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I usually don’t watch all of the Monaco race. I usually, as a west coast race fan, get up in time to watch the last half of the race. But this weekend for some reason, one of my dogs (Abbie) decided that she needed out at 5:15 am.  Usually when she has such an early morning call to nature on a weekend (any weekend) I let her out, let her in and then go back to bed.  But I thought to myself Sunday morning, I am going to see if I can find the Grand Prix on tv and just leave my tv on and maybe I will sleep and maybe I won’t. Which was silly of me- I don’t sleep with the TV on. Once my brain becomes engaged in something, forget going to sleep.  So Sunday I watched all three major races, flag-to-flag. (more…)

I have to tell you I am in love with the new Speed Read series by Motorbooks/Quarto Publishing. I was offered the first two books of the series to review- and what you should know is that I will own the entire series (which as it stands now will include six books- but personally I am hoping for more).  That is how much I love these books.

I will start with the first book- Speed Read Car Design by author Tony Lewin.  It’s a lovely, no-nonsense, no extraneous fluff, information book that gives readers the history and concept of modern car design.  The book is broken up into seven easily digestible sections (think chapters) starting with The Birth Of Car Design then moving quickly into a Century of Changing Shapes, then into Innovation, The Elements of Style, and then into Engineering, Interiors and Space. It then takes on The Creative Process and closes with What Comes Next, which as the title suggests is the future of car design. Each subsection with in the section has relevant and beautifully clean matte “old school” illustrations and each section ends with a topic glossary- which as a word nerd I absolutely adore.  I admit that my favorite sections personally of car design is the Creative process- specifically the subsection “The Step-by-Step of Car Design” which literally  breaks up the entire process of modern car design into six steps.  I also rather enjoyed perusing both the subsections “Techniques and Tools” subsection which goes briefly into specific modeling tools used in the process of car design and the subsection on “Fashion, fads and Corporate Styles” which details the specific designs and styles that are expected by certain auto manufacturers.  Speed Read Car Design was put together by Tony Lewin, writer and editor for Automotive News Europe, who it’s quite obvious has spent most of his  life driving cars, analyzing them and reporting on the ups and downs of the manufactures that build them and global cultural factors that influence them.  He has also authored several other books on automotive car design.

The next book in the series that I got to review was Speed Read F1 by Stuart Codling.  Much like Car Design, F1 is also split into seven sections (chapters) and filled with beautiful matte illustrations and relevant sidebars in each subsection.  Also each section also ends in that lovely glossary- which I love even more in the F1 book than I did in the car design book because sometimes racing terminology in F1 is different than I am use to and it helps this NASCAR and NHRA lover figure out what is being discussed.  The sections F1 is broken up in order are: Technology, Drivers, Rivalries, Racing Circuits, Flag To Finish, Staying Alive, and Taking Care Of Business.  As someone who has watched F1 on multiple occasions or but not closely enough to know all the intricacies this particular form of motorsport, I found this book refreshing as a crash course in the particulars of F1 and what makes it unique in the motorsports world.  Much like Car Design, F1 is also written in a clear, easy to read manner.  My favorite section in this book was Rivalries, which lists a several of the sports stand-out rivalries. Especially with some of the more historic rivalries, while I likely recognized the name of at least one of the drivers I was able to read through the particulars of what makes that specific rivalry contentious.  My second favorite section was the Staying Alive section as it detailed safety and how it has evolved with F1 through the years. Speed Read F1 was written by Stuart Codling, who you may know as a broadcaster and F1 expert if you already follow the sport. He has also been featured before in Amy’s #NASCAR Reading list for his Lamborghini Supercar book.  You can find out more about Stuart on his website StuartCodling.com.

The Speed Read series are kind of like a combination guide book and textbook (and I mean textbook in the most loving bookophile, booknerd way).  They are beautiful high quality paperbacks that measure approximately 6.9 x 8.9 inches.  Speed Read Car Design and Speed Read F1 are available now for purchase. I know I mentioned this before but I absolutely love these books and I am greatly looking forward to the future editions of Speed Read- which will include Speed Read Mustang and Speed Read Ferrari to be released soon and also will include Speed Read Supercars and Speed Read Porsche 911 to be released later in the year. I would like to see even more books in the series- including ones on different racing forms like NASCAR, NHRA, INDYCAR, etc but there is nothing in the works for that that I know of.

For Full-Disclosure purposes (I am looking at you FTC):

I received both books (Speed Read Car Design and Speed Read F1 from the publisher in hopes I would reveiw the books. As with all my reviews on BadGroove, opinions on this book are my own. The links to purchase the book provided in this review are NOT affiliate links and I do not earn anything off of this review.

Click here for other installments of Amy’s #NASCAR Reading List

Rush Movie Poster: Everyone's driven by something.

The closer you are to death, the more alive you feel. It’s a wonderful way to live. It’s the only way to drive. – James Hunt, Rush 2013

I have been giddy like a school girl ever since I found out about Ron Howard’s Rush. I might be primarily into NASCAR these days- but my first race was open wheel (CART) and I am willing to watch pretty much anything with wheels if given the opportunity- whether that be at the track, on television or yes in the movie theater. I don’t go to many movies in the theater so when Misty mentioned maybe going to see Rush while I was in town for a visit and the truck series race I practically screamed affirmations at her with excitement  since she obviously wanted to see the movie too. (more…)

First order of business…Mobil 1 has produced a six part series on The Story of Oil….with the help of animated Jenson Button, animated Sergio Perez and yes…animated Tony Stewart.  The first episode is “What’s It Oil About” and is up on the Mobil 1 youtube channel now:

UPDATED TO ADD: Here is episode two: The History of Lubrication. (more…)

I almost never go to the movies. I really don’t- I think that the last movie I went to was Les Miserables when I went to see it alone on my birthday (despite being sick as a dog) because I wanted to see it one more time on the big screen before it went out of the theaters. It’s not that I don’t WANT to see movies mind you- I will see a preview for a movie and think to myself…HEY!! That looks REALLY good (or REALLY funny).   I always want to see movies if I think they have ANYTHING to do with racing but I also like a little bit of action and of course I tend to like romcoms (extra points if you are an action romcom about racing- I am ALL over that).  I will either forget about that movie by the time it comes out until I see it again on the shelves at Target or at the check-stand at the grocery store or I can’t find anyone who wants to see that particular movie because I have weird tastes in movies. Or I am not in the mood to go to the theater and have the experience spoiled by someone who is ____ (enter offensive behavior here: Talking, kicking my seat, crying, etc).

Case in point: Turbo. It looks adorably cute! AND YES I KNOW IT’S A CARTOON- but it still looks cute.  Who doesn’t love the classic underdog storyline? I am a sucker for it…and a snail that wants to win the Indy 500?! CUTE!  I would like to see it.  I don’t want to have to fight throngs of children to do it (I know it’s a kid’s movie– you don’t have to leave me a comment reminding- I do KNOW this and I am not anti-child really- I love the little boogers. I am anti-parents-who-don’t-watch-their-kids). Plus movie theaters on the weekends where I live make me want to shove popcorn down my throat until I asphyxiate because of all the people- especially around here where there isn’t really anything better to do than to go to the movies. Don’t worry- I probably WILL see it ad nauseum once it comes out on DVD since I have three nephews all three of whom seem to have a love of things with wheels (or wings or both).  Anyway- today I found out that IRL drivers Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves and Ryan Hunter-Reay all consulted on the movie.  That makes me want to watch it more- how do you even consult on a cartoon- aren’t cartoons all fantasy based anyway? I seriously doubt that there is a real life snail out there that thinks it can win the Indy 500!

(Photo Credit: Universal Pictures – Director Ron Howard’s Formula One-based film, “Rush,” will be in American theaters on Sept. 20 picture found on Autoweek.com)

But then there are movies that MUST be seen on the big screen at least once. I have a feeling that RUSH is going to be one of those movies.  I already want to see it in the theater and you can be dang sure I probably will.  It’s got the racing. It’s got the action. From the preview I saw it looks like it’s got some interesting cinematography.  It’s not hurt ONE bit by the fact that one of the main actors is Chris Hemsworth because well hey he was THOR and I liked him in the Red Dawn remake- despite the fact that I went into the remake wanting to hate it because YOU DON’T MESS with a classic like Red Dawn!   Oh and Ron Howard and F1…and well it’s got great potential! I can’t wait…this one has me looking forward to it. A lot.

What are your favorite race movies? What are you looking forward to seeing?