Magnolias, Sweet Tea, and Exhaust: One Woman's Journey to Understanding the Phenomenon of NASCAR

Magnolias, Sweet Tea, and Exhaust: One Woman's Journey to Understanding the Phenomenon of NASCAR

by Carole Townsend


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


In Magnolias, Sweet Tea, and Exhaust, Carole Townsend goes to ground with NASCAR, following the races at Southern tracks from one to the next, learning about the sport and the culture of NASCAR as she goes. Townsend meets and interviews top drivers as well as some of NASCAR’s rising stars, legends, team owners, pit crews, and fans. In a display of immersion journalism at its best, Townsend takes a ride in one of the cars on a track at race speed, tours the multimillion dollar garages in North Carolina, learns from mechanics, mingles with fans, and participates in the much-coveted infield camping party at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Gaining behind-the-scenes access at races, she experiences up close the dedication, competition, and precision of NASCAR teams during qualifying trials and races.

Some of the interviews and viewpoints included in the book are 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Rex White (the 1960 NASCAR Grand National Champion), David Ragan (winner of the 2013 Talladega May race) and his pit crew chief Jay Guy, top contender Clint Bowyer, and driver Johanna Long, the 20-year-old Nationwide Series phenomenon. Team owner Michael Waltrip and 16-year-old rising star Mason Massey also talk with Townsend about the sport’s popularity, its changing face, and today’s challenges. Townsend also covers NASCAR and its “good old boy” roots in bootlegging, as well as Southern food and hospitality as represented by that great tradition—tailgating (a sport in itself). She also discusses the fascinating evolution of NASCAR racing rules and the growing popularity of NASCAR abroad.

This is a perfect book for the avid NASCAR fan as well as the more casual fan looking to learn more about this growing phenomenon!

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Sports Publishing imprint, is proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in sports—books about baseball, pro football, college football, pro and college basketball, hockey, or soccer, we have a book about your sport or your team.

In addition to books on popular team sports, we also publish books for a wide variety of athletes and sports enthusiasts, including books on running, cycling, horseback riding, swimming, tennis, martial arts, golf, camping, hiking, aviation, boating, and so much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781613216910
Publisher: Sports Publishing LLC
Publication date: 07/01/2014
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Carole Townsend is a reporter and columnist for the Gwinnett Daily Post newspaper in Georgia and has been published in Ladies’ Home Journal and other national publications. She has appeared on CNN and FOX, ABC and CBS news, and talk shows. When she started writing this book, Townsend began accepting invitations to be a guest on various NASCAR racing radio shows, including Doug Allan’s Spirit of Racing. As a journalist and strong advocate for the health and well-being of women and children, she also tours throughout the Southeast and speaks to various groups on the topics of becoming an author, making career changes, and living in the South.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction ix

Chapter 1 NASCAR-What's the Big Deal? 1

Chapter 2 Packing to Travel Outside My Comfort Zone 9

Chapter 3 Traveling in the South Never Disappoints 12

Chapter 4 A Little Bit of Racing History 17

Chapter 5 Off to My First Race 26

Chapter 6 Every Race Has its Rules 40

Chapter 7 The Day I Got Hooked 53

Chapter 8 The Evolution of the Sport-the Players 68

Chapter 9 The Evolution of the Sport-the Cars 74

Chapter 10 "This Is Talladega!" 87

Chapter 11 Straight to the "Lady in Black" 106

Chapter 12 Who Will the New NASCAR Fan Be? 118

Chapter 13 NASCAR's Changing Face 127

Chapter 14 NASCAR's Domino Effect 135

Chapter 15 "I Need to Make a Pit Stop" 144

Chapter 16 Tailgating, NASCAR Style 158

Chapter 17 Thunder Valley 171

Chapter 18 The Biggest Labor Day Party in the United States 184

Chapter 19 Define "Fair and Square" 209

Chapter 20 The Phenomenon of NASCAR, As I See It 214

Customer Reviews