When Staunton author Arlynda Boyer was a little girl, her father took her to Bristol for her first NASCAR race. As soon as she saw Dale Earnhardt’s yellow and blue Wrangler Thunderbird tearing up the track, she was hooked.
“When he drove a car, he had a good way of giving his body language to the car,” said Boyer, remembering her fascination. “You could tell (when) he was driving angry and when he was driving all out.”
In October, Boyer published “Buddha and the Backstretch,” a book that compares the Buddhist mentality with that of her favorite NASCAR driver.
Fifteen years ago, Boyer began practicing Buddhism. She was drawn to the faith in part because it encourages people to live in the present and not cling to possessions, anger or regret.
“These people are kind of like NASCAR drivers,” Boyer said. “They talk about living in the moment and they talk about giving everything our all and letting go.”
A year after Earnhardt’s death, Boyer wrote a commentary for National Public Radio about how he and other great drivers served as examples of how to be a better Buddhist.
“You won’t find a driver replaying a race five years after its done,” Boyer said. “They give it 100 percent, but the minute they want walk off, it’s done.”
The essay became a premise for her book, “Buddha and the Backstretch,” which is available at Bookworks on West Beverley Street in Staunton. OR visit http://www.mupress.org/productdetails.cfm?PC=66