Brock Yates QuotesBrock Wendel Yates was an American print and TV journalist, screenwriter, and author. He was longtime executive editor of Car and Driver, an American automotive magazine.
Some critics of racing witlessly claim that spectators only attend to see someone die. This is utter and complete nonsense. I have been at numerous races where death is present. When a driver dies, the crowd symbolically dies, too. They come to see action at the brink: ultimate risk taking and the display of skill and bravery embodied in the sport’s immortals like Nuvolari, Foyt, and thousands of others who operate at the ragged edge.
Unlike conventional jocks, who tend to sell aluminum siding and give canned speeches to parochial-school athletic banquets in the off-season, race drivers never shuck their image when they leave the stadium. They are supposed to be zany, nomadic soldiers of fortune who are involved in wild endeavors during every waking moment.
Why the hell not run a race across the United States? A balls-out, shoot-the-moon, f***-the-establishment rumble from New York to Los Angeles to prove what we had been harping about for years, for example, that good drivers in good automobiles could employ the American Interstate system the same way the Germans were using their Autobahns? Yes, make high-speed travel by car a reality! Truth and justice affirmed by an overtly illegal act.
The appeal of the Riverside 500 was based on that overall spectacle of witnessing a mob of brightly colored, bellowing automobiles gamboling over the countryside like a herd of runaway steers. Stock car roadracing is in fact like a mechanical stampede, and we personally think it’s maybe the neatest form of motor racing known to man. It’s definitely the greatest spectacle in roadracing.