The Great American Gamble: How the 1979 Daytona 500 Gave Birth to a NASCAR Nation
—Lars Anderson, Sports Illustrated
""Joe Menzer has done an excellent job in telling the story of one ofNASCAR's most important races, a tale that includes the vibrant storiesof the cast of characters who participated.""
—Mike Hembree, NASCAR Scene
""A magnificent book, one that should be in the library of every diehard race fan.""
—Jerry Bonkowski, National NASCAR columnist, Yahoo! Sports and on-air personality, Sirius NASCAR Radio
It could so easilyhave been a disaster . . .
Everyone knew it, from CBS executives and owners of local CBS affiliates to NASCAR founder Big Bill French to driver and NASCAR booster Darrell Waltrip. If anything went wrong with the first-ever live, start-to-finishbroadcast of America's premier stock car race, a lot of people were going to lose a lot of money. It would also be the last-ever live broadcast of a NASCAR event. The Great American Gamble tells the gripping tale of the event that instead made NASCAR the multibillion dollar powerhouse it is today: the 1979 Daytona 500.
Based on new interviews with all the major drivers in the race andothers involved, including Richard Petty, crew chief Dale Inman andKyle Petty, Bobby Allison and Donnie Allison, Cale Yarborough, BennyParsons, Junior Johnson, Buddy Baker, Darrell Waltrip, A. J. Foyt, Ned Jarrett, Humpy Wheeler, Ken Squier, Richard Childress, Jim Hunter, David Pearson, Doug Rice, Ricky Rudd, Geoffrey Bodine, Sterling Marlin, Marvin Panch, Leonard Wood, Eddie Wood, Larry McClure, and Michael Waltrip,this is the ultimate, high-octane account of the most important race inNASCAR history.