A Little Bit Sideways: One Week Inside a Nascar Winston Cup Race Team
Not long after I arrived in Raleigh in 1992 as a writer for the News & Observer, a sports editor thought it would be a hoot to send me to live on the infield at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the weekend of the Coca Cola 600 to see what I made of the bellies, boots, and beards crowd. I traveled among the campers, visited motorhomes and tricked-out schoolhouses, stayed up nights with drinkers and smokers, and visited the garage, the pits, the suites. Discovering a sport worthy of study and a culture rich and deep, I went native in a hurry and for the better part of a decade wrote regularly about racing and racing culture. This book, openly patterned on Eliot Asinov's masterpiece Seven Days to Sunday, about NFL football when it was taking over the culture, distills racing culture -- team, car, driver, shop, track, stands, fans, souvenir sales, ownership -- into the single-week cycle that is repeated all season long.
Here are some review quotes.
“One writer may finally have captured the essence of stock-car racing, demystifying the grown-up groupie mentality that the roaring sport inspires.”
-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Most of the books currently being written about NASCAR are of the coffee-table variety, and most glorify the sport. Fine. There is a place for that. There also is a place for unfettered observation and independent analysis of a sport that is growing so fast that few have the time to understand why. A Raleigh writer named Scott Huler has broken new ground with A Little Bit Sideways…. Huler wrestles with the sport’s uniqueness better than most…. Huler also has a welcome attention to detail.”
-- Monte Dutton, Gaston Gazette
“A wonderful book, accurate and insightful, … beautifully crafted…. The book truly is terrific.”
--The Huntsville Times
“It may be the best presentation of racing I’ve come across.”
-- Bob Latford, The Inside Line
“A fast-paced, 48-hours documentary-style look at the real world of racing…. Huler brings the business as well as the heart and soul of the NASCAR race team to life in fascinating detail and refreshing accuracy.”
-- Claire B. Lang, NASCAR Winston Cup Illustrated
“A great job of capturing the entire aspect of what NASCAR is like – from the fans, drivers, pit crews, the whole gamut.”
-- Bob Jenkins, ESPN
Motorbooks International, 1999.
Click on the book to buy it at Amazon. Though it's worth noting I try to buy books at my local independent bookseller or used bookstore.
“[Huler’s] eye for detail – of the mechanical and of the human element – is moving and delightful.”
-- Gerald Martin, Racer Magazine
“Huler is a master at painting a picture with words. … This book should be required reading for every race fan. … A winner.”