American Speed: From Dirt Tracks To Nascar
Wonderful, fierce photography from the beginning of the automobile age proved that as soon as gas made cars go, the boys out back made them go fast. The carny circuit that was car racing in America leads off this fun and fast LIFE book, which chronicles the pageantry and excitement of the Indianapolis 500 as well as the occasional visits to our shores of Formula One racing, with its European flair. The huge post-World War II story is, of course, the rise of NASCAR, and this story is told in vivid detail, from its birth as weekend loops raced by hard-charging bootleggers in the South to its current status as the reigning national pastime. Junior, the King, and the late, great Ironhead are profiled, as are the new stars: Jeff Gordon, and, of course, Ironhead's boy, Dale Earnhardt Jr. In these pictures, you'll feel the thunder.