Great Books to Read About Car Racing

Each year, hundreds if not thousands of racing events take place around the world. There is no doubt that the fans enjoy the vicious and loud noises of the V8 engines. While the best drivers compete against each other to take the top spot, the blood and sweat factor is often overlooked. 

Apart from the entertainment factor, car racing has significantly evolved over the years. Infact, some drivers have even explained their journeys through books, which is nothing less than a treat for the car racing fans. If you are someone who wants to study and understand car racing from the ground up, we have some impressive books for you to consider. Let’s discuss.

Factors to Consider When Buying Car Racing Books

Well-Written and Engaging

As obvious as it might seem but car racing books sometimes do get boring midway. This might be the case with adventure fiction books but should not be with car racing books. Even if the book happens to be well-written, the reader might lose interest. This means that the author should ensure that the information provided is precise and up to the mark so that the reader does not consider it a waste of time.

The thing with car racing books is that most of them are written to preserve history or sharing personal experiences but relatively less attention is given to the engaging factor. The reader should feel as if they are going through the same experience and can relate to the story. This is why some splendid literature on car racing has gone to waste in the past simply because the author did not bother engaging the fans or readers.

Moreover, car-racing books are not only read by professionals but also beginners. Therefore, they might not understand the technical terms at first. A good racing book in that respect should make it easier to understand the basic concepts without diving straight into complicated things. As a result, the readers will not feel as if they have been left out from the discussion. 

Should Be On Point

Irrespective of the type of car racing book you are opting to read, it should have a point and be on point. The best car racing books out there possess this quality, which helps the reader understand what the author is trying to say. 

In some cases, while reading some of the best books about car racing out there, readers come across a weird portion or section, which does not follow any logic or sense of being included in the final manuscript. As a result, the reader, even after going through hundreds of pages in the book, fails to understand the point. Ultimately, it leads to confusion, which is the last thing you would want in a book. 

If the author for some reason has shared a different point for each section, then each point should be made clear. It should not be expected of the reader to understand the point on their own especially if the book has multiple of them. A reader will only hang on to a point for a few minutes until he/she gives up.

Honest Opinion

Car racing is an entirely separate world in itself. It was introduced centuries ago and until now, thousands of drivers have gone by. As mentioned earlier, some drivers were generous enough to share their fantastic experiences in their books. However, what makes the best books on car racing stand out are honest opinions and unbiasedness. 

Even if the book is well-balanced, sometimes the authors get a bit carried away with biased opinions. Even for an excellent car-racing book out there, this is simply a disaster. Similar to war books, car racing books include thousands of events, drivers, races, and important events that change the course of history.

Presenting the facts as they are or were turns a regular book into an excellent book. While choosing the perfect car racing book, the reader will prefer the one upon whom he/she can rely for precise and accurate information. If for some reason, biased opinions come into play, the reader will hardly pay attention to the remaining book.

Represents Others Fairly

Car racing is an extremely competitive world, be it NASCAR, Formula 1, etc. This competition has given birth to hundreds of legendary drives over the years. However, when it comes to describing some situations or individuals, the authors dig a bit too deep and represent others unfairly. 

It should be kept in mind that the best car racing books to read should provide a correct overall picture of the subject. For instance, if you are talking about how Formula 1 drivers have contributed to the betterment of Formula 1, the reader would like to read and envision both factors as one rather than considering them separately. 

While it can be said that not all racing events in the past have been fair, the reader does not want to hear that as most of them know about it already. What they would like to read is the solutions and fixes made as a result. If the author likes to hold two or three drivers accountable in each section by presenting his/her opinions, you cannot expect the book to be fair and informational.  

Our Top Picks

Here is a quick look at our top picks.

(Best-Overall)Racing to the Finish: My StoryImpressively detailed autobiographyHighlights the journey of emotionsBest value for money
(Best-Budget)Full Circle by Liz AllisonThe story of Davey AllisonIncludes relatively less information about the overall car-racing worldCompelling story at a reasonable price

Recommended Books

Where to Buy
Racing to the Finish: My Story
F1 Mavericks: The Men and Machines that Revolutionized Formula 1 Racing
Racing Mustangs: An International Photographic History 1964-1986 (Made in America)
Touring Car Racing: 1958-2018: The History of the British Touring Car Championship
Full Circle: The Story of Davey Allison (Profiles in American Stock Car Racing)
Icons of Motorsport: An Adolescence Lived During the Golden Age of Sports Car Racing (1966-71)

1. Racing to the Finish: My Story

Racing to the Finish takes the top spot when it comes to discussing the best car racing books for beginners. It is a personal account of driver Dale Earnhardt. Jr’s final year of racing. Even though Earnhardt enjoyed racing but many a time, he thought of living a full and happy life.

From the outside, the only thing the fans could see was that Earnhardt was born for racing but Earnhardt wanted something more, something that the racing world did not offer. The year 2017 saw him racing for the last time as he got into an accident. 

He soon realized that concussions from accidents are leading to serious consequences. His recovery wasn’t easy either. A journey of struggles to end the career his own way and the determination to share the story with millions of others is a perfect recipe for the best car-racing book out there. 

Key Features:

  • A true understanding of concussions
  • Personal car-racing journey
  • Honest opinions

2. F1 Mavericks: The Men and Machines that Revolutionized Formula 1 Racing

If you are into Formula 1 racing and wish to learn its splendid history, then there is nothing outclassing, FV Mavericks through motorsports photographer, Pete Biro. This book is all about the most fondly remembered era in Formula 1 racing, including the transition from front engines to rear engines, narrow treaded tires to massive slicks, etc. 

In other words, the Mavericks era defined and laid down the basics of the modern Formula 1 car. At the time, legendary drivers like Jack Brabham and Jim Clark were also at their peak. However, the book also discusses the engineers and designers behind the scenes. Apart from meeting the drivers in the book, you will also get to hear from a dozen others that made it so interesting.

Key Features:

  • Accurate description of Formula 1 evolution
  • Highlights the turning point of Formula 1 cars
  • Discusses engineers, designers, drivers, and modern technologies

3. Racing Mustangs: An International Photographic History 1964-1986 (Made in America)

Since the launch of the Ford Mustang in 1964, it has remained one of the top racing cars in history. Infact, if you recall history, you would hardly find someone that does not love driving Ford Mustangs. Over the years, Ford Mustangs have engaged in countless international competitions ranging from Great Britain to New Zealand. 

This book is a tribute to one of the best racing cars of its era and focuses on production-based cars rather than the heavily modified tube-frame silhouette machines that began appearing in the late 70s. This book is a perfect photographic celebration of the Ford Mustang’s popularity.

Key Features:

  • History of Ford Mustang racing car
  • Intricate details and photos
  • The global popularity of Ford Mustang

4. Touring Car Racing: 1958-2018: The History of the British Touring Car Championship

Touring Car Racing is an accurate representation of both the early and modern British Touring Car racing scene. It celebrates 60-years of splendid car racing, which began with Mini Coopers and Lotus Cortinas to the modern Honda Civics and Vauxhall Astras. 

With over 600 photos, the book captures every single detail year by year. In addition to that, the author has dedicated a separate section for each year including the top cars and drives along with key statistics and profile of each champion driver via photos. This is undoubtedly amongst the best car racing books to date. 

Key Features:

  • Over 600 photos
  • Profiles of champion drivers
  • Key statistics

5. Full Circle: The Story of Davey Allison (Profiles in American Stock Car Racing)

You know what they say, it is the driver that wins the race, not the car. Considering the overwhelming number of legends the world of car racing has witnessed, we often forget some who made their mark without making too much noise. This was the case with the 1987 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year and 1992 Daytona 500 Winner, Davey Allison.

Similar to the likes of Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, Davey Allison was an impactful driver with a very short racing career. Those who have been following the 90’s car racing scene know how important was Allison for the racing world at the time.

This book remembers his ups and downs on both personal and professional levels and how he became a strong car racing character for years to come. 

Key Features:

  • The story of Davey Allison
  • Impactful content
  • Compelling biography

6. Icons of Motorsport: An Adolescence Lived During the Golden Age of Sports Car Racing (1966-71)

The Icons of Motorsport takes a deep look into the life of a racecar driver, which to some looks fabulous from the outside but full of broken backs and near-death experiences. The author having grown up participating in ski-racing and driving fast cars relates to the direct costs one has to pay. 

Car racing is a thrilling yet dangerous sport, which death and serious casualties waiting around every corner. However, this is exactly the way the world sees it. On the other hand, there are emotions, fear, anxiety, and the hunger to win for the drivers and the entire team, which makes the entire sport a perfect love story.

Key Features:

  • Includes some of the most iconic cars
  • A relationship between a racer and the world of racing
  • Extremely relatable story

Comparison Chart

Here is a quick comparison table to make your purchase decision easier

  Racing to the Finish: My StoryF1 Mavericks: The Men and Machines that Revolutionized Formula 1 RacingRacing Mustangs: An International Photographic History 1964-1986 (Made in America)Touring Car Racing: 1958-2018: The History of the British Touring Car ChampionshipFull Circle: The Story of Davey Allison (Profiles in American Stock Car Racing)
Price (Hardcover)$13.76$50.00$110.10$90.00$9.83
AuthorDale Earnhardt Jr.Pete Biro and Niki LaudSteve HolmesMatt James and Alan J. GowLiz Allison and David Green
Main IdeaA personal account of Dale Earnhardt’s final racing journeyThe evolution of Formula 1 racingThe history and rise of the Ford Mustang racing car60-years of British Touring Car ChampionshipAutobiography of a racing legend, Davey Allison
  Icons of Motorsport: An Adolescence Lived During the Golden Age of Sports Car Racing (1966-71)
Price (Hardcover)$48
AuthorMitchell E. Optican
Main IdeaA look into the personal and professional life of a race car driver


There is no denying that car-racing has significantly improved over the years and continues to do so. While the update in technologies and features is one thing, understanding the emotions and struggles of the drivers and the entire team behind the scenes is another. This is why it is important to experience the world of car racing from every angle. With that said, the books highlighted above will give you a clear and transparent view of how it all started back in the day and take you into the future of car-racing at the same time.