In 1949, when Humpy Wheeler was 11, he attended the very first NASCAR race. For the next ten years, he spent as much time in the pits as he could, and came to know many of the sport’s pioneers. Eventually, Wheeler began promoting races at Carolina tracks such as Concord Speedway, Robinwood Speedway, and Starlight Speedway. Racing was so rough back then he kept a gun by his side when he paid the purse, and often used his fists to keep order. By the time Wheeler retired in 2008, he had helped NASCAR become the six-billion-dollar-a-year industry it is today. Filled with photographs from Wheeler's personal archives, Growing up NASCAR presents the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at NASCAR from the consummate insider.
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What others are saying:
Tom Sorensen, The Charlotte Observer, May 27, 2010
"Humpy has always been a master storyteller, and he wouldn't have written his story if it weren't good. And it is good. It is excellent. It's not simply the story of racing or the story of Humpy. It's the story of mill towns and small-town boys and fast cars and fistfights. It's the story of the piece of the South from which Humpy comes."
Bristol Herald Courier, March 19, 2010
"With the assistance of author Peter Golenbock, Wheeler’s recently traced his colorful life and career in the book Growing Up NASCAR: Racing's Most Outrageous Promoter Tells All. From grimy dirt tracks to lavish superspeedways, Wheeler feels there are five essential elements for attracting and retaining fans to motorsports."
Gaston Gazette, March 26, 2010
"Wheeler’s stories of growing up in Belmont, his mother’s store in Gastonia and his maternal grandparents' home in Bessemer lend a strong Gaston County flavor to the book. It explores his days at Robinwood Speedway. Wheeler describes his role as a young promoter fresh out of college and the exploits of such Gastonia drivers as the Cooper Brothers, Jim Dimeo, Harold Dunnaway and others who created dynamic action at what he said was the best quarter-mile track ever built."