- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (April 26, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060094710
- ISBN-13: 978-0060094713
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sunday Money: Speed! Lust! Madness! Death! A Hot Lap Around America with Nascar Hardcover – April 26, 2005
Author Jeff MacGregor was committed to understanding NASCAR, so instead of merely dropping in on a race or two, he traveled the nearly yearlong season in an RV with his wife, photographer Olya Evanitsky. The result is many books in one. It's a vivid history of the sport's roots, as it grows from a rowdy way for Florida good ol' boys to blow off steam to being a titan of American culture with a fan base of 75 million. It also covers a broad swath of personalities within NASCAR--from the widely loved and even more widely loathed driver Jeff Gordon to the iconic Richard Petty to Dale Earnhardt, whose mythic power grew exponentially after his death at Daytona (death is never far from anyones mind in NASCAR). Finally, Sunday Money is a memoir--MacGregor chronicles exactly what life is like when a married couple blows their savings on a massive RV and logs 48,000 miles within the blasting radius of race after race after race.
MacGregor is funny, and it's interesting to watch how a man skeptical of the sport's allure at the beginning of the adventure is sucked in as the story goes along. As a writer, he's in no hurry, knocking off several paragraphs in the interest of a single whimsical analogy if he sees fit. Much of the time the diversions hit the mark, (sometimes they don't) and it's nice to see an editor let a talented writer like MacGregor run loose. NASCAR loyalists may enjoy the behind-the-scenes scoop even if they don't necessarily need to be introduced to who the drivers are. But non-fans who have been wondering why racing has become so huge so fast, may understand a little better after reading Sunday Money. It's a huge book, a massive sprawling narrative, but for a sport that is active nearly every weekend of the year and is growing ever larger and more successful, the length seems perfect. --John Moe
|Photos from the Sunday Money 2002 NASCAR Tour|
NASCAR star Jeff Gordon autographs for fans
Tony Stewart wins the NASCAR Winston Cup
Fans pack the stands for the Pepsi 400
NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Ward Burton's car pits mid-race during the NAPA 500
Cars race around the track in Charlotte
|Jeff MacGregor's Top Ten Tips for Your First NASCAR Race|
9. Night race? Bring ear plugs, hat, beer goggles.
8. At Daytona and Talladega, theres no such thing as too much sunblock. SPF 45. Apply liberally. Repeat, as needed, until you slip from your seat like a watermelon seed.
7. Yes, NASCAR is expanding everywhere and very fast, but effortful puns on the word Madagascar will only lead to embarrassment.
6. Your copy of Sunday Money is an excellent conversation starter for making new friends at the track. Thanks to its quilted cover, it also doubles as a comfy seat-cushion and a stylish windshield sun-screen.
5. Drivers cannot hear you yelling encouragement from the 58th row when theyre actually lapping the track. This will not stop the high school kid behind you from doing so.
4. Like room service Eggs Benedict, the Jumbo Grilled Turkey Legs at any racetrack always sound far better than they are. Avoid them. Let them thrive in the happy hunger of your imagination, rather than deliver their sad reality to your somersaulting innards. Life bears enough disappointments.
3. Women, despite the signs youll see in the third turn campground, theres no such thing as a "Free Trackside Mammogram." Dont let the Mardi Gras beads fool you; there are shockingly few accredited radiologists working the infield on race weekend.
2. All-purpose, all-context catch phrase guaranteed to make a NASCAR newbie sound like an old hand? "Go, Junior!" Appropriate any time!
1. If your tailgate margarita machine doesnt make at least ten horsepower on the blender-drink dyno, dont bother. Go big, baby, or dont go.
From Publishers Weekly
Starting at the beginning of the 2001 NASCAR season, Sports Illustrated contributor MacGregor and his photographer wife attended almost every race on the circuit in an attempt to understand the sport's wild appeal. The author's hopped-up reporting of the races, the fans and the history bolsters his admiration of the drivers and their skills. Traveling across the country, making pit stops in Wal-Mart parking lots, MacGregor becomes one with the throngs who worship weekly at the altars of speed and death in places like Richmond, Va.; Bristol, Tenn.; and Rockingham, N.C. As he reports the highlights of each race—who won, who wrecked, which racer had the sexiest women in his company, which fans were the wackiest—he neatly weaves the history of the sport into his story to measure the distance racing has traveled from its days on dirt tracks with unregulated stock cars to mammoth stadiums and corporate sponsorships. Through interviews with driver Jeff Gordon and others, MacGregor demystifies these celebrities' aura—they're ordinary folks—while at the same time proving that the glitter of being a winning NASCAR driver has propelled Gordon and others into a regal realm far above their fans' station. 8 pages of color photos not seen by PW. Agent, Heather Schroder. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Top customer reviews
The book was an entertaining read, but not exceptional. The author seems to have a bit of an underlying axe to grind against NASCAR for some of their rules, decisions, and governing. Also, I would have liked to read a little more about the characters and people following NASCAR, more than what is in the book; I would have preferred to read a little less about the drivers.
Several years ago I read a similar travelogue-type book, Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, written by someone who followed the Alabama football team through an SEC season, also travelling around in a motorhome. I found that to be much more entertaining, and perhaps I expected this to be as good. It was good, but not as good.
Jeff MacGregor has a personal story to tell about his year in a motor home with "The Beep" and the inside story about the NASCAR culture. Both stories are well told and attention gripping.
MacGregor's insights into the fact and fiction of NASCAR are penetrating. At the same time he has a puckish, tongue in cheek attitude toward the sport and his own adventure.
Even if one has little or no interest in the world of auto racing, this will be an enjoyable companion on a trip or a pleasant escape from the every day world most of us inhabit.
By the way, although it isn't mentioned in the bio on the book jacket, I think this is the same Jeff MacGregor who hosted a game show some years back.
So a guy who isn't really a hardore NASCAR fan at all ups and buys a motorhome and he and his wife (who sounds like the coolest chick on the planet) follow the NASCAR circuit like hippies following the greatful dead.
the book is a travel narrative based around stockcar racing, with the history of the sport and organization, anecdotes, interviews, and a regular guy's view of the culture. the less you know about NASCAR, the better, you will learn all about it. as long as you don't absolutely despise the sport, you will probably enjoy the hell out of this book.
the author is quite unbiased. he doesn't just praise NASCAR, he tells the good and the bad, and gives some insight into the whole shebang that touches on things i never even thought about, like how, weather you like it or not, if you buy anything at your supermarket, you are linked to NASCAR.
the book is well written, funny, poetic at times, and i honestly felt like i was living in his motorhome with him and travelling right there with him. the only people i might not reccommend this book to are the hardcore fans, who already know just about everything this guy talks about, but then again, they might enjoy this guy's opinion and experiences, so yeah, i would reccommend it to everyone i talk to. yeehaw!
Hunter Thompson would have loved this book.