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The Business That Drives the Sport

by Robert G. Hagstrom

ISBN 0471183164 / 9780471183167 / 0-471-18316-4
Publisher Wiley
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

The author of The Warren Buffett Way gets behind the steering wheel of professional stock car racing--NASCAR, to be exact--making a few gushing laps around the track of America's largest and fastest-growing spectator sport. Although filled with plenty of local color, The NASCAR Way primarily focuses on the phenomenal financial success of a sport that began in the tiny, dirt-road hamlets of Dixie. Originally a way for moonshine runners to compete against each other by the light of day in informal--and legal--settings, stock car racing was organized by "Big Bill" France in the late 1940s under the aegis of NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) but soon moved to the larger, asphalt tracks of today. A half-century after NASCAR's inception, the sport boasts lucrative corporate sponsorship, growing cable TV exposure, and fan loyalty to rival--if not surpass--that of every other professional sports organization. While the bottom line ultimately turns Hagstrom's crank more than the personality of the sport itself, the author still has fun with his subject: "Stock car drivers do things in cars that would make the rest of us faint. Try to imagine driving 100 miles an hour, then 120, then 160. Imagine keeping up that pace for three and a half hours.... Now imagine forty-one other cars around you, all doing the same thing, just inches away from you, scraping against the side of your car and nudging your bumper as they try to pass you. And you can never slack off." [via]