Dale Swanson was a top race mechanic, careful and creative. Tiny Lund was a good, ferocious competitor, particularly on dirt tracks, and Johnny Beauchamp in fewer than thirty races proved he could race and win against the top NASCAR drivers. This book describes how these three learned to compete on midwestern tracks. . . . It is a story not to be missed.”—Rex White, 1960 NASCAR Grand National Champion.


“A detailed account of stock car racing’s overlooked pre-TV days, a simpler era when a big-hearted, lead-footed, small-town midwestern boy could reach NASCAR’s top tiers. This is more than an investigation of the controversial first Daytona 500. It’s the story of the sport’s coming of age.”—Neal Thompson, author, Driving with the Devil: Southern Moonshine, Detroit Wheels, and the Birth of NASCAR.


“John Havick has written an important, informative account of the early days of racing in the Midwest. He focuses on the life and times of Iowan Johnny Beauchamp, the Ghost of Playland Park, the declared victor of the very first Daytona 500—until NASCAR czar Bill France and racing legend Lee Petty conspired to cheat him out of his victory. The Ghosts of NASCAR is a winner.”—Peter Golenbock, author, American Zoom, The Last Lap, and NASCAR Confidential.