Fixin to Git

One Fan's Love Affair with NASCAR's Winston Cup

By Jim Wright; Jim Wright; Wright
(Duke University Press, Hardcover, 9780822329268, 320pp.)

Publication Date: July 2002

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In the past twenty years, big-time stock-car racing has become America's fastest growing spectator sport. Winston Cup races draw larger audiences--at the tracks and on television--than any other sport, and drivers like Dale Jarrett, Jeff Gordon, and Mark Martin have become cultural icons whose endorsements command millions. What accounts for NASCAR's surging popularity?
For years a "closeted" NASCAR fan, Professor Jim Wright took advantage of a sabbatical in 1999 to attend stock-car races at seven of the Winston Cup's legendary venues: Daytona, Indianapolis, Darlington, Charlotte, Richmond, Atlanta, and Talladega. The "Fixin' to Git Road Tour" resulted in this book--not just a travelogue of Wright's year at the races, but a fan's valentine to the spectacle, the pageantry, and the subculture of Winston Cup racing.
Wright busts the myth that NASCAR is a Southern sport and takes on critics who claim that there's nothing to racing but "drive fast, turn left," revealing the skill, mental acuity, and physical stamina required by drivers and their crews. Mostly, though, he captures the experience of loyal NASCAR fans like himself, describing the drama in the grandstands--and in the bars, restaurants, parking lots, juke joints, motels, and campgrounds where race fans congregate. He conveys the rich, erotic sensory overload--the sights, the sounds, the smells, the feel--of weekends at the Winston Cup race tracks.

About the Author

James Wright is the Provost Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology, at the University of Central Florida. His many publications include (w/ Beth A. Rubin and Joel A. Devine) BESIDE THE GOLDEN DOOR: POLICY, POLITICS, AND THE HOMELESS (1998); (w/ Joseph F. Sheley) IN THE LINE OF FIRE: YOUTHS, GUNS AND VIOLENCE IN URBAN AMERICA (1995); (w/ Joseph F. Sheley and Zina T. McGee) WEAPON-RELATED VICTIMIZATION IN SELECTED INNER-CITY HIGH SCHOOL SAMPLES (1995); (w/ Joel A. Devine) THE GREATEST OF EVILS: URBAN POVERTY AND THE AMERICAN UNDERCLASS (1993); (w/ Peter H. Rossi) THE ARMED CRIMINAL IN AMERICA: A SURVEY OF INCARCERATED FELONS (1985); (w/ Peter H. Rossi and Eleanor Weber-Burdin) NATURAL HAZARDS AND PUBLIC CHOICE (1982); AFTER THE CLEAN-UP: LONG RANGE EFFECTS OF NATURAL DISASTERS (1979); and THE DISSENT OF THE GOVERNED: ALIENATION AND DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA (1976).

Anne Rice lives in New Orleans with her husband, the poet and painter Stan Rice.
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