Sam Moses, a motorsports writer for Sports Illustrated, was assigned to go racing and write about what happened. Fast Guys, Rich Guys, and Idiots is a personal odyssey that peers over the cliff of change and into the pit of obsession. From small-time races to glittery grands prix, it lays bare the greed, lust, and desperation of every driver for time behind the wheel and a faster car. It explains the perfectionism behind taking a turn at the limit and describes the intoxicating thrill of stealing down the Daytona backstraight at nearly 200 miles an hour.
The core of Moses' story takes place in the heartland of stock car racing, there he finds a spot on a team in Ether, North Carolina. The team's owner is a tough Louisiana oil man, its crew chief a lanky, laconic Texan, and its number-one driver a hairy-chested leadfoot who learned fast driving on backwoods Georgia roads, delivering beauty supplies in his Mustang. Crashes echo throughout the tale that follows, five of them the author's own.