A Little Bit Sideways Scott Huler. Subtitled: One Week Inside a NASCAR Winston Cup Race Team. This rambunctious tour takes you into thedriver¦s seat, the cocktail parties, the race shop, the broadcast booth, and beyond, capturing the essence of NASCAR. Discover how minute changes behind the scenes of a NASCAR racing team directly affect the car¦s performance on race day. This insider¦s view explores the inner workings of a NASCAR race team by covering the events and discussing how the crew chief, driver, and mechanics interact. Testing, design, set up, tires, sponsorship, ownership, technical inspections, qualifying and regulations are broken down to offer a look behind the scenes of today's NASCAR race week day by day.
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At some point in the last 24 months, the publishing industry's big dogs finally discovered NASCAR. Though dozens of books about stock car racing have been published, none have presented it in a manner that makes the average reader say, "NOW I get it. NOW I see what all the fuss is about." Scott Huler goes over the wall and does for NASCAR what Roger Angell does for baseball; what David Foster Wallace has done for professional tennis, luxury cruises and state fairs; what Lewis Thomas did for ecology.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
It sounds ridiculous, but a Winston Cup garage has one of the most beautiful, richest, almost somatic aromas you can encounter. You pick up the harsh, almost smoky odor of tire rubber, which is everywhere; you can get the high, acrid stench of hot rear-end gears and fluid, which is so recognixable that the announcers can smell it atop the grandstand during a race - "Someone just lost a rear end - I can smell it," Benny Parsons will say, and lap later someone will go behind the wall, his rear-end gear cooked. You smell the oild emerging from the heating asphalt. You smell brake fluid, SD-20 cleaner, oil, and the ozoney scent of burning metal. But underneath it all, providing the base scent for the intoxicating perfume, is the gas fumes. Unocal racing gas is leaded, and it's 110 octane, and the burning fuel yields an exhaust that is metallic and rich beyond imagining. Along with it comes the scent of the motor itself, as it runs so fast that is literally consumes itself, burning up tiny pieces, which add a sharper metallic flavor to the exhaust. It has a sweetness to it that you can actually taste - you don't so much smell it as absorb it with the back of your palate, and it's overwhelming and dizzying.
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