George V. Reilly

Review: Once Around the Track

Once Around the Track
Title: Once Around the Track
Author: Sharyn McCrumb
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Kensington
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 320
Keywords: fiction
Reading period: 18–25 August, 2010

Badger Jenkins is a shy, unassuming NASCAR driver with chiseled cheekbones and a rabid fanbase. He’s recruited to drive for the first otherwise-all-female team. For several months, we follow Badger and several of the women who work in the crew or behind the scenes, as the team coalesces and the season progresses.

This is an en­ter­tain­ing and well-written look at NASCAR racing from the per­spec­tive of insiders. We learn a great deal about the sport and what it takes to run a NASCAR team. We also get to see Badger from several viewpoints, ranging from the tongue-tied hero worshipper to the gruff crew chief. Most of the time, he’s an ir­re­spon­si­ble country boy who just wants to fish on his lake, but when he dons his fire suit, he becomes dangerous, almost ir­re­sistible, and wholly focused.


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