Henry Neil "Soapy" Castles grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, and became involved in its pioneering auto racing scene at an early age. Graduating from soapbox derby cars to midgets and sprints and finally to stock cars, he sometimes crashed, sometimes won, saw friends die horribly, and became a champion. Eventually he left the racetrack for Hollywood where he became a stuntman working alongside such stars as Rory Calhoun, Elvis Presley, Kenny Rodgers, Richard Pryor and Andy Griffith. In the 1990s, groundwater contamination at Castles truck repair business from an Exxon oil storage facility cost him an eye and most of his lungs. His decade-long class action lawsuit won him millions in compensation. Now in his mid-eighties, Castles is still going strong, procuring vehicles for movie and television projects.
Henry Neil "Soapy" Castles lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. Perry Allen Wood is an investigator for Wells Fargo Bank and a noted racing historian. He has written four other McFarland books on stock car racing, appears weekly on Droppin the Hammer and lives in Spartanburg.