Yes, St. Dale IS Dale Earnhardt, elevated to sainthood by many NASCAR fans. Sharyn McCrumb is an unlikely fan of car racing, but as a close follower of Appalachian folk life, it couldn't help but interest her. The connection was Jane Hicks, the poet who she met at writers workshops. The multi-talented Jane Hicks is now retired from a distinguished career as a gifted and talented teacher in Upper East Tennessee, a quilter and a poet. She and her husband are also NASCAR fans, and they welcomed Sharyn McCrumb to go to NASCAR events with them. McCrumb immediately saw NASCAR fans as on a kind of pilgrimage with Eranhardt as their saint. So she wrote a novel, following the format of the Canterbury Tales portraying these modern-day pilgrims.
New York: Kensington, 2005. Hardback in dust jacket.