Best Drag Racing Books Of 2021

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Best Drag Racing Books Of 2021 – Complete Reviews With Comparisons 


Drag racing, as a sport, can be a very secretive business, and an expert drag racer will not discuss their tricks of the trade with a large crowd. Rather, they’ll speak of it only in private with their teammates so that no outsider can find out how to take the top spot. 

Luckily, some drag racing secrets have managed to leak through and become published, but which drag racing book would a budding drag racer particularly benefit from? Read on for our top picks on the best drag racing books available. 

Drag Racing Books Reviews 

Prepare to Win: The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Professional Race Car Preparation 

Prepare to Win: The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Professional Race Car Preparation
  • Prepare to Win
  • Carroll Smith
  • Smith, Carroll (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 174 Pages - 04/12/2012 (Publication Date) - Carroll Smith Consulting (Publisher)

Carroll Smith was one of the most renowned American race car drivers in the whole world, and he wrote this book during his career zenith in 1975. 

Smith meticulously details everything there is to know about race car preparation, including riveting, plumbing, metalwork, fuel cells, tires, wheels, suspension, and clutch – just to name a few of the topics covered! 


Given this book’s enduring popularity over the last 50 years, it’s hard to consider this guide as anything but essential for budding drag racers. 

It clearly lays out all there is to know about race car preparation in under 200 pages. This is probably not a book to be read in one sitting, but it is a great port of call as a reference for any car-related questions. 

It may be slightly dated, but most of Smith’s tips and recommendations are still relevant today. Having said that, some of the technical terms may be a bit confusing for those who are just getting into drag racing, so this guide may not be the best buy for absolute beginners. 

Drag Racing: Drive to Win 

Drag Racing: Drive to Win
  • Hawley, Frank (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 128 Pages - 12/01/1989 (Publication Date) - Motorbooks Intl (Publisher)

This collaborative information book from two-time drag racing world champion, Frank Hawley, and fellow professional drag racer and expert, Mark Smith, provides readers with insider knowledge on the professional world of drag racing. 

This book specifically discusses how to go faster, decision making, budget racing, how to get sponsored, and the safest equipment available to buy. 


Unlike the first book on this list, this book is written in simple terms and can be picked up and understood by a beginner. At the same time, the information provided would also be valuable to a professional as a handy reminder of things they may have forgotten. 

This book may be on the slightly dated side, and some of the information provided is irrelevant today – particularly, the information on headlights. However, its information on how to save money and what parts to look out for is mostly still relevant to the modern drag racer. 

The book proves to be useful as a regular point of reference to drag racers who partake in the sport every season. 

Don “The Snake” Prudhomme: My Life Beyond the 1320 

Don "The Snake" Prudhomme: My Life Beyond the 1320
  • Hardcover Book
  • Prudhomme, Don (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages - 10/19/2020 (Publication Date) - CarTech (Publisher)

This hardback book from Don ‘The Snake’ Prudhomme – with assistance from Elana Scherr – details the fascinating life of the drag racing legend. 

Released in 2020, this book is perfect for those wanting to know the trials and tribulations of being a drag racing star. It details life both on and off the road, including his interactions with other drag racing stars, and it also discusses his family life. 


This is a good read for those involved in drag racing who want to learn how to make a career out of it. It is a great read mainly for those who grew up during this era of drag racing due to the feelings of nostalgia this book provides. 

For those unfamiliar with the story of Prudhomme, this book certainly doesn’t throw you in the deep end. It takes its time to slowly develop the drag racing star’s story. 

The book is also a good examination of celebrity culture at the time, as Prudhomme brushes shoulders with the likes of Clint Eastwood and others throughout the story. 

Hubert Platt: Fast Fords of the “Georgia Shaker” 

Hubert Platt: Fast Fords of the "Georgia Shaker"
  • Platt, Allen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 192 Pages - 05/13/2019 (Publication Date) - CarTech (Publisher)

This biography tells the interesting tale of Hubert Platt – a racer who started illegally drag racing but switched to legal drag racing following an arrest in 1958. This is a good read for all those interested in drag racing, particularly for those interested in car models, as Platt discusses several of them! 


Given that it’s written by Hubert’s son, some of the images appear to be from family collections, and even the biggest drag racing fans may have never seen them before. Also included are newspaper clippings and advertisements, which adds a nice personal touch. 

The organization of the book is clearly laid out and easy to follow for all readers, helping make it a light, fun read. Certain stretches of the book do read as being slightly exaggerated, although somewhat based on truth. 

Overall, this book feels like a personal take on the legacy of Hubert Platt, a quality no other biographer could replicate. It even feels borderline autobiographical at some points. 

High Performance: The Culture and Technology of Drag Racing, 1950-2000 

High Performance: The Culture and Technology of Drag Racing, 1950-2000 (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Post, Robert C. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 452 Pages - 05/18/2001 (Publication Date) - Johns Hopkins University Press (Publisher)

This book details the extensive biographies of a plethora of the most famous faces in the drag racing sport over a 50-year period. Starting from when drag racing as we know it today was in its early stages, this book works as a historical document of the changing face of drag racing, how the sport developed, and how career drag racing came to be. 


This book eloquently clears up many of the rumors surrounding certain drag racing stars that have been in circulation for years. For that reason, this is a book for those who lived through or grew up in the drag racing heyday. 

Given its wide range of subjects, this book may just be the most comprehensive book in the history of drag racing. Its only real limitation is that it hasn’t been updated in 20 years. 

It reads like a book for drag racing experts and is not overly populated with pictures. Overall, it is a great academic-level history on the art of drag racing. 


Overall, we’d recommend High Performance: The Culture and Technology of Drag Racing, 1950-2000 for those seeking a thorough introduction to all things drag racing, coupled with amusing stories of some of its most famous – and infamous – stars. 

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