Verdegan releases new book, ‘Life in the Past Lane: The Next Generation’
By Bert Lehman
For the third straight year, Joe Verdegan has pulled into history’s victory lane with the release of his most recent book, “Life in the Past Lane: The Next Generation.”
The book covers local stock car racing history in Northeast Wisconsin, just as his previous two books did. Two years ago he released “Life in the Past Lane: A History of Stock Car Racing in Northeast Wisconsin from 1950-1980” and last year he released “Wisconsin International Raceway: Where the Big Ones Run!”
“Life in the Past Lane: The Next Generation” picks up where Verdegan’s first “Life in the Past Lane” book left off. Once again, the book doesn’t focus on just one race track, but rather the entire racing scene in Northeast Wisconsin.
The book is loaded with chapters featuring some of the top area race car drivers, allowing readers the opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at their racing careers.
The emergence of the IMCA Modified division in Northeast Wisconsin is also explored. Drivers who were on the scene at the time tell readers about this change in local racing through their own personal experiences.
Entire chapters are also devoted to popular racing families such as the Anvelinks (Terry & Nick) and Muensters (Jerry & Eddie).
And don’t forget about the women racers who have joined the area’s racing scene. The Dirty Ladies chapter highlights the careers of Kelsy Hayes, Lexii Ashcraft, Jordan Bartz, Karly Stadler and Jessi Ness. Shawano Speedway Hall of Fame driver Julie McDermid has her own chapter in the book.
Over the years some race tracks have come and gone, and Verdegan’s book also takes a look at some of those tracks, including tracks in Manitowoc, Antigo and Oshkosh. The transition of 141 Speedway from asphalt to dirt is covered, as is Bryan “Woody” Wodack’s reign as promoter at Thunderhill Speedway.
Other than listing the subject matter of some of the chapters in the book I have intentionally not gone into too many details because I don’t want to ruin your reading enjoyment. It is truly worth the read.
To promote “Life in the Past Lane: The Next Generation,” Verdegan is in the midst of a book signing tour that will end the week before Christmas. Book signings are schedule at businesses in areas of the state that are covered in the book.
Here is a video of Verdegan promoting his book: