GRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! The great American orgasm! Beautiful!"" So begins the Darlington (S.C.) Raceway's Southern 500, the Grand National stock car race which is the glamorous equal to the Daytona 500 for sports cars. Only after Jerry Bledsoe began this book did he find he knew very little about stock car racing. Fixing on the Southern 500 for a set-piece, he found himself traveling all over the country. But all's well, eventually he gets to the big one as it explodes in greasy glory with the hellbent drivers all out for the winners' stakes. Most drivers have survived several wrecks and many are held together by wires and silver plates. They're also sex athletes who have more high-score fantastic motel triumphs than speedway wins. Bledsoe, who is lively if not stylish, tells of the origins of stock car races in the '30's when the original cars were built by moonshiners to outrun the revenuers. The sociology of Southern racing crowds is amusingly vulgar; the stock car racers are the new American cowboys and the 500 their biggest stampede: only 18 cars survived out of 40 starting the wreckage-strewn '74 race. Insane but gripping, especially for the snake-&-dagger biceps tattoo set.