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NASCAR'S "STEEL CHARIOTS" HITS FOX NEXT TUESDAY
Published September 18, 1997
"Steel Chariots," a film on NASCAR racing, premieres Tuesday, September 23, at 8:00pm ET/PT. "Steel Chariots" features cameos by NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin. NASCAR announcers Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons play themselves in the film (NASCAR). MORE THAN A MOVIE? The production was profiled by John Nagy of the Greensboro NEWS & RECORD. Nagy: "These days, everyone seems to want a piece of NASCAR, and Hollywood is no different. But the relationship NASCAR and Hollywood had on 'Steel Chariots' illustrates just how greatly NASCAR's power has grown over the last few years." NASCAR VP/Marketing and Development Ken Clapp, on the pilot episode of "Steel Chariots:" "We left the ending so we could carry on." Clapp represented NASCAR and "was in on every aspect of the movie's production," as producers "agreed to his script changes and reshot scenes he didn't like." Nagy: "The final cut of 'Steel Chariots,' while no great cinematic achievement, might just be the best representative film work ever done on NASCAR. ... Lest you think this film too 'inside racin',' it also includes numerous 'Baywatch' touches like beautiful women." Nagy adds that the idea of a TV series "excites NASCAR like few other things." Clapp: "We're ready to go with 13 episodes if we get the ratings." Nagy: "But while NASCAR had control with the pilot, a series might find NASCAR losing out to ratings-hungry studio executives" (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 9/17).