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Three Weeks in March

By Mickey Bryant

Drag racing is a schizophrenic sport. Safety is the first priority...except when speed is the first priority. A sport that, when it began, was populated by iconoclasts and outlaws has spent years declaring that the cars, rather then the drivers, were the stars. Its past is filled with tales of regular guys with little more then a car and a burning desire to go fast building vehicles on a shoestring budget, while its modern stars pilot computer designed cars worth millions of dollars.

And yet, even as its public face becomes more and more corporate, sportsmen racers put the lie to the idea that drag racing is only for the rich. It's appropriate then, that in a sport that still owes so much of its past and present to the 'little guy,' one of the finest books you're likely to find about one of the sport's historic moments doesn't come from a huge publishing house, or an established author, but is a self-published treatise written for the love of the sport, and the memories that sport has wrought.

Any self-respecting drag racing fan is likely to be familiar with the story of 1959 and the remarkable events that populated that year: the first (official) 180 mph run, the first March Meet, the back and forth record duel between Don Garlits and Art Chrisman and more, but no matter how many books you may have read, Bryant's work is stillwell worth your time. Bryant's passion for the sport and his love of it pulse through each page, making what could have been a dry recitation of facts and events into a pleasure to read.

Populated with pictures from seemingly every collection under the sun, including some not shown anywhere else, newspaper and magazine clippings, and the memories of the people that were there, Three Weeks in March is an excellent addition to any drag racing fan's library, and also makes a wonderful primer for anyone who's not familiar with those historic days fifty years ago.

Just like a race can be boiled down to the bare minimum: get to the end first, so a review, in its most basic form is as simple as answering a question: Is this book/movie/whatever worth your time and money. To answer that question in a word, yes. Yes it is.

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