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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) [Paperback]

By Joe Menzer (Author)
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Item description for The Wildest Ride: A History of NASCAR (or, How a Bunch of Good Ol' Boys Built a Billion-Dollar Industry out of Wrecking Cars) by Joe Menzer...

A history of stock car racing in America journeys from the backwoods of North Carolina to the high-speed, big-money races of the present, profiling some of the superstars of the sport, the rivalries, and the tragedies that have rocked NASCAR.

Publishers Description
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.

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Wildest Ride: A History of NASCAR (or, How a Bunch of Good Ol' Boys Built a Billion-Dollar Industry out of Wrecking Cars) by Joe Menzer has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Senior High Core Col - 01/01/2011 page 508
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 555
  • Wilson Senior High Core Col - 01/01/2007 page 402

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Simon & Schuster
Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.38" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.79"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 4, 2002
Publisher   Simon & Schuster
ISBN  0743226259  
ISBN13  9780743226257  

Availability  56 units.
Availability accurate as of Sep 23, 2017 12:40.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Joe Menzer

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Joe Menzer is the author or coauthor of four previous books, including "The Wildest Ride: A History of NASCAR" and "Four Corners: How UNC, N.C. State, Duke, & Wake Forest Made North Carolina the Center of the Basketball Universe." He has written for such publications as "Sporting News" and "Inside Sports." Since 1995 he has covered the Carolina Panthers and the NFL for the "Winston-Salem Journal" in North Carolina. He lives with his wife and four children in Charlotte, N.C.

Joe Menzer currently resides in Charlotte, in the state of North Carolina.

Joe Menzer has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Touchstone Books (Paperback)

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Automotive > Racing
2Books > Subjects > Sports > General
3Books > Subjects > Sports > Miscellaneous > History of Sports
4Books > Subjects > Sports > Miscellaneous > Motor Sports

Reviews - What do customers think about The Wildest Ride: A History of NASCAR (or, How a Bunch of Good Ol' Boys Built a Billion-Dollar Industry out of Wrecking Cars)?

A nice history until 2001  Jul 23, 2007
I am a new fan of NASCAR so I really wasn't too familiar with it's history. Well, this book chaznged all that! This book covers NASCAR from it's beginnings in moonshine runners of the 40's up through Dale Earnhardt's death in 2001. This is just a great book. The author really brings the characters and personalities of Big Bill fRANCE AND ALL THE DRIVERS TO LIFE. I came away really understanding the sport's origins and history, and it only deepened my love for NASCAR. This is a MUST READ for any fan curious of how the sport has developed over the years. The book is written in a style that is very relaxed and down home, certainly not pompous and pretentious. This book was so well written I felt as though I were right there at all the races, right up close. I will read this book again for sure. GET THIS BOOK, you won't regret it!
Great history & insight  May 15, 2006
I liked that some of the less famous drivers got mentioned. Good history & some great stories.
Yep, I Enjoyed It  Mar 8, 2005
The book was a pleasant and entertaining read. Many of the stories have been told and retold many times including the tragic death of Fireball Roberts in, of all places, a fiery crash.

The book tells the behind the scenes politics and vision of Bill France Sr. that made NASCAR a multi-billion dollar booming business. NASCAR did not begin in 1994 when they first went to race at Indy even though ABC television would have you believe that. It did not begin in 2001 when Fox got the coverage of the entire year and watched Dale Earnhardt die on the final lap (this is basically where the book ends). It did not even begin when Daytona was originally run in 1959.

NASCAR began as basic "Dukes of Hazzard" style moonshine running. The history portrayed in the book is accurate but a bit shallow. It also fails on another point: I would like to have seen a more in-depth treatment of the 1992-1993 Winston Cup points race and twin tragedies that deprived us of Alan Kulwicki and Davey Allison. The book is a good overview but lacks depth in some areas - and this one is the most telling.

All in all, it was a good book. But you CAN get more information from the Stock Car Racing Encyclopedia as well as Golenbock's book.

Maybe a rehash?  Mar 24, 2002
I'm a new NASCAR fan. I happened to buy this book at full bookstore price. I also bought a used version of Peter Golenbock's "American Zoom". I read Joe Menzer's book first. Loved it. Then I read Golenbock's 1993 book and read many of the same stories, almost word-for-word, about NASCAR.
Accessible & Entertaining  Feb 17, 2002
I'd have to agree with points made by both of the previous reviewers. Joe Menzer has done new interviews, and some of the sources he's chosen offer fresh insights, particularly Max Muhleman's thoughts. It's also a very concise, reader-friendly encapsulation of the sport's history and recent developments. So, if someone were looking for an accessible, entertaining introduction to NASCAR, especially its early history, I'd recommend the book.

However, if you're very familiar with NASCAR, its legends, and their stories, you might find some of the things he discusses to be old news or slightly cliched. But if you've never heard the anecdotes before, then they're extremely funny.

What would be interesting is a more thorough (yet not dry) history that would discuss aspects of NASCAR usually eclipsed by the moonshining myths and the Southern stereotypes. A treatment beyond just footnotes and asides of NASCAR's diverse roots and participants(Yankees and mid-Westerners like Lorenzen, Marcis, Kiekhaefer, for ex.) along with the Southern legends. It seems that historians to date reinforce a self-referential past.


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