Wednesday, December 15, 2010

'The Evolution of NASCAR' provides hands-on experience through sport's history


Photographs, memorabilia offer time capsule

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (December 15, 2010) – The 62 years of NASCAR have produced memories and keepsakes for fans to cherish for a lifetime. In the new book, The Evolution of NASCAR: A Historical Collection, from Whitman Publishing and the NASCAR Library Collection, fans can walk through a museum in pages containing photographs, artwork and memorabilia along with colorful narrative remembering each decade of the sport.

The Evolution of NASCAR: A Historical Collection chronicles the long hard drive from Daytona’s beach to the massive superspeedways of today. Veteran NASCAR writer Deb Williams reintroduces the stars through the years — Red Byron, Lee and Richard Petty, David Pearson, Dale Earnhardt, Bill Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and many others — while recounting the great moments of stock car racing, beginning with the first NASCAR-sanctioned race in 1948. Along the way, the author also recalls the hard charging heroes and colorful characters who lifted the sport to prominence.

What sets this history of the sport apart from other accounts of the rise of NASCAR is the unique “scrapbook” format. The Evolution of NASCAR: A Historical Collection includes replicas of items of historical relevance tucked into dozens of pockets throughout the book, such as a 1948 advertisement for the first NASCAR beach and road race, a program from the first Daytona 500, a 1964 questionnaire completed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett, a 1974 NASCAR driver’s license and a 1994 Brickyard 400 press credential. No racing fan should be without this “home archive” of NASCAR’s illustrious history.

“This unique book gives fans an opportunity to hold history in their hands,” said NASCAR president Mike Helton. “With each flip of the page, the sport’s history comes to life with stunning photographs and fascinating collector’s items. It will bring back fond memories for many who were at these events and for the rest, give them the feeling that they were there, along for some of the famous rides in NASCAR history.”

The book begins with a forward from NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven-time champion Richard Petty and includes an afterword from former NASCAR vice president of communications, the late Jim Hunter.

“This ‘Evolution of NASCAR’ book is such a neat deal,” writes legendary driver Richard Petty in the book’s foreword. “It lets people see our NASCAR family in a unique way. It's got a lot of photos no one has ever seen, so it gives a pretty interesting look at what our sport was when it began, where it has come from and how it has grown to what it is today.”

The Evolution of NASCAR: A Historical Collection is part of the Vault series from Whitman Publishing, LLC, of Atlanta and part of the NASCAR Library Collection. The 144-page hardcover 12-inch by 10-inch book with slipcase is available for $49.95 in bookstores nationwide. The book can also be ordered online at the NASCAR.COM Superstore and at www.WhitmanVaultBooks.com.

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