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).