“SEA TO SHINING SEA: Racing from the Wild West to Daytona"

Motorsports publisher Coastal 181 announced the release of “SEA TO SHINING SEA: Racing from the Wild West to Daytona,” by Ken Clapp with Bones Bourcier. It is the newest in a long string of popular racing books presented by the company over the last 22 years, focused on recording and preserving the color and drama of oval-track racing across the United States. 

Call it an auto(racing)biography, with everything happening at speed. One day Ken Clapp is just a boy attending races with his parents, the next he’s on pit crews, learning at the elbow of master mechanic Cos Cancilla. Then the management end of motorsports catches his interest, and he’s mixing with key players like Bob Barkhimer and Margo Burke, the region’s busiest race organizers; promotional whiz J.C. Agajanian; and Riverside International Raceway boss Les Richter. Crucially, he allies with NASCAR founder Bill France and his son, Bill Jr., eventually becoming a NASCAR Vice President and Director. 
Meanwhile, through his company CARS Inc.—California Auto Racing Speedways—he staged races at a huge number of tracks in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Canada. There were stock cars, Supermodifieds, Sprinters, Midgets, and motorcycles. Incredibly, Clapp’s guess is that he had a direct role in “a bit more than 6,000” single-day events. Has anyone—not a sanctioning body, but a promoter or small promotional team—ever put on more? 

With time and accomplishment came respect on a national level. Track owners called him for advice. He spoke at promoters’ workshops, counseled fair boards, consulted with politicians and civic leaders. He was NASCAR’s point man on exploratory trips that led to races in Australia, Japan, and Mexico. Aware that his sport had not always done a great job of preserving its history, he assumed stewardship of the lively institution now known as the West Coast Stock Car Motorsports Hall of Fame. 

Aside from all the pure history in this tale, Clapp walks us cleverly behind the scenes, taking us to places where some of the best-known racing names—some in fire suits, some in business suits—succeed and fail. 

“SEA TO SHINING SEA,” priced at $39.95, can be ordered online at www.coastal181.com or by calling Coastal 181 at 877-907-8181 toll free. The website, updated daily, includes over 1500 other motorsports books and DVDs, as well as hundreds of photos and racing commentaries. 

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