Once Around the Track Author:Sharyn McCrumb Racing fans have never seen anything like it -- and they've seen plenty -- from daredevil drivers to fiery crashes to victory laps that bring tears to grown men's eyes. But this is something all together different: this is the first all-women's team in stock-car racing history. — The brainchild of trust fund baby Christine... more » Berenson, the Vagenya team quickly grabs national attention, first with its sponsor (Viagra for women, anyone?) and then with its driver. For inescapable reasons -- mainly financial -- the "wheel man" must be a man. And Badger Jenkins is a man all right -- a sweet-faced Georgian who oozes aw-shucks charm off the track and unleashes blistering speed in competition. He also can't be bothered to recall that the sport is no longer only about miles per hour -- it's about keeping up appearances for backers, fans, and the world in general.
The real Badger is a hard man to know, but the women whose job it is to keep both car (the dubiously numbered 86) and driver in one piece will get closer than most. There's crew chief and team manager Tuggle, a hard-bitten veteran with racing in her blood and no time for fools; engine specialist Rosalind Manning, who loves cars, but loves tweaking her disapproving mother even more; publicist Melanie Sark, an ambitious journalist with a trick or two up her designer sleeve; and Taran Stiles, the one true fan among them, who's there to protect Badger, no matter what. A sisterhood on asphalt, they'll be damned if anyone's going to get in their way.
Through a racing season of dizzying highs and terrifying lows, Team 86 will face the thrill of victory and the agony of bad press to prove that women can do a man's job. And when the unthinkable happens, each will realize that they've been hurtling at breakneck speed toward a moment that will change them forever.« less
I enjoy most of Sharyn McCrumb's novels, and this one was no exception. There were several parts that made me laugh (or snort) out loud, and she does an excellent job of creating the characters.
I grew up watching NASCAR, but don't watch as much anymore. I learned some things reading this book, and there were some things I already knew. I enjoyed some of the "in" references that fans will catch, but others might not. All in all, I think it's a good read, whether you're a fan or not.