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The Last Lap: The Life and Times of NASCAR's Legendary Heroes (Lifestyles General) [Hardcover]

Peter Golenbock
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 Oct 2001 Lifestyles General
Stock car racing is not only the most popular sport in the country, but it′s also among the most dangerous, as well. Traveling at speeds of over 200 miles per hour, drivers risk their lives every time they take the wheel. To be competitive, drivers must feel invincible. The best of them did, and lived life –– on the racetrack –– to the fullest. Their zest for life and for racing is celebrated in this powerful book. In The Last Lap, updated edition, best–selling author Peter Golenbock talks to racers past and present, crewmembers, and families of the legendary drivers who have passed on give us behind–the–scenes stories of NASCAR′s unique heroes. Among those sharing their stories are racing legends David Pearson, Buddy Baker, Tim Flock, Marvin Panch, thefamilies of the late Curtis Turner, the Myers brothers, Tiny Lund, Bobby Isaac, Alan Kulwicki, and Davey and Clifford Allison.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; Updated Edition edition (15 Oct 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764565850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764565854
  • Product Dimensions: 3.4 x 16.1 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,235,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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From the Inside Flap

"Racing is a struggle among men, machines, big money, and the track. Peter's book brings out a side of racing that most fans never see: clashing personalities, egos, and various skills combining to fuse together to form a winning racing team." —Lou LaRosa, former engine builder for Dale Earnhardt In The Last Lap, Updated, bestselling author Peter Golenbock unveils the fascinating behind–the–scenes stories of NASCAR's unique and colorful real–life heroes. This compelling revision includes three all–new chapters on the legendary Dale Earnhardt—including poignant, personal reminiscences from his crew chief, Andy Petree; his engine builder, Lou LaRosa; his gas man, Danny "Chocolate" Myers; the President of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Humpy Wheeler; NASCAR TV commentator Eli Gold; and long–time Earnhardt friend and Head Librarian of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, Betty Carlan; as well as others who knew him well. In addition, the book features new color photographs of Dale Earnhardt and other racing heroes as well as black–and–white photos. Whether you're a hard–core fan or brand new to the sport, you won't be able to put this book down. You'll gain unique insights into the world of racing directly from the people who made the headlines. Among those who share their stories are racing legends David Pearson, Buddy Baker, Tim Flock, and Marvin Panch, and the families and friends of the late Curtis Turner, the Myers brothers, Tiny Lund, Bobby Issac, Alan Kulwicki, and Davey and Clifford Allison. Golenbock draws out their fascinating stories and explores the hold these men have had on everyone who has ever participated in or followed this great sport. "That attitude was so deep in him. To me, he probably wasn't the fastest driver as far as the technical talent, but his competitiveness was such that he wouldn't let anyone beat him. He was so mentally tough on the race track." —Andy Petree, Earnhardt's former Crew Chief with Richard Childress Racing, owner of two race teams "…what he [Dale Earnhardt] was so proficient at was being able to go into the gray areas of the racetrack—the areas where angels fear to tread, where only the great race drivers can run…" —Humpy Wheeler President, Charlotte Motor Speedway "See, the excitement is gone. It's just so different without Dale out there." —Betty Carlan, long–time friend of Dale Earnhardt and Head Librarian for International Motorsports Hall of Fame The Last Lap, Updated pays tribute to Dale Earnhardt and other racing legends who made the sport great, some of whom are no longer around to share in its glory. Vibrant and daring, these formative figures in the history of stock car racing are brought to life by these compelling stories of their exploits when they ruled the tracks of NASCAR. Visit us at

From the Back Cover

"The sport of stock car racing continues to grow exponentially. Bigger tracks, with larger purses, have been added to the schedule. Television coverage is unparalleled. When Dale Earnhardt died on the final lap of the Daytona 500 in February of 2001, more people were watching that race than ever before. His untimely death, viewed in real time by millions, marked an end to something special, a period in NASCAR history the likes of which we may never see again." —From the Introduction Alan Kulwicki Bill France, Sr. Curtis Turner Joe Weatherly Exclusive insights into the man known as "The Intimidator" "At any time during any race he was in, there was only one question everyone asked: ‘Where's Earnhardt?’ He was the standard by which all other drivers were measured." —From the Introduction "My mind will drift to Dale Earnhardt. I guess I always feel these guys are invincible. I know they're not. You just miss having him around. There's a void there. It's not just his competitiveness or his ability—it's everything, just his being there." —Eli Gold, TV Commentator for NASCAR Visit us at

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THOUGH NASCAR STOCK CAR RACing may well be the fastest-growing, most popular sport in America, part of its charm for any historian is that there are still people alive today who were around at its beginnings. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Much-Needed Antidote To PR on NASCAR's 50th 7 Aug 1998
By A Customer
Peter Golenbock first became involved in NASCAR with American Zoom, an oral history of the sport up to the 1992-3 seasons. Zoom was a superb look at the sport as seen from a variety of personalities. Golenbock, though, has outdone himself greatly with this superior oral history.
Golenbock interviews a variety of people involved in the sport since its 1949 inception. Featured are Tim Flock, in one of his last interviews before his passing; the widows of Curtis Turner and Dewayne "Tiny" Lund; Buddy Baker; Harry Hyde's nephew Tommy Johnson; Ralph Moody; Maurice Petty; and on.
The insights provided are often immortal. There is Maurice Petty's take on his brother Richard's career; he gives interesting insight into the factory wars of the 1960s, particularly Ford's involvement. "Ford (was) able to win the.... championship in 1968 because they threw a lot of Fords out there, a lot of drivers. They just kept throwing them out there...." Thirty ye! ars later, Ford's "buy-the-starting-field" tactic is still paying off.
The most heartbreaking section is Wanda Lund Early's story of her relationship with "Tiny" Lund, the 1963 Daytona 500 winner, who was killed in a horrendous pileup in the 1975 Talladega 500. In a cruel irony, Lund had not even qualified for that race, but when Grant Adcox's chief mechanic Gene Lovell died of a heart attack the day before the race, Adcox withdrew, and Lund - the first alternate - got his spot.
Wanda's relationship with Tiny got off to a decidedly bizarre start. "He turned me over on his knee" and spanked her "like a two year old. Then we were an item after that." She relates how Tiny had not particularly wanted to race at Talladega that day, but had given his word to owner A.J. King.
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By A Customer
Peter Golenbock has captured the true face of NASCAR. He interviewed old time racers and their families to give you a look at what there lives where like. Stories about Curtis Turner, Fireball Roberts, Tim Flock, Maurice Petty and many others capture your attnetion for hours. This book is an absolute must have for any true NASCAR fan.
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By A Customer
This book is pure poetry in motion. From the story of Fireball Roberts and his untimely demise to the story of Joe Weatherly. A moving tribute to some of the greatest drivers ever.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Most truthful book on racing ever published. 5 April 1999
By A Customer
Finally a tome that is down to the nitty-gritty of a sport that nowadays is white-washed and sugar coated.I have been involved in auto racing my entire life and can identify with poeple like Ralph Moody and Lou Larosa and can understand there point of view on the state of the sport today.True racers could give two shits about money!
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