This isn't is a true biography, but actually it's sort of a snapshot at Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s life. Why do I say it's just a snapshot of his life? "Driver #8" is about his first year in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and not about how he got there. He starts with his first Speedweek at Daytona Speedway all the way through his first season to the second Speedweek at Daytona that changed his life forever. I think this is a good idea to begin with, because this opens up the chances of him writing another book in the future with another subject.
With this book, Dale Jr. invites you to sit back and to enjoy the year 2000 with him behind the wheel. Right away, he knows how to keep the reader interested and feeling like they are experiencing his whole first year racing with the big boys and not just reading about it. And you don't don't have to be a NASCAR or Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan to enjoy this book! Dale Jr. does a marvelous job explaining even some of the simplest things to him and anybody else who has even watched one race. He doesn't just start the book off, but he actually explains things and takes the time to explain them as the book goes on. It was obvious that he was going for a bigger audience then just the NASCAR community.
If you are a NASCAR fan, he doesn't forget you! You go through every race with him of the 2000 Winston Cup season, but you also get some behind the scenes look at a driver's real life. But the biggest highlights of the book are the humorous stories in his personal life and his first win. The reasons I suggest this book are endless, but here are just a few: why didn't Dale Jr. show up on July 5th for a press conference held by the NASCAR president, which fellow driver screamed for Dale Jr.'s autograph like lovesick girl, and what about the infamous, motorized bar stool? The heartaches in this book aren't missing either and one of the lowest points is where Dale Jr.'s team didn't believe him and told him to get out of the car so another driver could drive the Budwieser car. Don't believe it happened? Read the book!
Despite the extreme highs and lows that he takes you through, you as a reader also get to hear a lot of his personal opinions. What does he really think of being the son of a famous, seven-time Winston Cup Champion? Which of the four Earnhardt children is really the best race car driver? You'll be surprised at this one. I was! And what does he really think of Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, and those other guys he drives with every week? Just when you think that you've been through way too much with Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the wheel, you come to his second Daytona 500 in February of 2001. This is the day he came in second at the Daytona 500 and the day he lost his father.
The book ends with a perfect, bittersweet stopping place. This was the first NASCAR biography/snapshot book I've ever read and I wasn't disappointed. His organization was excellent and it seemed to just flow as you went through the season. Dale Jr. did a great job with Jade in balancing the racing with the personal experiences. Even if you don't like NASCAR or have never even heard of Dale Earnhardt Jr., this book is a great one. Looking back on it, having read it not thinking of even doing a review later, I can't even think of a bad point of the book. Dale Jr. has a wonderful future in writing more books and with his talent they are welcomed if they are going to be anything like this snapshot.
Title: Driver # 8