Volume I, Issue 1, Page 70


“Best Damn Garage in Town:
The World According to Smokey”

Written by Smokey Yunick, edited by Ben Shackleford
Published by Carbon Press, LC

In my career as a sports journalist I met the late Henry “Smokey” Yunick on several occasions and actually got to spend time talking to the man at length. Later, like everyone else, I read the features he wrote for Circle Track Magazine. Based upon my conversations with the man and reading his work in Circle Track, when I had the opportunity to buy his three-volume life story I knew I had to have it.

The three volumes are titled “Walkin’ Under a Snake’s Belly,” “Li’l Skinny Rule Book & Eatin’ An Elephant,” and finally, “All Right You Sons-a-Bitches, Let’s Have a Race!” When I opened the first volume I was heartened to see that in the table of contents the first entry was a warning that reads: “This book is written in ‘Old Southern Racing English.’ Anyone under the age of 18 should read this in the company of a grandfather race fan for translation regarding language, social and moral interpretation.”

It only takes the reader about three paragraphs to understand why the warning was in the book. At times the language can be fairly explicit as is some of the descriptions of Mr. Yunick’s social and racing life. Having said that, each volume was a pleasure for me to read, whether he was talking about his time as a pilot in the World War II, or his battles and his legendary efforts in NASCAR with Chevy cars and engines that changed the sport, or his schemes and travails with Detroit’s Big Three. Each volume was fascinating reading written in the first person by a genuine legend. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get a true view of the man and his time. There are some great stories here.  

 

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