. The story of NASCAR--and the dreamers, daredevils, and moonshiners who got it going--is lovingly told in NASCAR: The Definitive History of America's Sport

Organized chronologically, The Definitive History follows the sport from its inception, with hundreds of photographs and stories from all of NASCAR's finest--from early drivers such as Johnny "Madman" Mantz, Fireball Roberts, and Red Byron to the hot drivers and the turn of the century: Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kenny Irwin. Car owner Bud Moore remembered the first race at Darlington, a 500-miler on asphalt--which was a new racing surface for most drivers. The biggest problem was the wear on tires, which kept blowing out: "About everybody ran out. We went out in the infield and jacked up spectators' cars and took the tires off them." Special sections highlight NASCAR lore, pointing out, for example, that stock car racing is a family affair for many, including the Pettys (Lee Petty, who raced in the first NASCAR Strictly Stock race; son Richard "I've Never Been Scared in a Race Car" Petty; grandson Kyle, who won his first series race in 1986; and great grandson Adam, an up-and-coming racer himself).

Well written and lavishly illustrated, race fans of all ages will enjoy this warm tribute to NASCAR. --M. Stein

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 204 pages
  • Publisher: HarperEntertainment; 1St Edition edition (March 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061050806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061050800
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 10.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,882,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "moonglow22" on August 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
As a diehard NASCAR fan, I bought this book mainly for the pictures, and I wasn't disappointed. There are some great shots, especially of the early days of the sport. However, I found that the accompanying text wasn't as informative as I would like; the content defintiely seems to have been filtered by the "NASCAR censors," as there is nothing controversial or that could possibly be interpreted as negative about the sport. I recommend Monte Dutton's AT SPEED: Up Close and Personal with the People Places and Fans of NASCAR if you are looking for a real, true, warts-and-all view of America's favorite sport. However, Mike Hembree's book makes a pretty coffee table decoration, and is a nice tribute at the beginning of a milennium.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. Whigham on June 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Great photos of the early days of NASCAR and of today's events, but not much from "the middle years". Background reference material is well thought out and organized and is easy to read. Very entertaining overall but I would have appreciated a better description of the evolution of the cars and how the sport transitioned from racing jallopies purchased at used car lots to today's purpose-built machines that resemble the family's Pontiac in appearance only. In fact, the book seems to gloss over the 70's and 80's as quickly as it took Richard Petty to capture his first 10 victories (he would reach the history-making 200 victory mark in the 1980's). Instead, most of the focus is on the leadership of Bill France in taking the sport through the early days of dirt tracks and leather helmets and then re-focuses on RJ Reynolds' sponsorship and the France family's positioning the organization as a high-visibility corporate billboard (not that there's anything wrong with that - its the American way). It also doesn't really delve into the tragedies of NASCAR drivers, such as the deaths of Petty, Allison, and others who died at the tracks.
Still, its a good starting point for understanding NASCAR's history and makes for good entertainment, even for folks who don't really follow automobile racing.
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By Ray Warner on March 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are many resource books on the history of this great sport and have reviewed a good number of them. I would rate this one as one of the best.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susan Jenkins on November 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book several years ago as a gift to myself. There is alot of history in the pages of this book. A must read for any fan of NASCAR.
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