Riverside International Raceway: A Photographic Tour of the Historic Track, Its Legendary Races, and Unforgettable Drivers

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9781938170119: Riverside International Raceway: A Photographic Tour of the Historic Track, Its Legendary Races, and Unforgettable Drivers

A photographic history of one of racing’s greatest lost tracks.

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About the Author:

To author Pete Lyons, childhood vacations meant traveling around the United States in the Rolls Royce owned by his father, Ozzie Lyons, an avid photographer, engineer, writer, editor, travel enthusiast, car restorer, and racing fan. Pete picked up his father’s auto and photojournalistic enthusiasm from a very young age, and gradually covering motorsports became his career.

Pete spent six seasons reporting for Autosport, where he attended events such as the Daytona 24-hour and 500-mile races, the Indy 500, and the Formula One Grand Prix in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. He found particular inspiration from the Can-Am Challenge Cup, which inspired three of his ten books.

Later he moved to international races and contributed to a wide variety of automotive publications, including Vintage Racecar, AutoWeek, Racer, Road & Track, Corvette Quarterly, Car and Driver, Vintage Motorsport, Cycle, Cycle World, Private Pilot, and many others. His work has twice been honored with the Dean Batchelor Award from the Motor Press Guild for Excellence in Journalism, plus an Award for Journalism given by the Road Racing Driver’s Club and the International Motor Press Association’s Ken Purdy Award.

Today Pete works writing books and photographing races with his wife, Lorna Fitts Lyons, and taking cross-country flights in their plane from their home in the beautiful mountain community of Big Bear, California.

Review:

Riverside Raceway and Pete Lyons, I simply cannot think of better combination. In this beautiful book [Lyons] takes his readers on an eye-witness tour though three decades of competition at the iconic Riverside International Raceway Lyons adds life to the legends and lore of the rocky desert outpost located about 65 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.”
Doug Stokes, LACar.com
"Long a fascination of competition car enthusiasts from around the world, the Riverside International Raceway has never before been the subject of such a comprehensive and enlightened historical review. It would be difficult to imagine a better selection of images integrated with a more engaging story about the creation, heyday, and ultimate demise of the track that has become synonymous with one of the most fondly remembered eras in the history of auto racing in America."
Leslie Mark Kendall
Curator, Petersen Automotive Museum

"It was a great time in my broadcasting career. Riverside International Raceway will always have a warm spot in my heart and this book beautifully brings the Raceway back to life."
Ralph Lawler
Radio-TV Broadcaster, Los Angeles Clippers

Amy’s #NASCAR Reading List: Riverside International Raceway by Pete Lyons
I have the privilege of reviewing yet another beautiful book of historic race photography for you my readers this book is Riverside International Raceway by Pete Lyons. Riverside International Raceway documents the history of a track now gone (it is now a subdivision) in beautiful pictures and words.

Right from the back dust jacket of the book we are told that even diehard Riverside raceway fans will admit the environment was usually too hot, sometimes too cold, extremely dry or depressingly wet, often windy and never ever a garden spot” however they still came in droves.

The book details the three decades or so of Riverside Raceway’s life and subsequent death. The desert, the races, the speed. It’s laid out in chapters that detail specifics of the track and the series that ran it including: FIA Formula 1, SCCA Pro Racing, NASCAR, TransAm, Can-AM, USAC, CART Indy Cars, IROC, Off Road (and the list goes on). A sampling of names in the book: Fred Lorenzen, Rick Mears, Geoff Bodine, Emerson Fittipaldi, Terry Labonte, Bobby Rahal, Tom Sneva, AJ Foyt, and native son Dan Gurney (who also wrote the book’s foreword) to name a few grabbed while flipping through the book to remind myself of its contents for review purposes. My favorite part of the book beyond the photography is just a little sidebar on page 43 detailing the track’s history in film being so close yet so far away from Hollywood. The book is chucked full of interesting sidebars including one on how the track was used for teaching driving (page 74), the Olympic Relay (Page 83). There are so many photos that it’s impossible to pick just one but perhaps the most poignant picture is the one on page 191 a photo of a piece of the speedway and a Riverside Raceway patch. Gone but obviously not forgotten by this book.

They physical book itself is a heavy duty book, with a gorgeous dust jacket. The book is 204 pages inclusive of the indexes.

Written by Pete Lyons, Riverside International Raceway clearly demonstrates Lyon’s obvious love of motorsports and the time period of Riverside. Pete Lyon’s father, Ozzie Lyons, was the U.S. correspondent to Britain’s Autosport magazine, and often took Pete with him during vacations. It’s that kind of of exposure from childhood through adulthood that allows someone like Pete Lyons to cultivate such a gorgeous book.

This book will satisfy the history buffs, the auto racing buffs and the photography buffs. If your father is any one of these? He will love this book for Father’s Day or any day.

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