Before we tell you what this book is about, let us explain why it’s important. Books on auto racing tend to focus on drivers because they’re the stars of the show. You have to look long, and hard, to find a story that tells how the spectacle of motorsport actually takes place, which is due to the labors of a lot of people who don’t necessarily wear helmets. This wonderful volume is exactly that kind of book. If you don’t know who Roger Bailey is, he’s a longtime mechanic and team manager in top-level auto racing who, along with the late Pat Patrick, founded an organization called the American Racing Series for would-be Indy drivers looking for reasonably affordable seat time. In 1991, the ARS was reborn as today’s Indy Lights series, the top tier of the Road to Indy program that Bailey ran until his retirement in 2012. The Indy Lights program is one of racing’s premier training grounds; its champions that have gone on to INDYCAR stardom include Tony Kanaan, Josef Newgarden and Pato O’Ward.
Boost! Roger Bailey’s Extraordinary Motor Racing Career is the brainchild of acclaimed motorsport journalist Gordon Kirby and bears the imprint of Racemaker Press in Boston, which stands nearly alone on these shores when it comes to publishing meticulously researched works on racing history like this one. Boost – it’s both the title and Bailey’s nickname – takes you through his early days in England where he labored on tube-chassis formula cars before he made his way to America, first gaining acclaim as the boss of Roger Penske’s team effort in the wild Can-Am series. This book, which runs to 210 beautifully produced pages, is also the definitive Indy Lights history, augmented with a full rundown of champions and race winners. At $60.00, it’s a delight for serious fans of American open-wheel racing.