RacingNation.com – the web based authority on all forms of auto racing from across the nation – recently published a book review on “Lyn St. James – An Incredible Journey.”
If you missed it the first time around, the book, Lyn St. James – An Incredible Journey is still a fresh read and puts you behind the wheel of a fire-breathing Indy Car. The book chronicles Lyn St, James’ career from a SCCA club racer in the early-1970s to her final year in competition at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The introduction provides one of the best descriptions of what it is like driving an Indy Car in anger. Describing intimates details that the novice to the seasoned veteran-racing fan can appreciate. I loved her description of an Indy Car engine, “Sitting in a custom-molded race seat a few inches off the ground, the most dominant sound you hear is a constant high-pitched wait, a noise that is at once as beautiful as a concert piano and as unnerving as a sonic boom.”
Lyn describes in detail her first race car, a 1973 Ford Pinto that was converted to SCCA racing, and her humbling encounter with a Florida ‘gator hole.’ The book flashes between her rise through the ranks of the SCCA and into professional road racing, IMSA in the 1980’s’s into the 1980’s and her attempts to get the sponsorship needed to drive in the 2000 Indianapolis 500 for Dick Simon Racing.
Lyn does a great job chronicling her struggles and challenges to break through the male-dominated sport. You relive her triumphs of her wins in IMSA and record-breaking runs at Daytona and Talladega and her frightening crashes at Riverside and the Brickyard. Lyn has an uncanny ability to take you behind the scenes, walking with her when she’s meeting with her crew, testing a new race car or chatting with potential sponsors at a corporate meeting.
Chapter 11 was an eye-opening chapter for me as Lyn takes you behind the scenes at Jack Roush Racing at Daytona International Speedway for the prestigious 24 Hours of Daytona. You live her frustrations of a potentially career damaging situation and the change of heart of she had. Thus, the aptly name of the chapter, Controlling Your Moment …or It will Control You.
Her credentials are impeccable as Lyn was the first woman to win the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Award, a two-time class winner of the 24 Hours of Daytona, and a two-time competitor in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans race who has made over a dozen Indy Car starts and was named by Sports Illustrated for Women as one of the top 100 Women Athletes of the Century.