The history of auto racing in Delaware and on the Delmarva Peninsula is a rich one, and Laurel native Chad Culver has written a book about it: “Legends of Delaware Auto Racing.”
Culver is an educator, motorsports historian and curator of the Culver Auto Racing Museum located at his home in North Carolina.
This is his fourth book and the second dealing specifically with the grassroots history of the sport, the first being “Delaware Auto Racing” (Arcadia Press 2012).
The new book chronicles the lives and achievements of many of the drivers, race teams and families that have made Delaware auto racing so memorable for so many race fans over the decades. Culver is one of those fans. From an early age he and his father, Wayne, attended auto races at most of the facilities in Delaware. This instilled a love of the sport in him, and that has evolved into the desire to preserve its history.
Each chapter is a mini-biography of one of the individuals or families who are the foundation of Delmarva’s auto racing history.
Visionary Melvin L. Joseph, creator of Georgetown Speedway and Dover Downs International Speedway, and Charlie Cathell, owner/promoter of Delaware International Speedway, are profiled. Their contributions, as well as their families’ contributions to Delaware motorsports, are immeasurable.
Information about the region’s contribution to the sport nationally includes chapters on Norris “Speedy” Reed, whose NASCAR team made history when it took the pole for the 1976 Daytona 500. Another chapter chronicles Newton Trucking Co. owner Tom Garn of Seaford, whose support of the fledgling NASCAR career of Richard Childress laid the foundation for Richard Childress Racing, whose drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Sr., played huge parts in NASCAR history.
Drivers who have been the weekend racing heroes of many are also featured. Paul Walker, Johnny Martin, Haines Tull, “Snookie” Vent, Harold Bunting, the Pettyjohn family, Richard Jarvis and Hal Browning, and many more are each dedicated a chapter that will bring back memories to veteran fans and thrill those who are enamored of auto racing.
Culver will appear for a book signing from 10 to 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 14, at Browseabout Books, 133 Rehoboth Ave, Rehoboth Beach. For more information, call 302-226-2665 or go to www.browseaboutbooks.com.