If you’ve been to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum in recent years and decided to take the “Kiss the Bricks” tour, there’s a good chance it may have been guided by the author of this enjoyable new book, Rick Shaffer. In fact, that is where I met him just a few months ago.
I was near the Speedway for a meeting, and could not pass up an opportunity to stop by and spend a few hours sauntering around the museum. (Side note: a “few hours” there is not nearly enough – I wish I had planned a full day at least.) I was getting ready to leave and Rick noticed my Vintage Motorsport shirt and sparked up a conversation. Within minutes I was asking him to show me a copy of his latest book.
Shaffer’s passion runs as deep as it gets for the Speedway and the annual 500-miler on Memorial Day weekend. He is also a senior contributor to Vintage Motorsport and has penned a number of wonderful stories throughout the years, notably the award-winning “Red Flag!” feature in the May/June 2014 issue along with “Doing the Double” (Jan/Feb 2016), “Say Goodbye to Goggles” (Mar/Apr 2019), and many more.
When his new book arrived in time for the month of May, I was more than a little excited.
Home on May 1, I cracked open the book and started exploring; jumping around in time, picking a few of my favorite eras. Then I got serious and went through them all starting at the beginning. I even read a few to my daughter as ‘bedtime stories’ (which ended quickly when the questions started: “Mario… like the Nintendo guy?” or “Dad, what’s a Turbine?”, and more).
I am always interested in behind-the-scenes or little-known stories, and this book hits the bullseye for me. I also really enjoy how it “reads.” I can sit down and go through the entries one by one, or I can snack on a few here and there. That’s what I plan to do every May going forward… pick it up and turn to a few random pages – and hopefully I will find the time to educate my daughter about Mr. Andretti and the intricacies of bolting a Pratt & Whitney helicopter turbine engine into a race car.
The book available for $39.95 plus $6 shipping and can be found HERE from the publisher, Coastal 181.