The Great American Gamble How the 1979 Daytona 500 Gave Birth to a NASCAR Nation

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-01-09
  • Publisher: Wiley
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"One of NASCAR's greatest stories is brought to life in this meticulous, highly entertaining replay of the day that changed everything for the sport." -Lars Anderson, Sports Illustrated"Joe Menzer has done an excellent job in telling the story of one ofNASCAR's most important races, a tale that includes the vibrant storiesof the cast of characters who participated." -Mike Hembree, NASCAR Scene"A magnificent book, one that should be in the library of every diehard race fan." -Jerry Bonkowski, National NASCAR columnist, Yahoo! Sports and on-air personality, Sirius NASCAR RadioIt could so easilyhave been a disaster . . .Everyone knew it, from CBS executives and owners of local CBS affiliates to NASCAR founder Big Bill French to driver and NASCAR booster Darrell Waltrip. If anything went wrong with the first-ever live, start-to-finishbroadcast of America's premier stock car race, a lot of people were going to lose a lot of money. It would also be the last-ever live broadcast of a NASCAR event. The Great American Gamble tells the gripping tale of the event that instead made NASCAR the multibillion dollar powerhouse it is today: the 1979 Daytona 500.Based on new interviews with all the major drivers in the race andothers involved, including Richard Petty, crew chief Dale Inman andKyle Petty, Bobby Allison and Donnie Allison, Cale Yarborough, BennyParsons, Junior Johnson, Buddy Baker, Darrell Waltrip, A. J. Foyt, Ned Jarrett, Humpy Wheeler, Ken Squier, Richard Childress, Jim Hunter, David Pearson, Doug Rice, Ricky Rudd, Geoffrey Bodine, Sterling Marlin, Marvin Panch, Leonard Wood, Eddie Wood, Larry McClure, and Michael Waltrip,this is the ultimate, high-octane account of the most important race inNASCAR history.

Author Biography

Joe Menzer is the author of The Wildest Ride: A History of NASCAR (or, How a Bunch of Good Ol' Boys Built a Billion-Dollar Industry Out of Wrecking Cars) and a lead writer for NASCAR.com. An award-winning writer and reporter, he has been a regular contributor to the Sporting News, USAToday.com, and Inside Sports. His articles have also appeared in the Washington Post and other publications. He lives with his wife and four children in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Table of Contents

“Rain, Rain, Go Away . . .”
The First 500
Getting Started
The Gray Ghost
Peaches and Black-Eyed Peas
The Emergence of Earnhardt
Benny's World
Second Cousins . . . Sometimes
Tougher and Toughest?
Grand Masters
Breaking Away
The Last Lap
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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