Thursday, March 14, 2013

Darlington Raceway-- Too Tough to Tame

One week from tomorrow Cathy Elliott will be in the store signing copies of her new book Darlington Raceway: Too Tough to Tame.

Darlington Raceway has been part of the landscape of South Carolina and of NASCAR® for over six decades and this new nostalgic book celebrates the history of the track through extraordinary vintage images. From races run on dirt and clay to the paved speedways of today, the historic events, colorful characters, and memorable moments of “The Lady in Black” are revealed in more than 200 vintage images.

Author Cathy Elliott sees Darlington Raceway as “more than just a race track that comes alive once a year,” and describes why many locals consider the speedway part of the family. “Darlington is an integral member of her community, part of its very identity. Everyone in town has at least one story about the track,” Elliott said.

Darlington Raceway is Arcadia Publishing’s first historical race track book to be published as part of a new licensing agreement with the NASCAR Library Collection, which provides a high level of authentication and quality to NASCAR-licensed books.

Captivating highlights of Darlington Raceway:

·        Provides a comprehensive visual story of the evolution of both the speedway and the sport of NASCAR racing, from the Raceway’s inaugural race to the most recent event

·       Feature images from both the Darlington Raceway collection and local residents, presenting a more personal view of the track

·       Offers a rare, behind-the-scenes look at what a NASCAR driver really experiences on a race day

·      Illustrates even the non-stock car racing events at Darlington Raceway that reinforces the fact that the track is not merely a structure to the Darlington-area community

·       Showcases include drivers like Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.

A native of North Carolina’s Outer Banks area, Cathy Elliott has lived in the Darlington, South Carolina area since 1993.

Elliott began her journalism career in 1994 as a columnist for Darlington’s weekly newspaper, the News and Press, and was named that publication’s first female editor in 1995. She made the move to NASCAR in 2000, serving as director of public relations for Darlington Raceway for seven years. Her syndicated weekly opinion column, My Brain on NASCAR, has been in publication since 2007.

Elliott is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association and the South Carolina Press Association, where she has received numerous awards for excellence in journalism. Her first book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: NASCAR, was published in 2009.

In addition to stock car racing, Elliott loves beagles, biographies, and the University of North Carolina Tarheels, not necessarily in that order.

She considers this work a true labor of love, and approached it as a community project rather than an individual undertaking. In the end, a racetrack is really nothing more than a pile of steel and asphalt. Its stories are what make it special, and she says she will be forever grateful to the people of Darlington for sharing their stories and breathing life into their magnificent speedway. Darlington Raceway truly is one-of-a-kind.

Elliott hopes the book will educate new race fans and remind longtime supporters of the sport of stock car racing, as well as Darlington Raceway’s unique and important place in the evolution of NASCAR. Darlington Raceway has been one of the integral pieces of the NASCAR puzzle for over 60 years, and as long as we remember that, and celebrate it, she will continue to stand tall as a vital part of its future picture for many decades to come.

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