Sunday Money

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Jeff MacGregor's Sunday Money: Speed! Lust! Madness! Death!: A Hot Lap Around America with NASCAR begins in the drama of italics—of a singular moment in the history of auto racing that is unforgettable to seventy- five million fans. It starts as loudly as the cars lapping the oval roar their guttural roars. It starts with as compelling a description as that epic Florida day—February 18, 2002—was riveting and stunning at once. Sunday Money begins with the last lap of the Daytona 500, and the crash-and-burn death of legendary stock car racing royal, Dale Earnhardt.

And Sunday Money continues full throttle, only downshifting, letting up, “bangin’ in the low groove,” to give the scintillating details or the drama or the delight that is the NASCAR circuit. Sports Illustrated writer Jeff MacGregor, with his wife, photographer Olya “Beep” Evanitsky, drives across country in a custom built (and coveted) Lazy Daze recreational vehicle (RV), tracking the NASCAR racing season to report on the races, the drivers, the sponsors, the wisdom, the women, the worry, and the wins.

The author, a linguistically hip and laughingly hyped-up sports reporter (who starts out skeptical about the money machine that is NASCAR) hangs with the hicks, lives at the Wal-Marts along the travel route, records the races, reveals the nuances behind the mystiques of the most celebrated race car stars–Jeff Gordon, the Petty family, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.—and exposes the least focused-on elements of marketing, money, and methods as well as history and evolution of the largest motorsports sanctioning body in America.

For NASCAR and racing fans, this book is a must-read. For non-fans, MacGregor might just convert them, or will at least take them on a ride they will not soon forget.