Got time to spare with nothing to do? Can’t find anything to watch on TV? Bored of the games and fun the internet entails? Well, I’ve got a solution for you.
Last year, Chicken Soup for the Soul came out with the second NACAR edition. The idea of the Chicken Soup collection to give you stories that evoke emotion, whether it be in a good way or a sad way.
With their book, they have definitely accomplished that as there were parts where I was happy, parts where I was laughing, and parts where I wanted to cry.
We’re a family sport. What I’m talking about is the garage area, the camaraderie and the respect that we all have each other. Every driver is a role model and that is what makes our sport great.
That is the quote that appears on the back of the book, as copied from Darrell Waltrip’s entry.
The book showcases that as stories discuss fans coming together, the sport bringing families together at the track and key figures in the sport talking about their relationship with other.
Among the contributors, one of the highest profiled NASCAR members in the book is Jim Hunter, who is VP of Corporate Communication for NASCAR. He has two stories in the book, both that speak of the history of Darlington Raceway.
The first puts the sport in the perspective as he speaks of his experience at his first Southern 500, in which he calls a memorable one for multiple reasons.
The second one talks about how before the safer walls and catch fences, there were cars flying over guardrails. He mainly talks about the one incident that almost took out the press box, which at that time looked like a chicken coup with some fencing.
Other contributors include Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Brian Vickers, Joey Logano, Buddy Baker, Mike Skinner, Brad Daughtry, Brian France, and a whole cast of other characters.
Then there are stories written by people whose names you wouldn’t recognize. Some fans talk about their experiences at races.
There are also stories from Amanda Capps, who is a writer that helps other writers get their work published through her company Amanda Ink, as described in the back of the book. She has a couple stories in the book about her time with the Earnhardt family and that experience.
I’ve got some favorite chapters that stand out in my mind that would take me all day to explain why. The one in particular that I will share with you today is Vicker’s contribution titled A Championship Friend in where he talks about Ricky Hendrick.
In his chapter, Vickers talks about how the deal came together and a couple special moments they spent together. You can feel Vickers’ emotions as he is writing it with how he goes about doing it.
"I remember we signed the contract at Rick’s office. Rick had a garage out back and he had this awesome car, a Porsche Carrera. Ricky was showing me around, and Rick made some moment, jokingly—'If you win the championship, I’ll give you that car,' or something like that. He’s always throwing carrots out there. He’s a great leader. He definitely knows how to motivate people, but obviously he didn’t think we were going to win the championship in our first year." pg. 204, excerpt from A Championship Friend .
Two other stories that I enjoyed were Claire B. Lang’s story on Blaise Alexander and Jimmie Johnson’s story about lessons learned while growing up.
I bought this book thinking that there’d be some good stories mixed throughout. However, I never thought it’d touch me the way it has.
For the fans who know little about NASCAR and for fans who want to know more about the history and camaraderie of the garage, this is the perfect read for you.
Photo Credit: Amazon.com