Book By Hartford Courant Editorial Cartoonist Bob Englehart Explores Obsession Of Short Track Racing

Bob Englehart BookA few years ago, well, more than a few years ago, long before there was a, we got a call from then fellow Hartford Courant colleague Bob Englehart.

Englehart, the editorial cartoonist at the Hartford Courant. said he wanted to meet to talk about an idea he had. The vision he shared with us then was for a book that examined the obsession that is short track racing.

That vision led to Englehart embedding himself into the local short track racing scene in Connecticut for years, absorbing all that was around him.

This week his vision has become reality with the release of the book Trackrat: Memoir Of A Fan.

The paperback is now available through Amazon. It is also available for Kindle.

Below is a short description from the author:

What compels a young man or woman to spend ungodly amounts of money driving a racecar every weekend at the local track, risking life and limb at 150 miles an hour, entertaining friends and total strangers? Author editorial cartoonist Bob Englehart had to find out after witnessing the tragic wreck that killed Boston-area driver Shane Hammond at Thompson International Speedway. This non-fiction book explores a slice of American culture, the short track racing obsession, and how the author became a fan as a child, bedridden for a year by rheumatic fever with only his imagination, pencils, and watercolors to pass the time. The author writes about his parents’ divorces and remarriages during an era when divorce was rare, giving him and his brother Tim a stigma in their neighborhood in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The author discovers the extraordinary motivation behind Shane Hammond’s desire to race by a chance encounter with his mother and younger brother in the pits at the last race of the season. Trackrat: Memoir of a Fan is about love of family in spite of the complexity and confusion it may involve and the author’s working class heroes on the track. This isn’t NASCAR; this is your neighbor.

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  1. Read this last night. Excellent book. Thanks, Bob.

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