New York Times Speed Show

New York Times Speed Show : How NASCAR Won the Heart of America

3.5 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
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Daytona Beach, Florida, 2001. Sportswriter Dave Caldwell watches from the stands as a black Chevrolet pulls ahead in the final laps of the Daytona 500. In an instant, it's over. The car smashes into a wall at 175 miles an hour, killing one of stock car racing's most loved drivers. The death of Dale Earnhardt inspired an outpouring of grief, drawing new fans to the sport and driving NASCAR to the top of the sporting industry. From its roots during Prohibition to today's die-hard fans, Dave Caldwell weaves together his firsthand observations as a NASCAR reporter with excerpts from The New York Times archives to give readers an inside look at the spectacle that is America's new favorite pastime.
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Product details

  • 9-12
  • Hardback | 126 pages
  • 193 x 241.3 x 12.7mm | 612.36g
  • Kingfisher
  • Boston, MA, United States
  • English
  • 0753460114
  • 9780753460115

Review quote

Children's Literature
The day was February 18th, 2001, and NASCAR mourned the loss of its godfather, Dale Earnhardt. As with many in the press corps, "New York Time"s sports reporter Dave Caldwell hoped to get an interview with Mr. Earnhardt, possibly asking how he felt having one of his race teams' cars win the Daytona 500. But his question, and the questions of the other reporters and the fans at the race that day, would go unanswered. Dale Earnhardt's death heralded a change in the sport of stock car racing. The nation took notice of his death, and many became fans of NASCAR. Dave Caldwell's poignant retelling of that fateful day pulls readers in. However, this book is about NASCAR racing. His colorful writing makes this not only an informative book but one that is fun to read. The use of black-and-white photographs really gives nuance to the tone of this book. It is obvious in reading the text that Earnhardt's death had a profound effect on the author and he, along with others, was infected with the passion and sense of family NASCAR racing engenders. Throughout the main text are excerpts from newspaper articles, and a selected list of newspaper articles for further reading is included at the back of the book. This is interesting in that it allows the reader to look for more information and to further their research without being relegated to books or Web sites. "Speed Show" makes a good nonfiction book for any library collection.
Beginning with the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt at age forty-nine in a race at Daytona International Speedway, New York Times sports correspondent Caldwell details the history, basics, technology, fans, and future of NASCAR-the NationalAssociation for Stock Car Auto Racing. Besides the factual information, boxed anecdotes are scattered throughout the book. Who knew about stock racing's origins in bootlegging? Racers, pit crews, racetracks, families, sponsors, and fans are all portrayed in detail. Even the system of scoring points for the drivers is explained in easy-to-understand terms. Equipment worn by the drivers, including the HANS (Head and Neck Support) helmet, is discussed in detail. Brilliant, color photographs are on almost every page and even include an incredible shot of Air Force One, with President Bush aboard, above the Daytona track in 2004. With plenty of text, ample photographs, and lots of information, this remarkable book will appeal to anyone, NASCAR fan or not.
Jeffrey A. FrenchCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information. - School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up
This concise history of NASCAR racing and its recent surge in popularity starts with the author's eyewitness account of Dale Earnhardt's fatal crash at the 2001 Daytona 500 and the aftermath of the tragedy, both of which Caldwell covered for the "New York Times" . Subsequent chapters cover the basics of stock-car racing, from qualifying through the races and the championship point system; the technological side, featuring the cars and other equipment; the creation and development of NASCAR and its leading personalities; the relationship with the fans; marketing; and the outlook for the future. Caldwell's text is enjoyably readable, in spite of his tendency to jump abruptly from one topic to another. The sport's lack of diversity is offset by featuring information on female and minority drivers and the association's efforts to attract amore diverse audience. The book is well documented and enhanced by excellent color photos. Offsets provide more in-depth detail, such as notes on multiple championship winners, biographical info, and historical events. A minor error results from a poorly worded explanation of the points system, but otherwise this is an accurate effort. Overall, this is a comprehensive look at the NASCAR phenomenon for beginners, and it has more than enough visual appeal to please longtime fans.
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About Dave Caldwell

Dave Caldwell has worked as a correspondent for The New York Times since 2000, covering a variety of sports, including stock car racing, hockey, baseball, football, and basketball. He lives in New Jersey and has two sons.
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Rating details

6 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 17% (1)
4 33% (2)
3 33% (2)
2 17% (1)
1 0% (0)

Our customer reviews

I admit that I\'m a very unique type of NASCAR fan. I love the drivers, love reading about them, checking out the standings, and perusing all the gossip about their personal lives. I don\'t actually like watching the races. See, how odd is that? Sure, occasionally I\'ll stumble into a room where the race is on television (thanks to my mom and stepfather, who are NASCAR fanatics), but other than that I won\'t waste hours sitting down to watch cars drive in endless circles. But, okay, yes, the crashes are kind of cool! I was always a Dale Earnhardt fan. The number three car got my vote every time. When he died in a crash at the Daytona 500 on February 18, 2001, I was devasted--as were thousands upon thousands of NASCAR enthusiasts around the globe. The thing about NASCAR is that its devout fans come from every walk of life, from every part of the world, and they are a dedicated, loud-mouth bunch of people. They\'re also a family. When one of their \"own\" dies, as on that day when the racing world lost Dale Earnhardt, everyone mourned. Even fans who didn\'t like Earnhardt (and by that I mean they dared to cheer for another driver, like Jeff Gordon or Tony Stewart), sadly and publicly grieved the loss of a legend. Although I now root for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the number eight car, I still remember his father with pride. I still look for memorabilia with that number three. I still read books like SPEED SHOW, which discuss NASCAR, its history, and the mark it\'s made on the racing world. Filled with numerous facts, figures, and full-color photos, SPEED SHOW is sure to delight any and all NASCAR fans, regardless of age. The legacy of \"The Intimidator\" lives on today, as well it should. For an easy-to-read, fact-filled history of NASCAR, its drivers, and its fans, SPEED SHOW is the book you more
by TeensReadToo
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