Back on Track
On jalopnik.com, Matt Hardigree was much more blunt. He called Road & Track "the best [car] buff book brand in North America"--but also called the version Webster inherited "the worst buff book in North America."
But Hearst didn't just buy Webster race cars--it bought him a new staff. The first person he called after getting the job was Sam Smith, a former assistant editor at Automobile whose work he'd admired for years.
Webster calls Smith "a modern Tom Wolfe," and I saw what he meant reading Smith's piece in the February Road & Track about driving an old Jaguar cross-country. I also felt a touch of heaven looking at Clark Vandergrift's aerial photograph of the Alpine Loop in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. And I cried reading Steven Cole Smith's hard-hitting feature on former NASCAR drivers succumbing to suicide and dementia from repetitive head traumas suffered during years of racing.