Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What to Read? The Girl's Guide to NASCAR


Everyone has an opinion when it comes to NASCAR. Just look at all the websites and blogs devoted to the sport. There are thousands of them. There are movies and documentaries about drivers and the number of books written on the topic is astounding. In this column the Skirts and Scuffs team will dive into some of the media, take a look around, and give our honest opinion as to whether it's worth your time or not.

Today Katy will be looking into one of the most popular books about NASCAR written in the last five years. The Girls Guide to NASCAR.

Upon first glance The Girls Guide to NASCAR doesn't look like a book everyone would enjoy reading. The title alone makes it seem like it's a woman's only book that men would have no interest reading. Once you actually get into the book there is a lot of great information both men and women would find helpful, especially if they are new fans. I was a little leery of this book given one review I read which said it was the "ultimate guide for pit lizards" but I thought what the heck and checked out at the library anyway.

Written by the wife of the late Davey Allison, The Girls Guide to NASCAR breaks down the most important aspects of the sport into an easy to understand guide that covers the most basic to more advanced terms. Thrown into the mix Liz Allison discusses the advancements made to safety equipment, her personal loss, and how NASCAR has grown over the years.

While most of the content is geared toward any fan the margins of the pages are filled with little side notes called either “Girlfriend to Girlfriend” , “Did you know”, or “you might be a female NASCAR fan if...” Some fans may find these tidbits intersting. The big problem with some of these sidebar notes is that they perpetuate the idea that women only watch racing because the drivers are hot. For instance one of the notes says, “You might be a female NASCAR fan if … you daydream about a date with Dale Jr.”  Another one notes that the way you can tell whether a drivers girlfriend is serious or not is to look at her credentials, if she's got a hard car she's serious, if it's paper she's not really girlfriend material.

Alison also dives into some information on planning your trip to a race such as what to pack and places to hang out besides the track. She discusses souvenire alley and places you can shop outside the track near every venue on the circuit. Allison also provides ideas for throwing a women's only NASCAR party and determining whether or not your children are old enough to attend the races yet.

All in all Allison did a great job of writing a guide for new fans of the sport. Because it was published in 2006 some of the information is slightly outdated. There is no discussion of the Car of Tomorrow and the points system has changed slightly since the Chase format was first introduced. Other than that The Girls Guide to NASCAR is on target and full of useful information.

If you've got a female fan in your life or just want to brush up on your NASCAR speak pick up this book. It's a quick read written by someone with first hand knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes.
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Photo Courtesy of Amazon.com
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and may not reflect those of Skirts and Scuffs or the other contributors.

11 comments :

Hmm... I'm actually interested into purchasing this book, do you have a link to where you can buy this book?

I got my copy from the local library but most bookstores have it. You can pick it up from Barnes and Noble for about $10. Here's the link http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Girls-Guide-to-NASCAR/Liz-Allison/e/9781599952376/?itm=1&USRI=girls+guide+to+nascar

Hey kenseth_babe, I've seen it on Amazon a lot, when I was trying to find a copy. Katy, is this the book where there's a chapter on dating or marrying a drive? That was the one thing that kept me away.

There's not really a whole chapter on it. It's more like sidebar notes. She does have another one called The Girl's Guide to Winning a NASCAR(R) Driver : Secrets to Grabbing His Attention and Stealing His Heart. I'm gonna pick that one up if the library has it just so I can review it for the site.

Right now I am reading. Real Men Work in the Pits by Jeff Hammond.

Now you ladies are getting me interested into reading this NASCAR related books. But what I'm looking into now is that book you mentioned Katy about The Girl's Guide to Winning a NASCAR Driver, I'm going to see if that's at a local Barnes and Noble, but I figure the internet might be a little cheaper. Thanks for the info ladies.

Does this book go into detail about the physics of the car and what pit stop adjustments (track bar, wedge, air pressure, etc) are intended to do to get the car dialed-in to the track?

Yeah the Girls Guide to Winning a NASCAR Driver is what I want to read too. I kind of wish I had read this book when I first started watching though. It was written around the time I became a fan anyways.

This book sounds great -- thanks for the review! I'd to pick it up as well as the Girls Guide to Winning a NASCAR Driver. Does anyone think the latter sounds a bit humorous? Yet I still want to read it, lol

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Okay so Ryan didn't leave that last comment...Ryan is my husband BTW....he was logged in...the thought of him reading this book makes me laugh a lot.

Trop, nothing too technical in this book...i am working on some posts though with your questions.

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