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CULTURES COLLIDE AS NASCAR MAKES PIT STOP IN HOLLYWOOD
Published May 6, 1998
In Philadelphia, Bill Fleischman writes that "NASCAR's Night In Hollywood" last Friday, broadcast on ESPN, was "smoothly produced and everyone seemed to have a good time," but "you had the feeling many presenters wouldn't know Richard Petty from Richard Benjamin" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 5/6). In Orlando, Juliet Macur reported that film director Oliver Stone, who presented Petty with NASCAR's Lifetime Achievement Award, congratulated him for his 200 seasons, not his 200 wins. Stone, on NASCAR: "I'm certainly aware of the sport. This is sort of a new sport, isn't it?" Macur: "The faux pas was just an example of what happens when 50 years of NASCAR racing smacked head-on with Hollywood." Macur wrote that provocative dance numbers during the event were "a far cry from NASCAR's down-to-earth persona." Actor John Schneider: "I'm embarrassed about the kind of show put on here, with all of the women dancing around in garter belts and black boots. ... Hollywood thinks NASCAR needs help and needs to be hyped up, but they just don't know any better" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 5/3).