Sometimes what people do not understand about NASCAR in my opinion is that it is not about the cars that go around in circles, ovals, or anything else you call the track formation. It's about the personalities, the loyalties, and hearts and souls that go into running that car every week. NASCAR is one of the few sports where you can actually say that even if you don't root for a driver you probably respect him in some way just because he is a good man. This book not only proves that, but I think it draws in another crowd with the Chicken Soul fan club that the book franchise has brought forth. There are a several of different aspects they have taken with these books, but this is my first time and experience with Chicken Soup. I'm glad to say that it was a good one to say the least.
This book tells you stories about drivers who have went outside of just their running the races each week and have showed some kind of kindness or heart. These stories don't always get told and all you know about the man is the personality he shows on the track. Jeff Gordon and Robby Gordon aren't related and their fans (like me) would probably attack you and your first born if you compared them. Whoever likes one does not like the other and all they share is the same last name and they are in the same sport, but both of them visited Ground Zero after September 11th when all of the NASCAR family was in New York for their annual awards banquet in December of 2001. For a moment they were both left speechless, but so deeply moved that the rawness of their words cuts real deep when you read it. And if you know anything about NASCAR then you know about Tony Stewart's temper, but you probably didn't hear about his generous donation to a dog facility for unfortunate dogs or when he accepts a hug from a little girl. Truth be told... these grown men aren't just drivers, but old softies too.
And you can't involve NASCAR in any way without showing a little humor. Some of my best memories of watching NASCAR is the rain delays. Usually that's the end of a broadcast if another sport gets taken out by the rain, but that's when NASCAR drivers come out to play. Some examples are three known competitors that can't stand each other on the track (Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.) racing each in a video game together while hiding, Rusty Wallace hitting golf balls at Darrell Waltrip's RV, or the raining fries that Kurt Busch was trying to talk to through all in thanks to Tony Stewart.
These authors realized that NASCAR isn't all about passion and horsepower, but also some fun added in there. There are plenty of laughs throughout the stories and even some added comics that ring so true that they are funny, but my personal favorite is the dating rules of how to date a NASCAR female fan. I've considered using it.
The Chicken Soup company has done it again from what I can tell. This book will make you tear up, swell up with pride of your favorite driver, laugh along with them, and even be moved by something you find in these pages. I think Jeff Gordon's quote just on the inside of the cover says it best, "Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul not only takes you inside the tracks, the cars, and the garages of the sport's biggest personalities, but it also takes you inside their hearts and minds." I couldn't agree more and would recommend this to Chicken Soup fans, NASCAR fans, and anyone who needs to moved or touched by humanity.
Title: Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul