Suzanne volunteered with Midwest Raceway Ministries for four years at the NASCAR Nationwide and Truck races at Gateway Speedway, just outside St. Louis. The reason she initially joined this ministry was to do research for PERIL. After having a Pit Pass and getting a taste of being down by the action on pit road, especially during the qualifying laps, however, she became a true NASCAR fan.

After the first race she worked at with Midwest Raceway Ministries, Suzanne immediately went home and made some changes in the manuscript of PERIL. One of the changes had to do with pit wagons, the mobile observation/tool station that crew chiefs sit on in the pit stall during the race. Once she got a look at how big they are she realized that she had a faulty view of what they looked like and a small section of a scene wouldn't work.

A few of the unusual things Suzanne saw while volunteering at the track made their way into PERIL to add flavor to the scenes at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Below the picture corresponds with the snippet shown from the manuscript:

"In the blue and yellow car behind it, a tall crew member had one leg in the car and one leg out as he helped push his team's car forward."

Another scene she saw, but wasn't able to snap a picture of it was captured in the following snippet:
As they walked down pit road, Joanne pointed towards two crew members in bright yellow firesuits tossing a football back and forth while the rest of their crew lined up next to their car. Neil chuckled. "Guess everyone deals with the stress before a race differently."

While the research Suzanne did in books gave her the majority of the information she needed to create the settings at the various NASCAR tracks in PERIL, it was the experience of being there that added the tiny details which make the scenes truly come alive with realism. As Stuart says in the book, "...there's nothing like watching a race live."

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