SBD/18/Sports Media

NASCAR'S "STEEL CHARIOTS" HITS FOX NEXT TUESDAY

          "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).

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