Big Daddy Don
Garlits Tales From
The Drag Strip
By Don Garlits
with Bill Stephens.
Reviewed by Jeff Leonard
you are looking for a great literary work, this
isnt it. But if you are looking for a
treasure trove of insights into the evolution
of drag racing, this book is definitely a must
have. As the title suggests, this is a
collection of Don Garlitss personal recollections
from a career that spans the entirety of the
history of drag racing. In its 168-page length,
Garlits touches on how the sport has changed
in the areas of technology, competition, economics,
and in-sport politics. He also lends an insiders
insight into what happens behind the scenes
at the drag strip. You know, the sort of things
you never get to hear in mainstream
electronic mediums. My personal favorite was
the chapter entitled, YOU WANT TO SEE
I wont spoil it for yousuffice
it to say that the chapter features a match
race at Union Grove, Wis. Garlits, Connie Kalitta
and Shirley Muldowney (post-breakup), and racers
tape in lieu of proper medical attention. You
cant find stories like that just anywhere.
The book also features a forward by Muldowney
herself, and it offers heartfelt appreciation
for Big Daddys contribution to the sport
in general, and her own career in particular.
That and several of Garlitss own Shirley
Stories go a long way to dispel the notion
of any lingering ill will between the two.
All of the photos in the book come from Garlitss
own personal archives, and are worth the price
of purchase by themselves. Throw in Big Daddys
accounts of his 50 plus years of racing exploits,
and you have a book any drag racing fan will
enjoy. I especially recommend this book to anyone
who has become a fan of the sport within the
last fifteen years. It will give you an insight
into the sport that you just wont get
from todays usual sources.
Tales From the Drag Strip is available
from Sports Publishing. For ordering information,
log on to www.sportspublishingllc.com.
The book is listed in the Auto Racing collection.
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