Growing Up NASCAR

Racing's Most Outrageous Promoter Tells All

Growing Up NASCAR
Format: Hardcover, 304 Pages
ISBN: 9780760337752
Publisher: Motorbooks
Illustrations: 12 color & 13 b/w photos
Size: 6 x 9
Weight: 0.06 lb.
Published: Mar. 15, 2010
Price: $25.00
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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 consumate insider.

In 1947, when Humpy Wheeler was nine years old, he put his thumb out on Highway 29 and hitched a ride to the Charlotte Speedway. Since then, Humpy has held just about every job there is in NASCAR. The consummate promoter, Humpy invented the pre-race show.

Peter Golenbock has been writing books about sports since 1975. Some of his best sellers are Dynasty, The Bronx Zoo (with Sparky Lyle), Number 1 (with Billy Martin), and Balls (with Greg Nettles.) He has also written a series of NASCAR histories including American Zoom, The Last Lap, and NASCAR Confidential.
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.”

"Truly a fun, entertaining book, it also gives some good insights into the man and the personality behind what we’ve all seen in races.” –
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