Somewhere in America, a racer will load his car into a double-decker trailer, grab a beer from the refrigerator of his motorhome conversion, settle into the leather sofa, and complain about the high cost of racing. Somewhere else in America, a racer will load his car onto a battered open trailer, pull some cold ones out of the cooler in the back of an old pickup truck, and talk about what a blast he just had.

While most all of you have heard about the "ESPN Dick Trickle", if you're looking for more than this is the place. Even though you can go to a stock car race without needing a program and your favorite souvenir is the result of a wreck, or your best sofa came out of a Chevy and you have grease under your toenails, or you've valet parked a snow plow and siphoned gas from your lawn mower to put in your truck, or your idea of a romantic evening is sharing the same spit cup with your girlfriend at a tractor pull and you think safe sex means putting on the emergency brake, or you've ever laid rubber while traveling in a funeral procession and you're not actually able to read The Richard Petty Story, but you sure like the pictures, you will still want to check all of this stuff out.

Automobile racing has become a worldwide sport. The famous "Indy" - the Indianapolis 500 is followed around the world by millions of car-racing fans; and the NASCAR races are big-money events, especially in the American South, where some top drivers are more famous than baseball or football stars.

Automobile racing, however, has more than entertainment value: many advances in automotive technology were devised for racing cars, including four-wheel brakes, hydraulic brakes, shock absorbers, disc brakes, fuel-injection systems, and much more. When the value of these developments was proved on the racetrack, they were modified for production models and eventually became standard equipment, improving performance, safety, and durability. In 1912 a racing driver, to save weight, eliminated the mechanic who usually traveled in race cars. In order to compensate for the loss of a second pair of eyes, he installed the first rearview mirror. The idea quickly caught on. The automobile industry continues to invest heavily in racing, in part for publicity, but in part in an effort to improve its products.

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