G. Wayne Miller has been a staff writer at the Providence Journal since 1981, where he has won numerous journalism awards, including an American Society of Newspaper Editors prize for feature writing. The author of four previous works of nonfiction, he lives in Rhode Island with his wife and children.
As NASCAR auto racing gains more fans, it appears poised to pass baseball and football as America's most popular sport. Some of the reasons for NASCAR's astounding growth are outlined by Miller: speed and danger, close competition, and above all drivers to whom the fans can relate directly. In an age of overpaid prima donnas posing as stars in the stick-and-ball sports, NASCAR brings a down-home sensibility, a much more human element to the relationship between star and fanDperhaps because of stock-car racing's Southern roots. Miller's approach was to follow the NASCAR circuit for the entire seasonDcertainly not a new approach in itself as has been seen by a number of books reviewed in these pages. However, the result is quite readable and brings a perspective from outside the usual Southern enclave of writers (Miller writes for the Rhode Island Providence Journal). Also, the 2001 season that he follows was one that found the sport at both a low point from the death of a star driver and a high point in the repeat season win of a four-time champion. All are covered in this book, which captures the many nuances of the American fascination with NASCAR racing. Recommended.DEric C. Shoaf, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence, RI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.