A number of drivers in the sports car racing world are often faced with juggling work life and racing, but their stories are rarely told.
The exception comes with renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Jim Lowe, who took on some of the world’s best drivers in a nearly decade-long stint in Grand-Am competition, who now shares his stories the newly released “World’s Fastest Neurosurgeon” book.
Dr. Lowe chronicles his personal journey through his day job and racing endeavors, highlighted by a GT class podium finish in the 2007 Rolex 24 at Daytona, in the book, and the challenges it brought in balancing his surgical career and family life.
The story begins with Dr. Lowe surviving a flat-out and nearly 180 mph spin through the tri-oval at Daytona while practicing for the 2009 Rolex 24 and shifts a few pages later into how his passion for racing may have been planted 40 years earlier with “the greatest Christmas present ever” in 1969.
The easy-reading book moves through various important, defining and memorable periods of Dr. Lowe’s life while also going back-and-forth from the race track to the operating room.
The similarities between the highs and lows of both motorsports and the medical profession is not lost, with the story that began on the the race track appropriately ending in the final pages with Dr. Lowe on his “day job” in a trauma ICU.
“My ‘real’ occupation as a neurosurgeon remains always in the background of the book,” Dr. Lowe said. “Throughout the narrative, stories from the world of the hospital and operating room interrupt the race track activities, as they did in real life, and allow readers an insider peek into the world of the Neurosurgeon.
“One struggle that remains front-and-center throughout the story is the need for balance between my day job and the demands of a racing season, especially for the neophyte that I was.”
A veteran of eight Rolex 24 starts, various anecdotes of Dr. Lowe’s adventures are spread throughout the 470-page book, which also shows the personal side of the sport.
“I recall how I bumped accidentally into a smallish older guy at a driver’s meeting before a Rolex 24 at Daytona race, only to discover that I had nearly felled Mario Andretti himself,” he said.
“Later, I shared a podium with Jeff Gordon, diced on the track with Jimmie Johnson and Danica Patrick, and got sideswiped by Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever. All in a day’s work for the average ‘Joe Neurosurgeon.'”
The book, now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions, is a must-read for any motorsports enthusiast, but particularly those who have wondered how some of the most successful career-driven people can also succeed on the race track.
“World’s Fastest Neurosurgeon” – What They are Saying:
Paul Tracy: “Dr. Jim Lowe and I were co-drivers for the grueling, twice-around-the-clock Rolex 24 at Daytona sports car race. Part of my job was to coach and Jim would steadily get better, never spinning or flying off the track or making a bad mistake.
“This is how I gave him his nickname, ‘Jimmy Smooth,’ and made a great new friend in the process. World’s Fastest Neurosurgeon let me relive a fun time in my career, and it will be just as pleasurable for anyone who enjoys an insightful personal journey of perseverance.”
Bob Varsha: “Jim Lowe’s tale of how a dedicated, confident and otherwise rational Neurosurgeon took it into his head, and well into his personal life and professional career, to start driving racing cars is a fun read.
“From tracing his racing dreams to a much-loved toy racetrack of his childhood to finally realizing them as an adult, everyone who has ever tried racing, or simply just dreamed about it themselves, will be able to connect with the emotions of the journey, from self-doubt to exhilaration and everything in between.”
Skip Barber: “A very enjoyable read. Jim shows his talents with the scalpel, the keyboard and the steering wheel in his first-hand account of what many people dream about doing and a few actually make happen: going racing.”
Leigh Diffey: “Jim Lowe’s World’s Fastest Neurosurgeon brought me back to a memorable and enjoyable time in my career and well into the fascinating personal and professional life of a man that, until now, I only knew at the track.
“This outstanding book opened up to me they mysteries and miracles of surgery while offering a unique perspective on reaching for our dreams. It all adds up to an entertaining read that truly has something for everyone.”