Sunday, August 30, 2015

Racing While Black--#47 finished

I finished this book on Saturday but just now getting around to entering it.  Good book about a father and son that are race car enthusiasts and father ran teams for years but now they look to get into bigger time stock car racing.  They are black and one of the few owners in stock car racing at least around the North Carolina area.  They set a goal to get their team in the top level of NASCAR.  Book focuses a lot on the sponsorship area and the struggles they had.  Sponsorship is a struggle for just about all teams except those at the very top.  At time or two they mentioned that most of the cars they were racing against were not sponsored of if they were it was by local businesses, one mentioned was by local strip clubs.  I do not doubt for a second that being a black team didn't help and hurt in many ways as was pointed out--crowds at some venues just didn't like them, people they were racing against tried to wreck them and intimidate them on & off the track.  Racing is a tough sport and an expensive sport.  They seemed very successful outside of racing and had money they could invest in their team to a degree and were able to get some sponsors.  A lot of interesting characters and info in the book.  I did a wiki on them before I finished, reading they had some success but never reached NASCAR.  It is too bad because I think NASCAR could use some diversity--Danica Patrick gets plenty of press but a couple minority drivers--black and/or latino I think could really introduce the sport of new marketing segments.  I guess that is what I don't understand.  This team in the book should have been a great marketing tool for some products but those products just couldn't pull the trigger on it and you don't get why in the book.  Was it these products not trusting this team--not that they were black but they were not on top of their team--living away from the track, car & driver most seasons and book documents some struggles because of this.  Was it a personality thing?  Once they went to Rev Jackson & his Rainbow Coalition was that a reason companies shied away?  Book is from the Miller Racing side so answers aren't given but makes you wonder.

I will post it on PBS, was a good read and would like to pass it along.  There are no WL for it & no copies on system yet so hopefully will move sooner rather than later.

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