Hemmings MUSCLE MACHINES | May 2016 | hemmings.com
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On a cruise ship floating around in the Caribbean, I had a chance to read the great new book by Bones Bourcier titled, "Foyt, Andretti, Petty: America's Racing Trinity."
It may just be the best book on motorsports that I have read, or at least the best in a long time. And Bones continues to be a master at putting words on paper.
I learned more about the three motorsports legends reading that book than I had learned during all the years that I have been writing about them for a variety of publications.
I have said this before and I will repeat it: A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti and Richard Petty may be the only racers that even people who are not fans of the sport and know little or nothing about the sport can relate to. All three have been retired from driving, and all three continue to be synonymous with the sport.
If I were to wander around the Giant supermarket in Langhorne and ask shoppers if they recognized the names of these three great racers, I believe a large majority would know the names.
The book showed me that none of them were born with a silver spoon in their mouth, and each had challenges in their youth years.
It was a book that once started, I found difficult to put down, and I seemed to carry it around on the ship just about everywhere I went.
Bones refers to A.J. Foyt as John Wayne in a fire suit. I am taking for granted that some of the younger readers will know who John Wayne was.
Think about this: In 1967, Andretti beat the best NASCAR had to offer when he won at Daytona. It was the year that Foyt won his third Indy 500 and Petty won 27 NASCAR Cup races.
The book is filled with quotes from all three and from their peers. It contains period accounts from the motorsports world and the changing social landscape.
In the 348 pages, including 24 pages of great photography, there is the history of modern American racing as reflected through the lives of three outstanding champions.
The forewords by noted broadcaster Dave Despain and former NASCAR/IndyCar driver John Andretti are well done and will hold the interest of readers by getting the book off to a very good start. John is the nephew of Mario, he raced for Foyt and Petty, and is A.J.'s godson.