I wanted to read this book because I'm a long-time DW fan but I didn't really expect it to be great. However, I was pleasantly surprised by a funny, entertaining, absorbing read that I had trouble putting down.
The book starts and ends on February 21, 2001, Waltrip's first day as a full-time race commentator and the day NASCAR changed forever when megastar Dale Earnhardt was killed on the last lap of the Daytona 500. In the next chapter, it's again Waltrip's first day, but this time all the way back to his debut as a driver in the big leagues at . . . Daytona. From there, he takes us on a marvelous ride thru the highlights of his illustrious career, telling each story with his trademark wit and self-deprecating humor. Along the way he also shares many details of his personal life, his spiritual journey and his loving relationship with his family. He covers the highs and lows and the in-betweens, from being the most hated driver in NASCAR right up to his induction into the Hall of Fame. Despite the fact that he is one of the most famous and most accomplished figures in racing, he never sounds boastful or proud; in fact, his humility is touching.
Finally, Waltrip again takes us back with a minute by minute account of that grim day when the sport so shockingly lost its hero, a champion larger than life. As a faithful #3 fan, I deeply felt the passing of Dale the racer, but I now have a sense of the unimaginable loss of Dale the man. Undoubtedly every race fan alive remembers how those events unfolded, but DW's sensitive retelling adds a dimension of intimacy with friends and family, those closest to the tragedy. He actually takes you into the hospital room and the finality of those last poignant moments of saying goodbye.
A must-read for DW fans and highly recommended for anyone who loves the incomparable sport of stock car racing.