Gear: Relive Stories of Racing’s Golden Era in Where the Writer Meets the Road

Relive Stories of Racing’s Golden Era in Where the Writer Meets the Road

Avatar By Benjamin Shahrabani
May 11, 2015
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The book: Where The Writer Meets The Road
Author: Sam Posey, Forwarded by David Hobbs
Pages: 192
Purchase: Click here

Author Sam Posey has held perhaps the ultimate trifecta of jobs, at least as far as the automobile enthusiast might be concerned. He has been variously a racing driver, journalist, and broadcast commentator. Where the Writer Meets the Road: A Collection of Articles, Broadcast Intros, and Profiles is his third book.

Before this, there was The Mudge Pond Express, Posey’s autobiographical reminiscences of his early days as a racing driver in the 1960s and 70s, and Playing with Trains, which would chronicle his fascination and love of locomotion of the scale model variety. But his practical experience in a driver’s seat—Posey would finish 3rd in the 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans, and win the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1975, as well as competing at the likes of the Indianapolis 500—would both inform, and lead him to a second career: writing.

Following his retirement as an active driver, Posey would move to print journalism for publications such as Road & Track, and Sports Illustrated, as well as broadcast television work for ABC, NBC, and the Speed Channel for which he would be awarded a Sports Emmy for his commentating contributions at the 1982 Indianapolis 500, considered by many to be one of the greatest editions of the race ever.

Where the Writer Meets the Road is a curated selection of Posey’s automotive journalism from those outlets. Spanning almost four decades, there are stories that don’t involve racing—one of my favorites is how the author managed to convince his mother to loan him the money to purchase a 300 SL Gullwing when it was just a used car—but the bulk of the book’s contents contain lots of insider information and history on events like Can-Am sports car racing, Le Mans, Formula One and Trans-Am.

Along the way, the author doesn’t forget dishing about friends and acquaintances, many of whom he battled against, drivers such Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney, Phil Hill, Roger Penske, Mark Donohue and Brian Redman. Posey’s interests also go beyond the automotive; he is a visiting art critic at Williams College, and a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, and designed the start-finish tower at Lime Rock.

Because Posey possesses the first hand knowledge, and insight of how it feels to be in the cockpit of a race car, instead of merely spectating trackside, the stories, whether they are profiles, or even broadcast intros before the show begins, feel subjectively richer for it. One feels like they are riding along with the author in any of the races, and events he describes.

With well-written words accompanied by a selection of both black and white and color photos, this is a good anthology of work from a man who walked the walk in an oftentimes dangerous sport…and lived to write about it.

Criticisms are few, but I would have preferred a more chronological order to the selections. Still, the book is worth purchasing, if only to learn of Posey’s diverse interests and enviable accomplishments on the track, and off. Posey truly did meet the road and lived to tell its tales.

Purchase Where the Writer Meets the Road: A Collection of Articles, Broadcast Intros, and Profiles.

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