Year Published: 1977

Auto racing is this country’s second largest spectator sport, second only to horse racing and far, far ahead of third-placed football.  And the unquestioned champ of auto sports is stock car racing, a diversion that originated fifty years ago in the South as a Sunday pastime for dare-devil farmers and shady flim-flam men.

Today, NASCAR’s Grand National Division is the richest, fastest, most exciting superspeedway circuit in the world.

Richard Benyo’s Superspeedway is four books in one: a chronicle of the 1976 Grand National season  (starting with the Daytona 500, at which Petty and Pearson crashed into each other in the final few hundred yards); the history of NASCAR itself  (from its inception in a bar in Daytona to its present status as the strongest race sanctioning body in the country); the story of the building of the super speedways-monstrous tracks that typify America’s drive for the biggest and the best; and, finally, stories of the sport’s major personalities, most of them colorful indeed: NASCAR founder Big Bill France, moonshiner Junior Johnson, H. Clay Earles, Brother Bill Frazier, Buddy Baker, Janet Guthrie, Cale Yarlborough, Benny Parsons, the Wood brothers.

 There are stock car tracks, of course, the length and breadth of the Land: the one at Talladega, Alabama, banked at 33 degrees, with an infield big enough to hold 31 Rose Bowls, can accommodate 120,000 fans. All of them, and millions of others, will love this recreation of the boisterous history of a uniquely American sport.

 RICHARD BENYO is Editor of Stock Car Racing magazine, the nation’s leading auto racing publication. He has contributed articles to such other magazines as Sport, Small Cars, Super Stock and Drag Racing USA, and is the editor of two anthologies, The Grand National Stars and The Book of Richard Petty.

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