SVRA announced today that Mark Dill, its vice president of public relations, has published a new book, “The Legend of the First Super Speedway, the Battle for the Soul of American Auto Racing.” It is available in both print and e-book formats. The book can be ordered today at www.store.bookbaby.com, and is available in e-book format through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple Books.
“Mark is a terrific writer who always delivers a great read, and his knowledge of racing history is a huge asset to SVRA,” says SVRA President and CEO Tony Parella. “I have long relied on Mark for insights to racing history, which is relevant to what we do at SVRA.”
Parella wrote the book’s preface. Other prominent racing personalities Al Unser Jr. and Willy T. Ribbs contributed as well. The introduction was crafted by Unser and Ribbs penned the foreword. Unser won the Indianapolis 500 twice, and Ribbs is the first Black driver to qualify for the iconic race.
Early reviews from Readers’ Favorite give Dill’s book their 5-star rating. An excerpt appears below.
“The Legend of the First Super Speedway is a tale of adventure that takes the characters across several cities and states. The setting is impeccably written, and the author paints a world that feels real and that readers want to explore. For instance, the picture of 1903 Indianapolis is vividly designed, and readers can easily imagine what auto racing was like at this time, a sport that had so many dangers associated with it. The historical setting is deftly written and packed with information that readers will want to know. The landscapes are vividly described, and the setting comes alive as a world that is exciting, and that has a life of its own. The writing is gorgeous, littered with dialogues that are well-crafted. While Mark Dill’s novel is filled with adventure and entertainment, it is an inspirational story that explores two characters who refuse to give up in spite of the odds. It is spellbinding and classic.”
The Legend of the First Super Speedway centers on two men’s alternating points of view, racing champion Barney Oldfield and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Founder Carl Fisher. It is the saga of a red state – blue state cultural battle for the sport’s soul. The racing events occurred as described and on the dates noted. Dill assumes poetic license in illustrating the personalities and habits of the primary characters, all of whom were actual people.
With rare exceptions, the characters’ dialogue is born of Dill’s imagination informed by years of research. The author concluded that Fisher and Oldfield had more influence and lasting impact on establishing American auto racing’s enduring format than any other individuals of their era. Fisher was the driving force behind the Indianapolis Motor Speedway construction. More than anyone, Oldfield popularized the sport to rival the other primary pastimes – baseball, boxing, and horse racing. Neither of these men would be politically correct by today’s standards, but they were products of another age.
First Super Speedway thrusts readers into the early 20th century with vivid interpretations of auto racing and what it was like to walk among the people and grasp their world view. The rugged characters of the era get “corned” on whiskey, chew “chaw,” and violently bounce as they scorch the bricks of America’s first speedway. Readers will ride with them on trains, bound across the jagged terrain of road races, and step over dead horses rotting in the street. The world convulsed with technological change, and the winners mastered it.
“Mark is the perfect person to tell this previously untold tale,” says Ribbs. “He brings to the surface the true-life characters that created American auto racing. There’s no sugar coating on this one.”