|Date: 1/13/2010 9:28:55 PM|
MILLER RACING REVEALS THE INSIDE STORY IN A NEW BOOK, RACING WHILE BLACK: HOW AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN STOCK CAR TEAM MADE ITS MARK ON NASCAR
“Miller throws the restrictor plate away for this race. He takes you to the red line.”—Bobby Gerhart, five-time winner of the ARCA Daytona 200
Leonard T. Miller recalls the uphill battle, institutional racism and glass ceiling encountered in high-tier racing in his new book, Racing While Black: How an African-American Stock Car Team Made Its Mark on NASCAR (Seven Stories Press; February 17, 2010) written with sportswriter Andrew Simon.
The 2010 NASCAR season, the 62nd year of professional stock car racing, is underway. You’ve heard the familiar team names of Penske, Waltrip, Petty and Gibbs. Now meet the Miller Racing Group: a successful African-American auto racing team.
This father/son racing combo crashed through the cultural, racial and class barriers of motorsports. In 2005, Leonard T. Miller and his father, Leonard W. Miller (author of Silent Thunder) were the first African-Americans to win a track championship in NASCAR history.
What’s revealed in Racing While Black:
· What it was like to be the first black-owned team to enter the Indy 500 in 1972.
· Why corporations were unwilling to sponsor black racers.
· How the Miller team navigated around hostile officials and promoters and bigoted competitors to become an enduring presence in NASCAR racing.
· Why breaking the NASCAR color barrier is a little-known chapter in our country’s racial history.
“You don't have to have motor oil running through your veins to savor the rich slice of contemporary Americana that Miller and Simon serve up – an unlikely team's journey through the grimy garages and cool corporate offices where one of the nation's fastest-growing spectator sport actually gets played. And if you are a racing freak, this is a book that tells secrets, names names and exposes the divisions that still constrict the sport.”
—Amy Argetsinger, The Washington Post
“For decades, black racing drivers have struggled against an unwelcoming environment in NASCAR. Fifty-five years ago NASCAR founder Bill France told the group’s first black racer, Wendell Scott, that the sport would treat him without prejudice. That promise proved false. Scott’s career hopes were undermined by hostile officials and promoters, bigoted competitors who wrecked him deliberately, and corporations unwilling to sponsor a black driver. The engrossing narrative in Racing While Black documents for the first time how African-American drivers seeking NASCAR careers in the modern era have endured the same problems as Scott. As a racing team executive, co-author Leonard T. Miller brings an insider’s knowledge to the story. This book will help readers understand why NASCAR, unlike other major sports, remains all-white at its top level. Racing While Black is an illuminating, action-packed journey through a little-known chapter in our country’s racial history”.—Brian Donovan, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Hard Driving: The American Odyssey of NASCAR’s First Black Driver
Leonard T. Miller and Andrew Simon will be making appearances in New York, DC, Philadelphia at the Free Library of Philadelphia on February 4th, and Charlotte, NC. Please contact Ruth Weiner at ruth@sevenstories. com for more information.
Leonard T. Miller is a second-generation African-American auto racing team owner, the president of Miller Racing Group, Inc, and a twenty-one-year veteran commercial airline pilot. His dad, Leonard W. Miller, entered a team in the 1972 Indianapolis 500 and is in the Black Athletes Hall of Fame.
Andrew Simon is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, New York. For over a decade he has covered music, sports, and pop culture for Rolling Stone Press, VIBE, Complex, and ESPN The Magazine.
Racing While Black
Leonard T. Miller, Andrew Simon
February 17, 2010 | Seven Stories Press
$24.95 | pp 352
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