From hidden stills, to the roar of hopped-up whiskey cars on dirt tracks,
to the birth of NASCAR, it's a helluva ride and it all starts with moonshine.

Two important things have happened lately. First was our trip to Daytona and the Streamline Hotel, the birthplace of NASCAR. The hotel has recently undergone a major renovation to bring it back to its Art Deco glory. We met Lucas Gruser and got a tour of the upstairs Sky Lounge where Bill France and 35 drivers, mechanics and owners created the foundation for NASCAR.

The other important thing happened back here in Atlanta. I delivered the last of the manuscripts for Thunder and White Lightning to the Beta Readers. This group of 11 readers act as both editors and product testers. Their observations and comments guide me in my final revisions, which I’ll begin sometime in February.

We also visited Racing’s North Turn Restaurant which sits on the exact location where the Daytona Beach-Road races were held. Drivers started from the south end of Ponce Inlet, then raced north along the beach to the infamous north turn and completed the circuit on Florida highway A1A. The soft sand at the north turn took its toll on many cars.