I have personally read these books and recommend them to anyone who would like to review the history of stock car racing. Most of the books cover NASCAR racing but have bits and pieces about the dirt tracks and the men that raced them.
HARD DRIVING (The Wendell Scott Story) - 2008 - Brian Donovan - A good account of NASCAR'S only African-American driver to run the entire schedule at the Grand National (now Sprint Cup) level. An excellent story of the problems that many independents had during the early days of factory involvement. Od course there are the accounts of problems Wendell faced in the Southeast as an African-American NASCAR driver during the social unrest of the '50's and '60's. The most important thing that I came away with after reading the book was that he truly loved stock car racing. The long hours, driving the tow vehicle, making rapirs on the side of the road, rebuilding broken pieces of the race car because there was no money to buy new parts and the list goes on and on. Seems like it was more then just dedication.
ED OTTO NASCAR'S SILENT PARTNER - 2008 - Edgar Otto and Joann Biondi - An important book for those that have an interest in the history of NASCAR. Ed Otto was Bill France's partner during the '50s and was instrumental in the national growth of NASCAR. In addition, it was Ed Otto who actually saved the sport from being banned in the mid-fifties and Ed was had a court case that set the precedent for not having driver's unions in American racing. These stories are covered in detail in the book. Very interesting. It is also important that Ed Otto promoted our own Westport Stadium during the '50's. Ed was also responsible for getting NASCAR to stage a race with those Jaguars at New Jersey in the mid-50's. The book brings to light many things about NASCAR's beginning that have been glossed over, or totally ignored, by many of the books written by other authors. This book is available from www.coastal151.com.
LONE WOLF - 2007 - Doug Wolfgang with Dave Argabright - This is an excellent read if you interested in the story of what it is like to travel with the World of Outlaws sprint car series. Of course Doug's finest years were spent in Central Pa. driving the famed Weichert Livestock Special for Bob Weichert and wrenched by Davy Brown Sr. and Jr. Doug raced many times at Hagerstown Speedway.
TALES FROM THE TRACK (Stories from the early days of racing) - 2002 - J. Steve Strosnider - A good read about Eastside and Winchester Speedways in Virginia. Many of the drivers raced at Hagerstown and it is mentioned quite a bit in the book.
STEADY EDDIE (Memories of ED Flemke, Modified Racing's Fastest Professor - Edited by Bones Bourcier - 2007- A very good read about one of the truly great Modified racers. Eddie was there almost from the beginning in the late forties. Along the way the Connecticut driver raced at Marlboro Raceway and Beltsville Speedway in Maryland during the 60's. This book is told by the people who knew him over the years. All racers can relate to the many stories about how it is to have stock car racing as the number one priority in your life. This man loved it all. He also took the time to enjoy times with his children and mentor such stars as Dennis Zimmerman (Rookie of the Year and 8th place finish at the Indy 500), Pete Hamilton and many more. Several photos of Beltsville Speedway in this book. A real worthwhile read.
THE HISTORY OF AMERICA"S SPEEDWAYS Past and Present - Allan E. Brown - 2003 - This is a very good book about the growth of the American speedway from the beginning. Contains a lot of really important information about the tracks and the types of racecars raced over the years. Lists over 8,000 tracks by state. Of course many no longer exist but it also has the survivors. This is a hardbound book with 852 pages. Mr. Brown publishes the very popular National Speedway Directory every year. Of special note to Marylanders is that there are many pictures of Maryland speedway action throughout the book. A truly great work in my opinion. Covers all types of racing.
NASCAR Record Books (1950 to present) - These books have been called press guides, annuals and record books over the years. Most are available on e-bay at times.
THERE USED TO BE A SPEEDWAY - Robert Weigman - Only 50 copies were printed 156 pages - Covers Westport Stadium in Baltimore (closed 8/63) and Ritchie Raceway in Glen Burnie, Md. Published 2006
GOLD THUNDER (Autobiography of a NASCAR Champion) - Rex White as told to Anne B. Jones - 2005 Great book about a driver from North Carolina that moved to Maryland and started racing in Maryland and went on to be the 1960 NASCAR Grand National Champion.
DRIVING WITH THE DEVIL- Neal Thompson - 2006 - Former write for the Baltimore Sunpapers-Arguably the best work to date on the history of stock car racing.
FORD-The Dust and The Glory (A racing history) - Leo Levine - 1968 - Excellent book on all forms of racing with Ford's involvement naturally.
HIGH SPEED AT LOW TIDE-Greg Fielden - 1993 - Excellent book about racing on the beach at Daytona. Alot of coverage of the Sportsman-Modified races. Out of print. Hard to find and expensive.
FORTY YEARS OF STOCK CAR RACING - Greg Fielden - 1990 - Four Volume Set covering NASCAR Cup racing from the beginning to 1989. Has the results and a write up on every race from the beginning. Plus many other statistics. Great reference books.
MIRACLE Bobby Allison and the Saga of the Alabama Gang - Peter Golenbock - 2006 - Bobby raced extensively at Beltsville Speedway in Maryland in modifieds, late model sportsman and Grand National. Good read.
FULL THROTTLE - Robert Edelstein - 2005 - The life and times of Curtis Turner- Great story about a true legend.
FIREBALL - Godwin Kelly - 2005 - The life of Fireball Roberts - Need I say more. Another legend.
AMERICAN ZOOM - Peter Golenbock - 1993 - Excellent book about NASCAR . Not only the drivers but the promoters, mechanics and crew chiefs. A very important book for the race fan.
LET 'EM ALL GO - Dave Argabright - 2006 - A history of racing as told to Argabright by the incomparable Chris Economaki. He was there from the start.
AT SPEED - Monte Dutton - 2000 - You can read Monte's column in Area Auto Racing News every week. One of my favorite writers. Tells it like it is. Has won many awards for his writings. A great read.
BEST DAMN GARAGE IN TOWN - Smokey Yunick - 2003 - One of the greatest mechanics and innovators in stock car and Indy car racing ever. Very colorful book. A little on the naughty side. Smokey and Bill France had a love-hate relationship. Read why. Smokey pulls no punches. I had the pleasure of meeting him several years ago. Quite the character.
THE INTIMIDATOR - Frank Vehorn - 1991 - Unauthorized Biography of Dale Earnhardt - A good read. Not an expose or anything like that.
THE OLD MASTER (The Frankie Schneider Story) - Dennis Keenan - 2006 - Mr. Modified. If you loved the early days of modified racing this is a must read. Frankie raced everywhere and won everywhere. Raced extensively in Maryland in the early 50's at Westport, Dorsey, Ritchie and Lanham. Read about him changing a car from a sportsman to a modified on the ferry while crossing the Chesapeake Bay to the Eastern Shore.
PAVED TRACK DIRT TRACK - Lew Boyd - Excellent book about Old Bridge Stadium in New Jersey and Nazereth Raceway in Pennsylvania. All about the modifieds of not so long ago.
The LAST LAP (The Life and Times of NASCAR"s Legndary Heroes - Peter Golenbock-1998
NASCAR CONFIDENTIAL - Peter Golenbock - 2004 - as the title implies
THE WILDEST RIDE (A History of NASCAR or How a Bunch of Good Ol' Boys Built a Billion-Dollar Industry out of Wrecking Cars) - Joe Menzer - 2001 - Nice read
NASCAR STOCK CAR RACING - Lyle Kenyon Engle - 1969 - Good book with chapters on Sportsman, Modifieds and hobby cars.
TALES FROM PIT ROAD with Buddy Baker - Buddy Baker and David Poole-2002 - Many amusing stories from Buddy.
THE WORLD"S NUMBER ONE FLAT-OUT, ALL-TIME GREAT, STOCK CAR RACING BIIK - Jerry Bledsoe - 1975 - A great read about the early days, many stories that aren't told anymore.
GRAND NATIONAL STOCK CAR RACING (The Other Side of The Fence) - Randy Hallman - 1982 - A cold Linda Vaughan on the cover and many great photos inside.
NASCAR THE DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF AMERICA'S SPORT - Mike Hembree - 2000 - A lot of history and great photos.
BOBBY ALLISON (A Racer's Racer) - Bobby Allsion with Tim Packman - 2003 - Great book about Bobby with many fine photos of the cars he drove over the years.
DIRT TRACKS TO GLORY (The Early Days of Stock Car Racing) - Sylvia Wilkinson - 1983 - The title says it all.
THE AMERICAN STOCK CAR - William Burt - 2001 - A nice history of the cars that led up to the current car.
THE ULTIMATE STOCK CAR - Bill Center - 2000 - This is a neat book as it has many photos of rare racecars from the old modifieds to the winged Mopars of 1969 and 1970. Interesting articles about Junior Johnson and the "mystery 427 Chevy of 1963. For the person who likes to pick at things there are some glaring errors in this book like the 429 cubic inch Chrysler hemi stuffed into a Barracuda but is actually a Ford FE in Ford. The pictures in this book are outstanding. This book was probably printed in Britain before it was in the U.S. which is kind of strange. It has chapters on drag racing, Trans-Am, IROC and more.
Many of these great racing books are available from: www.coastal181.com