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The Last Lap: The Life and Times of NASCAR's Legendary Heroes, Updated Edition Hardcover – October 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 438 pages
  • Publisher: Hungry Minds, Inc; 1st edition (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764565850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764565854
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #572,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In The Last Lap, the author of American Zoom chronicles the lives of NASCAR legends who pushed their racing cars--and sometimes their personal lives--to the limit. With danger lurking at each turn, the drivers form a colorful cast in an ever-traveling sideshow that has become the biggest spectator sport in the world. Golenbock interviews past and present racers, crew members, and families in this celebratory paean to the fast lane in American sports. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

"Racing is a struggle among men, machines, big money, and the track. Peter's book brings out a side of racing that most fans never see: clashing personalities, egos, and various skills combining to fuse together to form a winning racing team." —Lou LaRosa, former engine builder for Dale Earnhardt In The Last Lap, Updated, bestselling author Peter Golenbock unveils the fascinating behind-the-scenes stories of NASCAR's unique and colorful real-life heroes. This compelling revision includes three all-new chapters on the legendary Dale Earnhardt—including poignant, personal reminiscences from his crew chief, Andy Petree; his engine builder, Lou LaRosa; his gas man, Danny "Chocolate" Myers; the President of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Humpy Wheeler; NASCAR TV commentator Eli Gold; and long-time Earnhardt friend and Head Librarian of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, Betty Carlan; as well as others who knew him well. In addition, the book features new color photographs of Dale Earnhardt and other racing heroes as well as black-and-white photos. Whether you're a hard-core fan or brand new to the sport, you won't be able to put this book down. You'll gain unique insights into the world of racing directly from the people who made the headlines. Among those who share their stories are racing legends David Pearson, Buddy Baker, Tim Flock, and Marvin Panch, and the families and friends of the late Curtis Turner, the Myers brothers, Tiny Lund, Bobby Issac, Alan Kulwicki, and Davey and Clifford Allison. Golenbock draws out their fascinating stories and explores the hold these men have had on everyone who has ever participated in or followed this great sport. "That attitude was so deep in him. To me, he probably wasn't the fastest driver as far as the technical talent, but his competitiveness was such that he wouldn't let anyone beat him. He was so mentally tough on the race track." —Andy Petree, Earnhardt's former Crew Chief with Richard Childress Racing, owner of two race teams "…what he [Dale Earnhardt] was so proficient at was being able to go into the gray areas of the racetrack—the areas where angels fear to tread, where only the great race drivers can run…" —Humpy Wheeler President, Charlotte Motor Speedway "See, the excitement is gone. It's just so different without Dale out there." —Betty Carlan, long-time friend of Dale Earnhardt and Head Librarian for International Motorsports Hall of Fame The Last Lap, Updated pays tribute to Dale Earnhardt and other racing legends who made the sport great, some of whom are no longer around to share in its glory. Vibrant and daring, these formative figures in the history of stock car racing are brought to life by these compelling stories of their exploits when they ruled the tracks of NASCAR. Visit us at www.hungryminds.com

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Daly on August 6, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Peter Golenbock first became involved in NASCAR with American Zoom, an oral history of the sport up to the 1992-3 seasons. Zoom was a superb look at the sport as seen from a variety of personalities. Golenbock, though, has outdone himself greatly with this superior oral history.
Golenbock interviews a variety of people involved in the sport since its 1949 inception. Featured are Tim Flock, in one of his last interviews before his passing; the widows of Curtis Turner and Dewayne "Tiny" Lund; Buddy Baker; Harry Hyde's nephew Tommy Johnson; Ralph Moody; Maurice Petty; and on.
The insights provided are often immortal. There is Maurice Petty's take on his brother Richard's career; he gives interesting insight into the factory wars of the 1960s, particularly Ford's involvement. "Ford (was) able to win the.... championship in 1968 because they threw a lot of Fords out there, a lot of drivers. They just kept throwing them out there...." Thirty ye! ars later, Ford's "buy-the-starting-field" tactic is still paying off.
The most heartbreaking section is Wanda Lund Early's story of her relationship with "Tiny" Lund, the 1963 Daytona 500 winner, who was killed in a horrendous pileup in the 1975 Talladega 500. In a cruel irony, Lund had not even qualified for that race, but when Grant Adcox's chief mechanic Gene Lovell died of a heart attack the day before the race, Adcox withdrew, and Lund - the first alternate - got his spot.
Wanda's relationship with Tiny got off to a decidedly bizarre start. "He turned me over on his knee" and spanked her "like a two year old. Then we were an item after that." She relates how Tiny had not particularly wanted to race at Talladega that day, but had given his word to owner A.J. King.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Peter Golenbock has captured the true face of NASCAR. He interviewed old time racers and their families to give you a look at what there lives where like. Stories about Curtis Turner, Fireball Roberts, Tim Flock, Maurice Petty and many others capture your attnetion for hours. This book is an absolute must have for any true NASCAR fan.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patten on November 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
At first, I was hesitant to pick up this book, as Golenbock is not exactly one of the most popular names in NASCAR writing. His last work on NASCAR - American Zoom - was filled with glaring errors and misinformation about the history of the sport. However, after sitting and reading merely a few pages from The Last Lap (...), I could tell this book was much different. Golenbock tells the history of NASCAR from a driver's standpoint instead of merely describing races and race results. Each era of racing is related to a different driver. He also tells the stories of several lesser known drivers who happened to have lost their lives prematurely. If you are a racing fan, I recommend this book. If you don't like racing, you may get curious after reading about the escapades of Curtis Turner and Joe Weatherly. It is my personal opinion that you do not have to be a fan of NASCAR to enjoy this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book is a "must have" for the serious NASCAR fan. It chronicles most of the great drivers, car owners and crew chiefs from the humble beginings all the way to it's multi-million dollar days of today. The book documents the lives of such greats as Richard Petty, Curtis Turner, Dale Earnhardt, "Tiny" Lund, and many others. From humor to tragedy, the stories of many great men of NASCAR are compiled to give the reader a broad range of insights into the lives of these legends of the sport. I highly recomend this book to anyone who enjoys stock car racing. Whether the are new to the sport, or a fan of the legends, this book has something for everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is pure poetry in motion. From the story of Fireball Roberts and his untimely demise to the story of Joe Weatherly. A moving tribute to some of the greatest drivers ever.
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