Simon & Schuster, June 1997. First Edition. Hardcover. Used - Very Good / Very Good. Item #20090712145344
What began fifty years ago as a deadly cat-and-mouse game between wild-hare moonshine runners and grim old sheriffs on the twisting back roads of the southern Appalachians has evolved into the hottest sport in America: NASCAR's Winston Cup Series. The drivers aren't exactly good old boys anymore and the corporatization of stock car racing has turned NASCAR into a multimillion-dollar enterprise, but the irreverent roots of the sport cannot be denied. In Wheels, critically acclaimed writer Paul Hemphill tells the story of this fascinating sport through the events of the 1996 Winston Cup season. When Tom Wolfe immortalized NASCAR's legendary Junior Johnson as "The Last American Hero, " the sport's beginnings were revealed: Young men, between bouts of hauling whiskey and trying to elude the law, turned their misdoings into a sport of fearless daredevils in lightning-fast cars competing at dirt tracks all over the South. But when Junior convinced tobacco giant R. J. Reynolds to sponsor the NASCAR circuit, stock car racing changed forever. In Wheels, Paul Hemphill explores this transformation and, in doing so, takes the reader on an unparalleled journey through the multifaceted world that is stock car racing: into the corporate offices, where public relations gurus teach the drivers how to address the media after a victory or how to speak to the camera in a commercial; to the races, where a split second's reaction time often spells the difference between disaster and victory; to the busy garages where grease monkeys tinker with 700-horsepower engines in order to get an edge on the competition; and into the infields of the tracks where southern boys and their ladies whoop it up, drink beer, and hoot and holler for their favorite drivers and cars. Hemphill further profiles the drivers themselves: the mean, all-business Dale Earnhardt - the Intimidator - perhaps the greatest NASCAR driver of all time; the preppy twenty-five-year-old Christian wunderkind, Jeff Gordon - th.
First edition in very good dust jacket. Clean & solid & near fine all around. Signed by Hemphill on title page.