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NASCAR / racing movies

  • Keanu Reeves to star as NASCAR driver in "Rally Car": On the first day of the Berlin Film Market, Lionsgate has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Keanu Reeves starrer Rally Car. The movie, which will be directed by Olivier Megaton (Taken 2, Taken 3, Colombiana) from a script by Jeremy Lott based on a treatment by Stephen Hamel. Rally Car will be produced by Hamel and Reeves of Company Films and Mark Gao and Gregory Ouanhon of Fundamental Films. Gary Glushon will executive produce.
    The film tells the story of a self-centered NASCAR driver (Reeves) who revitalizes his career by entering an international rally car race across China and learns to win as part of a team when he joins forces with a young Chinese woman who yearns to become a driver. The film will shoot in China and the U.S.(Hollywood Reporter)

    The film, described as in the vein of Cannonball Run, will shoot in China and the United States in the summer.(Deadline)(2-10-2017)

  • NASCAR serves as vehicle for heist film: NASCAR hasn't been the vehicle for a major Hollywood feature film since Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby a decade ago. That's set to change with Logan Lucky, a heist movie starring Channing Tatum that filmed several scenes at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday. It's scheduled to wrap up filming next week. But unlike the 2006 Will Ferrell comedy, NASCAR this time will be "on the inside of the joke" when the film hits theaters next fall, NASCAR vice president of entertainment marketing Zane Stoddard told USA TODAY Sports. "We wanted to make sure it was the antithesis of Talladega Nights," said Stoddard, who is also an executive producer on the film. Enter Tatum, director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic) and producer Mark Johnson (Breaking Bad, Rain Man), who came to NASCAR with a script in hand and wanted the sanctioning body's assistance to make the film as realistic as possible. The plot is an Ocean's Eleven-type heist - Soderbergh also directed that film - in which Charlotte is robbed using an underground hydraulic tube system (which exists in the movie but not in real life). In addition to Tatum, other stars include Daniel Craig, Seth MacFarlane, Hilary Swank, Katherine Heigl, Adam Driver, and Riley Keough. One of the highlights for NASCAR fans will be six driver cameos in the movie. Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch play West Virginia state troopers, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are security guards, Kyle Larson is a limo driver, and Ryan Blaney is a delivery boy. Though the movie isn't about NASCAR, the sport is used as the background for the plot. And that's actually a good thing when thinking of the comparison to Ocean's Eleven, Stoddard said.(USA Today)(10-10-2016)

  • NASCAR Partners with Steven Soderbergh on Heist-Themed Film Project: NASCAR is collaborating with Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh on a feature film entitled Logan Lucky, starring Channing Tatum alongside Daniel Craig, Riley Keough, Adam Driver and Seth MacFarlane. Depicting a theoretical heist at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the project will mark Soderbergh's first feature film since announcing his retirement from the film industry in 2013. Soderbergh, who also directed heist film Ocean's Eleven, is best known for his work on the critically acclaimed Traffic and Erin Brockovich, which garnered him two Oscar nominations and the accolade of Best Director.
    This will not be Tatum's first experience working with NASCAR or Soderbergh. He and 22 Jump Street co-star Jonah Hill served as grand marshals for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 in 2014, while Tatum and Soderbergh previously teamed up for the Magic Mike films, Haywire and the 2013 thriller Side Effects, which was the most recent film project led by the acclaimed director.

    "We are excited to work with Steven, Channing and all of Logan Lucky's incredible cast and producers," said Zane Stoddard, NASCAR vice president of entertainment marketing and content development. "It's a big-hearted, fun story that showcases NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway as the world-class sports entertainment property and venue that they are, much like the Bellagio in Steven's Ocean's Eleven."

    Logan Lucky is tentatively scheduled for release in Fall 2017. Mark Johnson, Gregory Jacobs and Reid Carolin are producing. Zane Stoddard is executive producing for NASCAR.
    Pre-production filming will begin this weekend at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600.(NASCAR)(5-26-2016)

  • Film To Be Made About Bobby Allison: Posse Films, LLC, the inspirational feature film production company that controls the rights to several historically significant and uplifting life stories, recently announced the making of a biopic about the larger-than-life NASCAR pioneer, and NASCAR Hall of Fame member, Bobby Allison. Together with the Allison family, the Posse Films team will put the dramatic story of one of the greatest NASCAR legends on the silver screen. Posse Films is in pre-production on the heart-centered motivational story of Bobby Allison. "My family and I are thrilled to have this film produced by Posse Films," Bobby Allison said in a recent statement. "Mark and his team at Posse Films are like family to us, and I know we can trust them with our story." The movie project will be based on Bobby Allison's rise to the top of NASCAR as a three-time Daytona 500 winner, followed by a crash that ended Bobby's career at 50 years of age. Thereafter, Bobby and Judy suffer the loss of their two beloved racing sons. The film will showcase the highs and lows of the 55-year love story between Bobby and Judy Allison.(Yahoo Finance)

    AND An independent feature film on the life story of NASCAR legend, Bobby Allison, developed by Bobby Allison Production LLC. ("The Company") is scheduled to commence pre-production in late 2014 and filming in early 2015. Theatrical release is planned for fall 2015.(allisonfilm.com)(4-5-2015)

  • NASCAR Productions and SPIKE TV Present 'I Am Dale Earnhardt': NASCAR Productions and SPIKE TV have joined forces to create a captivating and revealing documentary on the life of a legendary American sports hero - Dale Earnhardt. The original film, "I AM DALE EARNHARDT," premieres exclusively on Monday, March 2 at 10:00pm/et/pt on SPIKE TV. With in-depth and insightful interviews with some of the biggest names in the sport, unforgettable highlights from Earnhardt's greatest moments on the track, and rare footage of Earnhardt's life off-the track, the film is an up-close-and-personal look at the man behind the iconic mustache.

    "I AM DALE EARNHARDT" digs deep beyond the legend to reveal the complex figure at the core of "The Intimidator." He was an idol to millions, but a villain to others; a working man's hero, but also a darling of Madison Avenue; a husband, father and friend, but also a solitary man who few really knew. His tragic death on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 sent shockwaves through the nation and immortalized him as one of the greatest stars NASCAR has ever known.

    "I've got many fond memories of my dad, so being able to share some of those memories in a project such as this was a privilege," said Dale Earnhardt Jr. "This film captures everything about him - the dad, the racer, the businessman, the friend, the polarizing figure, everything. I think fans - even longtime Dale Earnhardt fans - will find themselves learning new things about my dad by watching this documentary."

    Among those interviewed for the film include some of the biggest names in NASCAR such as Jimmie Johnson, Darrell Waltrip, Rusty Wallace, Jeff Gordon, Richard Childress, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. "I AM DALE EARNHARDT" is the latest in SPIKE's critically acclaimed "I AM" documentary series. Past subjects include Bruce Lee, Steve McQueen and Evel Knievel.

    Jeff Cvitkovic from NASCAR Productions directed and produced "I AM DALE EARNHARDT" for SPIKE TV. The Executive Producers for the documentary include Zane Stoddard and Tally Hair from NASCAR Productions and Gil Colon, Jon Slusser, and Kevin Kay from SPIKE TV.(NASCAR)(2-26-2015)

  • Group plans movie about iconic Plymouth Superbird: a group of producers and obviously die-hard gearheads are attempting to raise money also through crowdfunding to make a movie about the fabled Plymouth Superbird. The tentative working title for the movie is quite appropriate: "Winged Warriors." The producers are trying to raise enough money through an initiative on KickStarter.com to not only make the film, but also to build or buy several replica cars, including the original Dodge #88 Daytona test car that spawned the Superbird, as well as Petty's #43 Plymouth Superbird, James Hylton's #48 Dodge Charger and the #99 Dodge Charger Daytona owned by Charlie Glotzbach and Richard Brickhouse. The fundraising pledge effort kicked off June 1, but admittedly is going slowly: As of 7 pm ET Saturday, producers had raised just under $14,000, or about three percent of their goal. The fundraising effort continues until June 30.(more info at NBC Sports)(6-8-2014)

  • Sony trying to shut down "Talladega Nights" themed restaurant: According to Sony Pictures, there's a sports-themed restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas where the waitresses are known as "Smokin' Hotties" and wear midriff- and cleavage-bearing crop tops and short skirts. The name of this establishment is "Ricky Bobby Sports Saloon & Restaurant," which is of concern to the studio behind the 2006 Will Ferrell comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. On Thursday, Sony filed a trademark lawsuit in Texas federal court. The lawsuit cites a July 29, 2013 article in the Dallas Observer as evidence that reps for the saloon company used "Ricky Bobby" as a direct reference to the film. One official is cited by the newspaper as saying that proper names can't be trademarked -- which Sony says is an "erroneous belief." But the studio's complaint is mostly built upon making the case that Rick's Cabaret is misleading consumers about the source of origin for the Ricky Bobby Sports Saloon. According to the lawsuit, Sony wasn't asked permission by Rick's Cabaret. Sony has licensed Talladega rights to others. For example, Sony says it authorized NASCAR driver Kurt Busch to use an "image and likeness" of Ricky Bobby's "Me" car in 2012 and then a Wonder Bread-sponsored car the following year. Sony demands an injunction, the restaurant's profits, forfeiture of web domain names and unspecified punitive and exemplary damages.(Hollywood Reporter)(3-11-2014)

  • NASCAR movie in the works UPDATE: Hollywood producer Neal Edelstein, whose films have included dramas ("Mulholland Drive"), mysteries ("The Ring") and horror movies ("Haunting Melissa"). Edelstein wants to make a movie centered on a NASCAR driver, an idea pitched to him by NASCAR Vice President Zane Stoddard. And they're meeting to discuss how Universal Pictures, which agreed to finance the movie's early development, views the initial script. Why a NASCAR-related film? There's been an "explosion of action sports in this country," Edelstein says during a break. "Well, the original action sport is NASCAR. It has great texture for movies." The film is one of several projects being pursued by Stoddard and his nine-person NASCAR Entertainment Marketing staff to infiltrate pop culture with everything NASCAR in order to boost stock-car racing's sagging popularity. They also arrange driver cameos on television shows, develop new NASCAR-themed programs for TV and online outlets and bring celebrities to NASCAR races. NASCAR Entertainment's strategy is part of a five-year plan NASCAR announced in 2011 to grow the sport. "When we get to the end of that five years," Stoddard said, "we will have a very clear measurement of where we are."(in part from the Los Angeles Times)(9-25-2013)

    UPDATE: So what's the movie about? Here's how producer Neal Edelstein, who's working with NASCAR Vice President Zane Stoddard on the project, described in broad terms what he termed the "underdog story:"

    "The story is about kind of a misfit kid who was into racing as a youth because of his father's passion for the sport. And his father's death ... pushed him out of the sport and he's a bit of a loner now, kind of on the fringes, [doing] dirt-bike riding, doing odd jobs involving racing and testing and motorcycles. So it becomes really his journey to kind of harness his ability, harness his emotions, and he gets back into the sport ... with the help of some people his father was involved with," Edelstein said. Stoddard added that the driver in the story has "this inherent skill that his dad passed on. But he's turned his back on the sport" as a result of his dad's death. It would be a contemporary movie and its working title is "Finding Speed."(Los Angeles Times)(9-27-2013)

  • Randy Bethea featured in new documentary: Throughout the 1970s Tennessee racer Randy Bethea was a regular competitor in NASCAR's second tier series now known as the Nationwide Series. He made history in 1973 becoming the first Afircan American NASCAR racer to win a pole in an upper division race when he knocked Darrell Waltrip off the pole in the Late Model Sportman (Nationwide Series) Southern 400 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

    In 1975 he made history again, starting the World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and becoming one of only seven African Americans to compete at NASCAR's highest level, now known as the Sprint Cup Series. But, Bethea's dream of NASCAR success was unfulfilled for reasons he attributes to color. That color was green, and like the majority of up-and-coming drivers of that era Bethea didn't have enough green in his wallet to compete at his full potential.

    Although Bethea did experience some racism during his driving career, he is quick to state he was 'Not a Black Racer', he was a racer who happened to be black. Currently employed as a high school automotive instructor in Newport, Tenn., Bethea still remains active in local racing and among the most popular drivers in Tennessee.

    "Just Another Racer: The Randy Bethea Story" tells the story of Bethea's racing life, from sweeping the floors in legendary engine builder Banjo Matthews' shop, to his venture into Formula Super-V racing, which he attributes as the main reason he failed to maintain long term success in NASCAR. The 60 minute documentary was filmed and edited by Kingsport Times-News reporter Jeff Bobo and includes interviews with many of Bethea's NASCAR racing contemporaries including retired racers Paul Lewis, John A. Utsman, active Nationwide Series driver Brad Teague, and engine builder Stanley Allison. "Just Another Racer: The Randy Bethea Story" can be viewed for free on Youtube.(1-1-2013)

  • Racing movie being filmed at Iowa Speedway: Zac Efron and Emmy-nominated actor Dennis Quaid will be at Iowa Speedway in Newton on July 16 taping scenes for an untitled racing movie. Fans are invited to be part of the movie magic. Tickets for the 4:15 p.m. Prairie Meadows 200 ARCA Series race and the 7 p.m. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Coca-Cola 200 race are on sale for $25 online. Fans purchasing tickets at iowaspeedway.com will be entered into a drawing, and 100 winners will have the chance to participate in the prerace festivities - and could appear in the crowd scenes in the movie. The film is an untitled, Iowa-based movie starring Efron as a rural teen aspiring to become a professional race car driver. Quaid plays Efron's father. Producers will shoot Efron walking across the pre-race stage, Quaid cheering from the stands and racing footage during the Prairie Meadows 200. Film director Ramin Bahrani was called the "director of the decade" in 2010 by film critic Roger Ebert. "I hope fans will take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see A-list celebrities and be part of a movie," Iowa Speedway president Jerry Jauron said.(Des Moines Register)(7-11-2011)

  • NASCAR Sponsors Appearing in New Transformers Movie: A total of 16 brands' logos were monitored on the NASCAR-themed Autobots appearing in Transformers: Dark of the Moon-last weekend's number-one box office film-with Target, sponsor of the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing #42, the most visible of the group. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc. -- which specializes in measuring the scope of sports sponsorships and product placements, Target's "bot" logos appeared for 15-seconds during the 157-minute film. When comparing the on-screen time to the movie's week-one estimated box office gross of $414 million worldwide*, the retailer amassed an exposure value of $393,940 from the placement.

    In comparison, Target's NASCAR sponsorship has netted an average $468,600 of in-broadcast exposure value per each live telecast of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Joyce Julius calculates television exposure value by comparing the in-broadcast visual and verbal exposure to the estimated cost of a national commercial during the telecast and applying Joyce Julius Recognition Grading-which takes into account such factors as size and placement of the image on screen, as well as brand clutter and integration of the brand into the activity.

    Also appearing during the Transformers fight scene in the streets of Chicago were Autobots carrying the paint schemes of the Hendrick Motorsports #48 Lowe's and #88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard. Chevrolet's Impala nameplate was the second-most NASCAR-related sponsor to appear during the Transformers movie, as 10-seconds of screen time led to $262,625.(Joyce Julius)(7-10-2011)

  • NASCAR, Cars 2 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Cars and stars from NASCAR return to the big screen this summer with roles in two blockbuster hits with the recent release of "Cars 2" and the recent release of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon provided his voice for the character "Jeff Gorvette" in Disney-Pixar's "Cars 2", which came out in theatres last Friday. "The movie is completely different from the first movie," Gordon said. "Obviously Lightning McQueen and Mater and some of his buddies are in there and I'm one of his new buddies, but it's an international spy thriller this time so they go all over the world and so there's a lot of international flair from the car side of it and the voices that you'll hear as well as some other race car drivers. My role is fairly small, but still was a blast." Gordon's chance to play the yellow Chevrolet Corvette with American flag graphics on the sides came about when he met Pixar's John Lasseter, who is a big race fan, during the Sprint Cup Series annual trip to Infineon Raceway in northern California. Juan Pablo Montoya, who piloted a special paint scheme earlier this month at Michigan International Speedway to promote "Cars 2", also voiced a character for the Latin American version of the movie.

    In "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," Montoya and Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have modified versions of their Sprint Cup cars featured in the movie. The Chevrolets of Montoya (Target), Johnson (Lowe's) and Earnhardt Jr. (AMP Energy) portray "Wreckers" in the action movie that see each stock car transform not only into robots, but into heavily armed cars that assist the Autobots (good guys) against the Decepticons (bad guys). Fans that didn't have the chance to view some of the filming of the movie in downtown Chicago first got a preview of the NASCAR Transformers during the pre-race festivities for this year's 53rd running of the Daytona 500. Following Director Michael Bay, Duhamel and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley giving the command to start the engines, the three "Wreckers" paced the 43-car field for the opening race of the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season.(full story at Motor Racing Network)(7-1-2011)

  • Jeff Gordon to appear in Cars 2: #24-Jeff Gordon will make an appearance in Cars 2 as Jeff Gorvette, an up-and-coming Chevrolet Corvette C6.R that's "turning hoods wherever he competes." More than just a cameo, Gordon's character will compete as a "respected competitor - and legitimate threat - at the World Grand Prix." Pixar makes no obvious connection to Gordon's actual roots in NASCAR, but the character of Jeff Gorvette is a Chevrolet and will wear #24 like Gordon's actual racecar, although obviously it isn't an Impala.(Jeff Gordon site)(3-29-2011)

  • NASCAR Pioneer Wendell Scott Featured in Film: In conjunction with Emmy Award-winning NASCAR Media Group and Max Siegel Inc., ESPN Films will document the story of Wendell Scott, the only black driver to win a NASCAR race, with the first airing of Wendell Scott: A Race Story, on Sunday, Feb. 20, at 9:00pm/et on ESPN. The 60-minute documentary will chronicle Scott's only NASCAR victory, at Jacksonville Speedway in 1963, and his positive impact on the sport.(ESPN)(2-20-2011)

  • ESPN To Air Film on NASCAR Pioneer Wendell Scott: NASCAR, ESPN and Max Siegel Inc., announced that "Wendell Scott: A Race Story" will air on ESPN in conjunction with Black History Month. The much anticipated film will tell the story of Wendell Scott, the only African-American to win a race in NASCAR's top series. The film airs on ESPN Sunday, Feb. 20, at 9:00pm/et, just hours after the scheduled running of the 53rd annual Daytona 500.

    The docudrama, which was produced by Emmy Award-winning NASCAR Media Group in conjunction with ESPN Films and Max Siegel Inc., will air 50 years after Scott's first race in NASCAR's premier series. Scott, one of the sport's most iconic pioneers who is often referred to as the Jackie Robinson of motorsports, paved the way for minorities and women. Scott's lasting legacy is credited with helping create the Drive for Diversity program.

    Drive for Diversity is a NASCAR-led initiative aimed at developing and introducing minority and female drivers and crew members to competitive opportunities in the sport. A recurring thread of the film will be Scott's lone NASCAR win at Jacksonville Speedway in 1963. Focused on the challenging path Scott was forced to take to pursue his dream of racing, A Race Story combines rare historical footage with dramatic recreations and emotional interviews from members of Scott's family, racing legends of the past and other key stakeholders in the sport that have been impacted by Scott's inspirational story.

    Before Scott raced he drove a taxi in his hometown of Danville, Va. and even ran moonshine to supplement his income. As part of a marketing gimmick, a local track promoter picked Scott to race against a field of white drivers based on a recommendation from the Danville Police who said Scott was one of the hardest guys to catch. Through perseverance and determination in the face of discrimination, Scott earned the respect of those fellow drivers as well as NASCAR founder Bill France, who assured Scott he would be treated fairly by the sanctioning body and its competitors.

    In 1961, Scott made his debut in the top tier of NASCAR racing and less than three years later, became the first African-American to win a race in NASCAR's elite division. "Wendell Scott's determination coupled with his bravery is what created that lasting legacy in American motorsports," said Siegel, executive producer of the film and founder of Revolution Racing. "'A Race Story' honors that challenging ride and helps preserve his legacy as the pioneer who allowed minorities today to fully pursue their racing dreams."

    Revolution Racing exists to provide competitive race cars to further develop the skills and capabilities of all drivers seeking opportunities in one of the world's most competitive sports. "Wendell Scott opened doors for me and so many others just like me," said Darrell Wallace Jr., Drive for Diversity and Revolution Racing driver. "He's been a hero of mine for a long time and I'm thrilled he's being honored and remembered in such a significant manner."(NASCAR Media Group/ESPN Films)(2-2-2011)

  • Tim Richmond Featured in Tuesday Night ESPN '30 for 30' Film: Former NASCAR driver Tim Richmond, a star of the sport before his death from AIDS in 1989, will be the subject of a documentary airing on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 8:00 pm/et on ESPN as part of ESPN Films' critically acclaimed film series 30 for 30 Presented by Cadillac.

    Tim Richmond: To the Limit, produced for ESPN by the NASCAR Media Group and directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker Rory Karpf, tells the story of Richmond with the words of many who knew him well and some who competed against him on the track. Former NASCAR drivers Darrell Waltrip and Richard and Kyle Petty, champion team owner Rick Hendrick, movie director Hal Needham, famed racing promoter H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, ESPN reporters Dr. Jerry Punch and Ed Hinton, Richmond's sister Sandy Welsh and friends from his hometown of Ashland, Ohio, are among those appearing in the film.

    In the 1980s, Richmond lived his life the way he raced cars - wide open. Born into a wealthy family, Richmond was the antithesis of the Southern, blue-collar racers who dominated NASCAR. He also was a flamboyant showman who basked in the attention of the media and fans - especially the attention of female admirers. Nevertheless, it was Richmond's on-track performances that ended up drawing comparisons to racing legends. And in 1986, when he won seven NASCAR races and finished third in the Winston Cup series points race, some believed he was on the verge of stardom. But soon his freewheeling lifestyle caught up to him. He unexpectedly withdrew from the NASCAR racing circuit, reportedly suffering from double pneumonia. In reality, the diagnosis was much more dire: he had AIDS. Richmond returned to the track in 1987, winning at Pocono in his comeback race, but he was gone from the sport by the next year as his health deteriorated. He spent his final days as a recluse, dying on August 13, 1989, at the age of 34.

    The film takes viewers back to the time of Richmond's illness and death, an era when AIDS created near-hysteria around the world, and those who had the disease were shunned. Former Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis, who was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988, speaks in the film about the time and Punch, a physician, relates that in the medical world, there was still much to be learned about AIDS. Select films from the series are available for purchase on iTunes the day following air. Additional films are available for purchase at www.amazon.com/30for30.(10-18-2010)

  • Dale Jr. and DW to appear in film about Talladega: Award-winning filmmaker Terry Gilliam will premiere his short film The Legend of Hallowdega starring David Arquette and Justin Kirk with special appearances by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Darrell Waltrip and more on Oct. 31st.

    The film, produced by AMP Energy Juice and @radical.media, will premiere on Halloween Sunday with the first chapter to debut on ESPN just prior to the start of the AMP Energy Juice 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Starting Halloween night, the film will be available in its entirety on www.LegendofHallowdega.com. The Legend of Hallowdega is the first short film for both Gilliam and AMP Energy Juice.

    The comedy, The Legend of Hallowdega, explores the mysteries around Talladega Superspeedway as the host of an investigative news show (Justin Kirk) joins forces with a techno-geek paranormal expert (David Arquette) to dodge close calls and chase crazy leads to get to the bottom of The Legend of Hallowdega.(NASCAR.com)(10-17-2010)

  • Movie about Wendell Scott, scenes to be shot this week: After Saturday's championship race the owners of the I-77 Speedway [Chester, SC] had plans to make improvements. But at least for the next week in October, old is good, and older is better. The speedway will be a stand-in for the dirt tracks of the 1960s where NASCAR legends traded paint. NASCAR Media Group, Max Siegel and ESPN have combined efforts to produce a documentary on Wendell Scott, the only black to win a race in NASCAR's top division. The documentary is scheduled to air in February as part of Black History Month celebrations. Scott started racing on Virginia dirt tracks in 1947, winning the Virginia state championship in 1959. In 196,1 he moved to NASCAR's top division, competing in more than 500 races before a pileup at Talladega in 1973 ended his career. He finished among the top 10 in 147 races and the top 5 in 20 races.

    On Dec. 1, 1963, he won a 100-mile NASCAR feature race in Jacksonville, Fla., defeating Buck Baker by two laps. The trophy went to Baker and NASCAR officials later admitted there was a scoring error. History records that the reason the trophy went to Baker was racial, they didn't want to present the trophy to a black man. That race and Scott's ride through the tracks of the "Jim Crow" South is the documentary's theme.

    The I-77 Speedway's role in the documentary starts Sunday when film crews shoot behind-the-track scenes. On Monday, the Ford and Chevy cars of the 1960s take to the track. About 25 extras are needed that day starting about 11:00 am. The biggest day of shooting is Tuesday. There will be about 15 cars on the track and about 150 extras are needed about 5 p.m. Extras should wear clothing without logos. Men should wear button-down shirts, T-shirts and blue jeans, while women should wear printed dresses if possible. The time period the film crew is trying to capture in 1963. On Wednesday, about 40 extras are needed from 3:00 to 7:00 pm.(Herald Online)(10-2-2010)

  • Petty Blue to be released: Petty Blue is the story of the Petty family's dramatic rise to the top of a sport, told in their own words. Through vintage film, dynamic race footage, archival photos, and candid conversations, relive Lee becoming the face of NASCAR in its earliest years, his son Richard "The King" winning a staggering 200 races, The movie, which is an engrossing and moving documentary about the life and times of NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and his extraordinary family, will be released on DVD September 21, 2010 from Paramount Home Entertainment. Petty Blue will make its cable debut on CMT on October 8th. Produced by NASCAR Media Group and CMT Films and narrated by Academy Award winner Kevin Costner, Petty Blue takes fans beyond the track to examine the Pettys' individual accomplishments, their influences on the sport and the personal tragedies that shaped them into the racing icons they are today. Petty Blue, which refers to the famously distinctive color of Richard Petty's #43 racecar, is an inspirational story of dedication, perseverance and family tradition. The Petty Blue DVD is packed full of special features including deleted scenes, bonus interviews with NASCAR notables such as David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Franklin Graham and Robbie Loomis, archival footage and interviews from the 1960s, Kevin Costner's "Backyard" music video and more. A must-own DVD for any sports fan, Petty Blue will be available in stores nationwide for the suggested retail price of $19.99. This is the third project CMT Films and NASCAR Media Group have partnered on, having previously produced the critically-acclaimed and Emmy Award-nominated Dale, which presented an unparalleled examination of the story of Dale Earnhardt, as well as The Ride of Their Lives, the most comprehensive look at the sport since its inception. More info at CMT.(9-10-2010)

  • Tim Richmond Documentary to Air on ESPN in October: Former NASCAR driver Tim Richmond will be the subject of a new film airing on ESPN on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 8:00 pm/et. ESPN Films has announced the fall schedule for its critically acclaimed film series 30 for 30 Presented by Cadillac. The series' remaining films will begin airing Tuesday, Aug. 24, at 8:00 pm on ESPN/ESPN HD, and will air Tuesday nights throughout the fall.

    Tim Richmond: To the Limit (Rory Karpf) Natural. Rock star. Outsider. In the 1980s, race car driver Tim Richmond lived his life the way he raced cars - wide open. Born into a wealthy family, Richmond was the antithesis of the Southern, blue-collar racers who dominated NASCAR. He also was a flamboyant showman who basked in the attention of the media and fans - especially the attention of female admirers. Nevertheless, it was Richmond's on-track performances that ended up drawing comparisons to racing legends. And in 1986, when he won seven NASCAR races and finished third in the Winston Cup series points race, some believed he was on the verge of stardom. But soon his freewheeling lifestyle caught up to him. He unexpectedly withdrew from the NASCAR racing circuit, reportedly suffering from double pneumonia. In reality, the diagnosis was much more dire: He had AIDS. Richmond returned to the track in 1987, but he was gone from the sport by the next year as his health deteriorated. He spent his final days as a recluse, dying on August 13, 1989, at the age of 34. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Rory Karpf will examine the life and tragic death of one of NASCAR's shooting stars.

    Films added to the fall lineup include Little Big Men (Al Szymanski and Peter Franchella), Unmatched (Directors: Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern Winters; Producer: Hannah Storm), Four Days in October (Major League Baseball Productions) and Pony Excess (Thaddeus D. Matula). These films join the previously announced Jordan Rides the Bus, One Night in Vegas, The House of Steinbrenner, Marion Jones: Press Pause, Steve Bartman: Catching Hell, Once Brothers, Into The Wind and The Best That Never Was.

    The schedule:

    * Tuesday, Aug. 24, 8 p.m. - Jordan Rides the Bus (Ron Shelton)

    * Tuesday, Aug. 31, 8 p.m. - Little Big Men (Al Szymanski and Peter Franchella)

    * Tuesday, Sept. 7, 8 p.m. - One Night in Vegas (Reggie Bythewood)

    * Tuesday, Sept. 14, 8 p.m. - Unmatched (Directors: Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern Winters; Producer: Hannah Storm)

    * Tuesday, Sept. 21, 8 p.m. - The House of Steinbrenner (Barbara Kopple)

    * Tuesday, Sept. 28, 8 p.m. - Into The Wind (Steve Nash)

    * Tuesday, Oct. 5, 8 p.m. - Four Days in October (Major League Baseball Productions)

    * Tuesday, Oct. 12, 8 pm. - Once Brothers (NBA Entertainment)

    * Tuesday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m. - Tim Richmond: To the Limit (Rory Karpf )

    * Tuesday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m. - Steve Bartman: Catching Hell (Alex Gibney)

    * Tuesday, Nov. 2, 8 p.m. - Marion Jones: Press Pause (John Singleton)

    * Tuesday, Nov. 9, 8 p.m. - Pony Excess (Thaddeus D. Matula)

    *Saturday, Dec. 11, 9 p.m. - The Best That Never Was (Jonathan Hock) * two hours

    The series "30 for 30" is an unprecedented documentary series featuring 30 films from some of today's finest storytellers. Each filmmaker brings their passion and personal point of view to their film detailing the issues, trends, athletes, teams, rivalries, games and events that transformed the sports landscape from 1979 to 2009. Crossing the barriers of sports, the films reflect on the impact these events had across the pop culture spectrum.

    Select films from the series are available for purchase on iTunes the day following air. Additional films are available for purchase at www.amazon.com/30for30.(ESPN)(7-29-2010)

  • Musical production about the History of Stock Car Racing in Charlotte: Heaven on Wheels, an uproarious musical about the history of stock car racing, is playing at Actor's Theatre of Charlotte from Thursday May 6, 2010, through Saturday, May 29-coinciding with three prominent NASCAR races and the opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Heaven on Wheels is a co-production of Actor's Theatre of Charlotte and Once Upon a Blue Ridge Production Company of Meadows of Dan, VA. Actor's Theatre of Charlotte is supported in part by a Basic Operating Grant from the Arts & Science Council of Charlotte/Mecklenburg, Inc., a General Support Grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, and an Operating Grant from the Shubert Foundation. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased through the Box Office at (704) 342-2251 and online at actorstheatrecharlotte.org. Heaven on Wheels is recommended for those aged 13 and older.(PR)(5-4-2010)

  • Movie being made about stock car racing: If you happened to drive by North Wilkesboro Speedway on Thursday [Dec 17th] afternoon, you may have heard the rumble of a flathead Ford making a few laps around the historic five-eighths mile circuit. It was all part of a music video shot at the track for a new song by recording artist Matt Dylan and members of the Midnight Steel Band titled "Carolina Moonshine." The music video is part of a larger production, a movie called "Red Dirt Rising." The movie is based on the book "Red Dirt Tracks," a work of historical fiction by Gail Gurley. The film is centered on the life of Jimmie Lewallen, as well as fellow drivers Bill Blair and Fred Harb, all of whom raced and ran moonshine. Set during the 1940s, the film is meant to accurately portray the life and times of those involved with stock car racing before NASCAR was a household name. "Red Dirt Rising" is scheduled for official release on Jan. 13 at Johnny and June's Saloon in Winston-Salem, NC.

    Two of the big players behind the production of "Red Dirt Rising" are Gary Lewallen and Bill Blair Jr. Lewallen and Blair are the sons of drivers portrayed in the film, the late Jimmie Lewallen and Bill Blair. Blair, who volunteered his flathead 1939 Ford for the music video, hopes that the movie paints an accurate picture of what life was like for drivers back in those days.

    Proceeds from both the film and the soundtrack will be put toward the Racing Legends Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization for which Lewallen took the chair after his father died in 1995. The shoot was closed to the public. NASCAR legend Junior Johnson and son Robert also appeared in the video shoot.(Wilkes Journal Patriot) more info about the movie at reddirtrising.com or facebook. More info about North Wilkesboro Speedway at savethespeedway.net and historicnws.com.(12-29-2009)

  • Tom Cruise to narrate Hendrick Documentry Film: "TOGETHER: The Hendrick Motorsports Story," NASCAR Media Group's documentary-style film chronicling the history of the eight-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship team, will air Sunday, Oct. 11 at 1:30pm/et on ABC prior to the network's Pepsi 500 race coverage from [Auto Club Speedway] Fontana, CA. Narrated by three-time Academy Award nominee Tom Cruise and presented by Pepsi, "TOGETHER" employs exclusive interviews, never-before-seen archival footage, thrilling racing sequences and rare family photography to detail the personal relationships and emotional events that have shaped one of NASCAR's most decorated organizations. The official "TOGETHER" trailer is available at www.refresheverything.com/hendrick. The Web site will feature regular updates of content from the film and provide fans the opportunity to upload video messages about their favorite Hendrick Motorsports moments. Select fan-generated clips will be shown during the Oct. 11 broadcast on ABC.

    "NASCAR Media Group is honored to tell the story of one of the most successful teams in our sport's history," said Jay Abraham, chief operating officer of NASCAR Media Group. "The cooperation, access and openness of Hendrick Motorsports and the entire Hendrick family have enabled us to tell a compelling, emotional and comprehensive story that will give fans fresh insight into one of NASCAR's legendary operations. It has a powerful message that will resonate with people."

    The full-length version of "TOGETHER" with bonus material will be released Oct. 31 on DVD, and it will become NASCAR Media Group's first officially licensed title available on Blu-ray Disc. A portion of Hendrick Motorsports' proceeds from those sales will benefit the Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, N.C.

    "When we started the team back in 1984, our pie in the sky was to eventually, someday win a race," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "Any success beyond that has been because of the folks who have worked so hard and supported us over our 25 years. We've been extremely fortunate, and I hope the film is something they will be proud of." Cruise, an auto racing enthusiast who starred in the 1990 NASCAR-themed motion picture "Days of Thunder," completed the narration work for "TOGETHER: The Hendrick Motorsports Story" in Los Angeles last month. The script was co-written by Emmy Award winners Shawn Truax and Ray Didinger. Film director Rory Karpf has spearheaded such projects as the Dale Earnhardt biopic "DALE," now the best-selling sports DVD in history, and the critically acclaimed "Ride of Their Lives." The NASCAR Media Group production team responsible for "TOGETHER: The Hendrick Motorsports Story" earned back-to-back Sports Emmy Awards in 2006 and 2007 for "Beyond the Wheel" and "Quest for the Cup."(HMS)(9-2-2009)

  • One of ESPN Films about Tim Richmond: ESPN Films announced eight additional films and filmmakers for its ambitious "30 for 30" film project, bringing the total of films announced thus far to 25. Noted directors and producers will delve into sports stories of the past 30 years - from unforgettable athletes, to NASCAR, soccer and the 2003 Chicago Cubs. Debuting in October 2009, "30 for 30" will gather 30 filmmakers to each create one-hour films on topics from 1979 to 2009, ESPN's first 30 years.

    Racing the Devil (Director: Al Szymanski): Natural. Rock star. Outsider. In the 1980's, race car driver Tim Richmond lived his life the way he raced cars...wide open. Born into a wealthy family, Richmond was the antithesis of the Southern blue-collar, dirt-track racers who dominated NASCAR. He also was a flamboyant showman who basked in the attention of the media and fans - especially the attention of female admirers. Nevertheless, it was Richmond's on-track performances that ended up drawing comparisons to racing legends. But his freewheeling lifestyle caught up to him. He unexpectedly withdrew from the NASCAR racing circuit, reportedly suffering from double pneumonia. In reality, the diagnosis was much more dire: He had AIDS. Richmond returned to the track in 1987, but he was gone from the sport by the next year as his health deteriorated. He spent his final days as a recluse, dying on August 13, 1989 at the age of 34. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Al Szymanski will examine the life and tragic death of one of NASCAR's shooting stars. Films produced as part of the "30 for 30" project will begin airing on October 6 on ESPN, with seven films airing before the end of 2009 starting on Tuesdaym October 6th.(ESPN Media Zone)(8-1-2009)

  • 'Racing Dreams' to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival: 'Racing Dreams,' a documentary focusing on kids who dream of one day racing for NASCAR, will be screened at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. Racing Dreams, directed by Marshall Curry, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his 2005 documentary, 'Street Fight,' will follow three young drivers, aged 11-13, who race extreme karts in the World Karting Association's National Pavement Series. With races at speeds of 60-70 miles per hour, the series is widely seen as the first step in a career racing for NASCAR. The film will chronicle the young drivers' successes and frustrations, their relationships and their dreams, shedding light on the vast segment of America that is passionate about racing. The three drivers are Joshua Hobson, Brandon Warren and Annabeth Barnes. Barnes has been part of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program. "The motivation and talent these kids demonstrate is incredible, and this is an inspiring look at their passion and drive," said Ben Goldhirsh, Founder and CEO of GOOD, the production company. "The opportunity to work with like-minded individuals like Marshall Curry, allows us to create relevant, entertaining and stimulating content for a broader audience."(Newsday)(4-9-2009)

  • Short Track Stockcar Racing Movie to be Released September 30th, 2008: Mach 1 Productions, LLC is pleased to announce that their feature film Short Track will be distributed internationally by Curb Entertainment International Corporation of Burbank, CA. Monarch Home Video of LaVergne, TN will release Short Track on DVD throughout the U.S. on Tuesday, September 30th, 2008.

    Short Track, a small, yet ambitious stockcar racing movie, rated PG, should appeal to race fans of all ages. Shot primarily in the Carolinas and in Georgia, Short Track features the UARA-STARS Racing Series late model stock cars and stars veteran actors Pepper Sweeney ("Gray's Anatomy"), Barbara Niven (HBO's THE RAT PACK and REDLINE), Joshua Snyder (SHOPGIRL), newcomer Ann Bratton and Patrick Gorman (GETTYSBURG and GODS AND GENERALS).

    Written and Directed by Marie Hopkins, a native Carolinian from a longtime NASCAR associated racing family, the film centers on the family life of Short Track veteran race driver, Blake Beckett (Pepper Sweeney). The daily life experiences of Blake's family and crew are exposed through unique characters that work and play through weeks that culminate in 120 mph Saturday nights. Blake longs to make it to the sport's top series, while struggling to help his deaf son follow in his race-driving footsteps. Indy Johansen (Joshua Snyder), a well-heeled, young California driver, arrives to recruit Blake for a shot at the big time. There's only one catch: Indy's driving. Blake's daughter, an aspiring country music singer, Abby (Ann Bratton) falls for the young hot-shoe driver, forcing Blake to see that his little girl is all grown up. Blake's lively, resilient wife, Audrey (Barbara Niven) longs for the day when he will retire from driving. "Driving racecars is a young man's business." The movie features electrifying race footage from the UARA-STARS Racing Series.

    Short Track features race footage at three great tracks: Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, GA, Tri-County Motor Speedway and the historical Hickory Motor Speedway. Pre-Sales available NOW online at Target, Best Buy and Circuit City.(9-10-2008)

  • Movie to film at Alabama speedway: The latest installment of New Line Cinema's popular horror/thriller franchise, Final Destination 4, will film racing sequences at Mobile International Speedway [AL] from Monday, May 26th to Saturday, May 31st. The Ronald McDonald House Night race, scheduled for 8:00pm on May 31st, has been moved to a 3:00pm start to accommodate filming. The film crew will be shooting crowd scenes and reactions during the racing program on Saturday, May 31st. Final Destination 4 stars a fresh ensemble cast that includes Bobby Campo, Shantel Van Santen, Haley Webb, Nick Zano, Krista Allen, Andrew Fiscella and Mykelti Williamson. Final Destination 4 is being shot in High Definition with the most advanced form of stereoscopic image capture yet invented - Fusion 3D. It utilizes the dynamic PACE camera system to ensure a rich visual experience matched only by reality.(MIS)(4-25-2008)

  • New Earnhardt movie planned...but: Producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher have hitched their Red Wagon banner to a bio on NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. Wick and Fisher have made a deal to tell the life story of the stock car driver, who was killed in a crash in the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. The deal comes just as Dale Earnhardt Jr. rolls into Sunday's Daytona 500 for the first time since leaving DEI, the racing empire built by his dad. Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, and son Dale Jr. have both pledged their cooperation on the biopic even though their relationship is strained -- he left DEI after his stepmother refused his request for majority control. Wick and Fisher will produce with Richard Blackstone, who reps DEI, and Bernie Cahill of Roar. Max Siegel, DEI's president of global operations, is also closely involved. Sony-based Red Wagon will first shop the project at the studio, though the producers may wait to attach a director and star. They said the picture will be put on a fast track.
    DEI Statement: Statement from Max Siegel, president of global operations for Dale Earnhardt Inc., in response to a published report regarding an agreement for a Dale Earnhardt biopic. "We are enthusiastic about the prospect of making a compelling theatrical movie which celebrates the sport and Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s life. To that end we are excited that Red Wagon has committed themselves to developing such a project. Contrary to published reports, we have not granted any rights to Dale Sr.'s life and are in the very preliminary stages of putting a project like this together. We will keep the public informed as our efforts progress."(DEI PR)(2-15-2008)

  • The Junior Johnson Story to become a major motion picture: Redwood Palms Pictures has signed on to produce the true life story of racing legend, Junior Johnson. Commonly referred to as the father of modern stock car racing, Johnson began his career as a young teen running illegal moonshine on the dusty back roads of North Carolina,
    sharpening his unique driving skills by continually evading the law. Little did he know, he would help launch an entire industry. Whiskey Beginnings is one of those stories that crystallizes the American Dream and tells the story of how one man¹s passion changed the world. Junior Johnson not only became a legend in his own time, but a true American hero. ³This story takes place during the great depression, in a time when many people fought daily for their survival,² states Mike DiManno, CEO of Redwood Palms. ³And out of that adversity was born one of the greatest heroes we¹ve ever known.² Redwood Palms is partnering with writers Fred Griffith and Chris Mulkey. Based on the book, "Junior Johnson: Brave in Life" by Tom Higgins and Steve Waid, the film is scheduled to begin shooting in the Fall of 2008.(PR)(2-10-2008)

  • "Dale" to make its TV debut on CMT September 4th: Dale Earnhardt is known as one of the most legendary drivers in the history of NASCAR, and his life both on and off the track is featured in the two-hour CMT feature, DALE, premiering Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 8:00pm/et/pt on CMT. DALE will encore at 8:00pm on Wednesday, Sept. 5 and Thursday, Sept. 6, with those being the only additional scheduled airings of DALE on CMT prior to the film's release on DVD next year. Produced by NASCAR Images and CMT Films, DALE is the only authorized film on Dale Earnhardt. Narrated by Paul Newman, this portrait of Dale Earnhardt includes archival race footage, rare outtakes, never-before-seen family home videos and interviews with his closest friends and family, toughest competitors and most avid fans, illustrating the depth of Earnhardt's influence in the racing world and beyond. DALE was produced with the support and endorsement of Richard Childress Racing, plus the Earnhardt family, corporation, and team. Prior to airing on CMT, DALE was launched theatrically in February 2007 and premiered in select cities on the Nextel Cup Series circuit. DALE will be available on DVD first quarter 2008. See more info on the movie at http://dale.cmt.com.(8-14-2007)

  • Talladega Nights car in Mooresville: The feature car from the recently released movie, "Talladega Nights," is now on
    display at Memory Lane Historical and Motorsports Automotive Museum, located at 769 River Hwy., Mooresville, NC, 28117. This colorful #26 Wonder Car was featured in the movie filmed in the Charlotte area and starring Will Ferrell. Museum hours are Monday - Friday, 10 - 5. The car will be on display along with 150 other automobiles from horseless carriages and other antique autos to
    current racecars, more info at memorylaneautomuseum.com.(8-17-2007)

  • Talladega Nights takes #1 at the Box Office: Will Ferrell's NASCAR spoof "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" enjoyed life in the fast lane with a No. 1 finish in the weekend box office race, taking in $47 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. "It's one of those movies - pardon the pun - firing on all cylinders. When you have Will Ferrell and NASCAR, you just know you are going to have a crowd pleaser. But this was way beyond expectations," said Rory Bruer, president of distribution for Sony Pictures Entertainment. Also entering the box office race with a surprising debut was the animated movie "Barnyard: The Original Party Animals," placing second with $16 million. Overall, box office revenue for the top dozen films was up 17 percent over the same week last year, said Paul Dergarabedian, president of Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc., which tracks box office performance. As for "Talladega Nights," he said: "It's reinvigorated the box office. Everybody loves Will Ferrell. You know you are going to have a good time and NASCAR is an utterly American sport." Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" earned another $11 million to place third with attendance dropping 46 percent over the previous week. "Pirates" has earned $380 million after five weeks in North America theaters.(Associated Press)(8-7-2006)

  • 'Dale' to premiere in February 2007: The documentary-style movie, entitled Dale, will be released in theatres and includes original, never-before-seen footage of Earnhardt's racing career and personal life, as well as family photos and historical interviews with the seven-time champion that give the viewer an unprecedented look at the man Earnhardt truly was. The documentary-style movie, entitled Dale, will be released in theatres and includes original, never-before-seen footage of Earnhardt's racing career and personal life, as well as family photos and historical interviews with the seven-time champion that give the viewer an unprecedented look at the man Earnhardt truly was. A local premiere is planned for October in Charlotte for the Earnhardt family, NASCAR's drivers and industry insiders, and a national premiere is slated for February in conjunction with the Budweiser Shootout.(more at NASCAR.com)(8-6-2006)

  • Ricky Bobby and Crew at Chicago: Promoting the Aug. 4 release of the NASCAR-related film "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," several motion-picture stars will be at Chicagoland Speedway today, including funnyman Will Ferrell, the film's star and the grand marshal of the USG Sheetrock 400. Ferrell's co-stars - John C. Reilly, Michael Clarke Duncan and Leslie Bibb - also are expected to be in attendance. Reilly, a member of Brother Rice High School's Hall of Fame, and Duncan, a former Peoples Gas employee, are South Side natives.(Daily Southtown)(7-9-2006)

  • "Dale: The True Story" to debut in 2007: NASCAR Images and CMT films will release an authorized Dale Earnhardt documentary titled "Dale: The True Story" before next year's Daytona 500, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reports. Plans call for airing the 90-minute film narrated by Paul Newman in markets where NASCAR races are scheduled. National Cinema Vice President/Digital Programming Dan Diamond, whose company is promoting the film, says the company also expects limited runs in major non-race markets such as New York, Denver and Seattle. Paramount Home Video will handle the film's DVD release late next year, while CMT will air it after it runs in theaters. The story says Richard Childress Racing, the team the seven-time NASCAR Cup champion drove for, and Dale Earnhardt Inc., the team he founded and which is now run by his widow, Teresa, are cooperating in the production. Tickets to the screenings in each market are expected to be $12.50 each and will include a souvenir magazine produced by Street & Smith's, the parent company of NASCAR Scene and SceneDaily.(SceneDaily.com)(5-23-2006)

  • Talladega Nights on sale at Talladega: NASCAR and Sony Pictures will begin selling merchandise this week online and at-track for one of the most anticipated comedies of the year - "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby." While "Talladega Nights", starring television and movie star Will Ferrell, hits theatres August 4, merchandise for the movie goes on sale this Thursday. In addition to being available online at NASCAR.com, NASCAR-licensed film merchandise will be available at track for the first time at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. Ferrell, who will be playing NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby, will be the grand marshal for Sunday's Aaron's 499. Close to 10 different licensees will be selling movie merchandise either on NASCAR.com and/or in a "Talladega Nights"-specific hauler, with Motorsports Authentics, J.H. Design Group, Checkered Flag Sports and Gametime LLC leading the way with several different lines of shirts, jackets, watches and more. As part of this weekend's merchandise launch, Motorsports Authentics will be running a promotion awarding fans with an opportunity to meet Ferrell and get their movie merchandise signed by the former "Saturday Night Live" star turned mega-movie star and NASCAR fan. All fans purchasing movie merchandise at-track between Thursday and Saturday at 1 p.m. will be entered into a drawing that will ultimately reward 50 lucky fans with a Sunday autograph session with Ferrell.(NASCAR PR)(4-29-2006)

  • CARS to premiere at LMS in May: Disney.Pixar's exciting new computer-animated feature "CARS" will stage its World Premiere on Friday, May 26th at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC in one of the most unique and elaborate movie events of all-time, it was announced today by Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. Paul Newman, Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, Larry the Cable Guy, NASCAR legends Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip, and others from the voice cast of the film will be joined by a host of stars from the racing world and 30,000 guests that are expected to attend the "CARS" World Premiere, taking place at the same location as that weekend's famous Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race. The screening of the film represents the first multi-screen digital cinema premiere ever, with Texas Instruments and its DLP CinemaR technology serving as Disney's event technology partner in providing the digital cinema projectors. A series of four giant custom-built outdoor movie screens (115-feet wide and 50-feet tall) will be constructed at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Turn #2 of the track. Each screen will have three DLP Cinema 2K digital projectors dedicated to it. A state-of-the-art sound system is also being created and installed for the event. Tickets for the premiere will be made available for purchase by the general public starting today. Proceeds will benefit Speedway Children's Charities, and Association of Hole in the Wall Gang Camps. For tickets, call 1-800-455-FANS, visit the Lowe's Motor Speedway box office, or order online here.

    To cap off the weekend, the #96 DLP HDTV car will be wrapped as the film's lead character "Lightning McQueen" for the NEXTEL Cup series race in Charlotte the same weekend.

    Lightning McQueen (voice of OWEN WILSON), a hotshot rookie race car driven to succeed, discovers that life is about the journey, not the finish line, when he finds himself unexpectedly detoured in the sleepy Route 66 town of Radiator Springs. On route across the country to the big Piston Cup Championship in California to compete against two seasoned pros, McQueen gets to know the town's offbeat characters -including Doc Hudson (a 1951 Hudson Hornet with a mysterious past, voiced by PAUL NEWMAN), Sally (a snazzy 2002 Porsche voiced by BONNIE HUNT), and Mater (a rusty but trusty tow truck voiced by LARRY THE CABLE GUY) - who help him realize that there are more important things than trophies, fame and sponsorship.

    The all-star vocal cast also includes free-wheeling performances by Tony Shalhoub, Michael Keaton, Cheech Marin, George Carlin, Katherine Helmond, and John Ratzenberger. Delivering more fun and authenticity to the cast for "CARS" are vocal performances from some of the all-time greatest names from the racing world including the legendary Richard Petty, plus "drive-on" roles by Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Darrell Waltrip (who holds the record for five-wins at the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600), and Michael Schumacher, the ace German Formula 1 racing legend, who is a seven-times world champion, and is widely considered to be the best Grand Prix racing driver of all-time.(LMS PR)(3-24-2006)

  • Petty movie is back on: The Disney-backed movie on Richard Petty is on again and filming could start this fall or early spring 2007, said Bill Scott of Petty Enterprises. The movie was expected to be filmed in either 2004 or 2005, but that changed after the script was rejected. Scott said the script has been rewritten, and movie officials are revising it. Scott said actor Dennis Quaid is scheduled to play Lee Petty.(Roanoke Times)(3-11-2006)

  • Company to put Junior Johnson's life on film: Junior Johnson's life story could soon become a movie, says Fred Griffith of Follow Your Dreams Productions, Inc., a Beverly Hills, Calif., motion picture company that has signed a rights deal for the former NASCAR legend's life story. The movie is to depict Johnson's life as a moonshine hauler and NASCAR race driver. Griffith, an actor and producer from South Carolina, is currently adapting a screenplay based largely on the book, "Junior Johnson, Brave In Life," written by Tom Higgins and Steve Waid. Veteran actor and producer Chris Mulkey ("Radio") is a writing producer for the film. The film will show what Johnson has overcome in his life to become a NASCAR legend with 50 victories in his driving career. It will also depict his often-dangerous career as a moonshiner who hauled illegal whiskey throughout the Southeast for many years.(SceneDaily.com), back in 1973, the movie "The Last Amerian Hero" aired, it was based on Tom Wolfe's magazine article, this film follows the unlikely career of race car driver Junior Johnson in which Jeff Bridges starred as Johnson, but the character was named Junior Jackson. The real Junior Johnson served as technical advisor on the film.(3-9-2006)

  • Ferrell's NASCAR Movie has a name: Moviegoers everywhere will see the name of NASCAR's Most Competitive Track in marquee lighting this summer, as Talladega Superspeedway officials announced today that the much-anticipated comedy starring Will Ferrell will be titled Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and is set for release by Columbia Pictures on Aug. 4, 2006. The movie, written by Ferrell & director Adam McKay, tells the story of NASCAR racing sensation Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell), whose "win at all costs" approach has made him a national hero. He and his loyal racing partner and childhood friend, Cal Naughton, Jr. (John C. Reilly), are a fearless duo who thrill their fans by finishing most races in the No. 1 and 2 positions - with Cal always in second place. When a flamboyant French Formula One driver, Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen), challenges him for the supremacy of NASCAR, Ricky Bobby must face his own demons and fight Girard for the right to be known as racing's top driver. To order tickets for any Talladega races/events, call 1-877-Go2-DEGA (1-877-462-3342).(Talladega Superspeedway PR), see the movie trailer at sonypictures.com.(2-10-2006)

  • Another NASCAR Movie in the works: Producer Barry Kemp has bought a screenplay set in the world of NASCAR racing. The film will be developed by Kemp's production company, Bungalow 78 Productions, from the script by Jason Jordan and Matthew Lawton (National Lampoon's Pledge This!, Blue Collar TV). The story will centre on an up-and-coming young driver who's been dropped by his sponsor; he must team up with a female cosmetics executive to get back on top of the game.(Empire), Will Ferrell is filming a NASCAR movie which is expected to be in theatres in 2006.(12-31-2005)

  • '3' Lawsuit Settled: Richard Childress Racing and ESPN traded paint back in March over the use of the late Dale Earnhardt's famous No. 3. That contest is over -- and you'll have as much chance of learning the winner as you would of finding out how a NASCAR team squeezes more horsepower from its engines. The two parties have settled the suit that RCR filed in federal court in Greensboro. The terms of their deal, like those in most out-of-court settlements, aren't public. "The matter has been resolved to our satisfaction, and the exact terms are confidential," Heather Adams, an attorney for ESPN, told the Winston-Salem Journal. An RCR spokesman also told the newspaper that his company is pleased as well. At issue was the stylized "3." The trademarked number appeared on the sides and roof of Earnhardt's black Chevrolet for much of his career. It still shows up on jackets, hats and stickers that fans still buy five years after his death. Earnhardt drove for RCR, which is based in Welcome, NC, until he was killed during the 2001 Daytona 500. ESPN used a variation of the number in the marketing efforts for its 2004 made-for-TV film "3: The Dale Earnhardt Story." RCR called the ESPN "3" a knockoff and sued for trademark infringement and unfair competition.(News and Record)(12-16-2005)

  • Ferrell NASCAR Movie Update: Will Ferrell is in the middle of a 12-day run at Lowe's Motor Speedway filming his NASCAR movie. Track officials privately are miffed that the "Saturday Night Live" star and the movie production company refused to do any track publicity. Ferrell was offered the post of grand marshal for Saturday's Cup race and turned it down. One other movie tidbit: The walls of Lowe's Motor Speedway have been painted at various times with the logos of Atlanta and Texas motor speedways, so the movie crew could film at one track and make it appear to be three different speedways. The three tracks are all owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc. and have similar designs and layouts.(Speed Channel)(10-14-2005)

  • More II on Ferrell NASCAR Movie: The new 2006 action comedy set in the world of NASCAR started filming in Charlotte, N.C. in early September. During the UAW-Ford 500 weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, Ricky Bobby better known as Will Ferrell, had a NASCAR garage stall and sign between Martin Truex Jr.'s #1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Chevrolet and Scott Riggs #10 Checkers/Rally's Chevrolet. The #62, white Ford looks like an old sportsman car with the dirtiest engine ever seen at a race track. Filming took place in the garage on Saturday morning and on track just before the start of the ARCA RE/MAX Food World 300. The movie cast include: Sacha Baron Cohen [Ali G of HBO] as Jean Girard, Leslie Bibb as Carley Bobby, Gary Cole as Reese Bobby, Michael Clarke Duncan as Lucius Washington, Will Ferrell as Ricky Bobby, John C. Reilly as Cal Naughton, plus Jon Glaser, David Koechner, Emmy Laybourne and Chris Parnell.

    The sponsors on the car were hilarious:

    Dr. Lane's Bath Salts for menopause and spider bites.

    Julio's Thongs for Men

    Tanya Rashard's Homemade Weaves & Extentions! The Best in Fake Hair

    Hullmont High School Ski Club

    Looking for fun, single, divorced, white male - 19 to 24 year old female in good shape for fun.(Insider Racing News)(10-2-2005)

  • More on the Will Ferrell NASCAR Movie: been told that Fasttrack is supplying the cars for the Will Ferrell NASCAR Movie, High, Wide, and Handsome. The cars being sent to Talladega for shooting this week include the Will Ferrell car sponsored by Wonder Bread and a Laughing Clown Malt Liqour car for a rival. There will be some older cars like a Sterling Marlin Kodak car, Bbobby Hamilton STP and Bill Elliotts McDonald car. Actors listed to be in the film include Sacha Baron Cohen [Ali G], Leslie Bibb, Gary Cole, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jon Glaser and John C. Reilly.

    AND Darrell Waltrip has been busy lately, working on the new Pixar film, Cars, and has committed to an upcoming film featuring Will Ferrell as a racecar driver. "Larry, Mike and I are gonna be in the Will Ferrell movie," Waltrip said, referring to his fellow truck announcers. "I'm sure we'll be in a booth calling a race somewhere."(Bristol Herald Courier)(9-29-2005)

  • Want To Be In A Movie? at Talladega: Race fans who attend the Food World 300 ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, Oct. 1 will not only catch a great race, but also may find themselves making a collective cameo appearance in the NASCAR-themed movie starring Will Ferrell [High, Wide, and Handsome] to be released next year. Talladega Superspeedway Vice President and General Manager Rick Humphrey said that producers want to showcase the track's thousands of supportive fans in one of the movie's most pivotal scenes, to be filmed just prior to the start of the Food World 300 at the start/finish line of the track. ARCA RE/MAX Series driver introductions begin at 12:15 p.m., followed by the shooting of the movie scene and then the start of the Food World 300 ARCA RE/MAX Series season finale at 1:05 p.m. The evening will end with musical entertainment provided by recording artists Pat Green and Shooter Jennings in the Miller Lite Rock'n Racing Concert in the track's infield, which starts tentatively at 7 p.m. Any guest with an infield ticket for that evening or proper track-issued crendentials may attend the concert free of charge. To reserve your spot in the Talladega Superspeedway grandstands - and among the cheering crowd that will be captured on film for a blockbuster comedy, call the track's ticket office at 1-877-Go2-DEGA for tickets and also are available online at www.racetickets.com.(Talladega Superspeedway)(9-26-2005)

  • Casting rumors about Ferrell's NASCAR movie: Here are unsubstantiated rumors on the still-unnamed Will Ferrell movie being filmed in Charlotte this fall. Filmstew.com reports that Oscar nominees John C. Reilly -- the terrific character actor who's appeared in "The Aviator" and "Chicago" -- and Michael Clarke Duncan -- perhaps best known for "The Green Mile" -- are in the cast.And the Web site says Ferrell's character, Ricky Bobby, is an "all-or-nothing NASCAR driver who either races to first place or doesn't finish the race at all." His arch-rival, the Web site says, is "a gay French driver who comes stateside to dominate NASCAR."(Charlotte Observer)(8-18-2005)

  • Latest on Will Ferrell's NASCAR movie: Wacky comedian Will Ferrell is roaring toward Charlotte to film a NASCAR comedy here this fall. Now, you might automatically imagine Ferrell exploring how fast he can go through a fast-food drive-through, and there will be plenty of Ferrell's silly screen antics. But experts say the movie represents something significant: This will be the first major studio project made in the state [North Carolina] in three years. The reason? The state is poised to get back in the race for film projects by offering more competitive funding incentives for filmmakers. According to sources close to the Columbia Studios project, Ferrell will be here from about September to December, filming at a Charlotte studio and at racetracks and nearby towns. The project was formerly titled "Talladega Nights," but that name has been dropped. It is now being referred to as "The Untitled Will Ferrell NASCAR Comedy." (Expect that to change.) Sources close to the project could not say where the film is set, or if that issue has been decided. The NASCAR comedy is slated for release sometime next year. "That film was set for Alabama," Frank Capra Jr., president of Wilmington's ScreenGem Studios, says of the Ferrell comedy. "The incentives -- or the promise of the incentives -- are what brought it to Charlotte." Some Carolinians might get into the act, too. At least some actors will be needed, and perhaps plenty of extras to fill racing grandstands.(Charlotte Observer)(7-14-2005)

  • New racing movie records history of diversity in auto racing: "Black Wheels," a one-hour film exploring African-Americans in racing from as far back as 80 years ago, such as the black crew chief who was forced to pose as a janitor while helping a white driver win the 1934 Indy 500. At Dover International Speedway this weekend, Bill Lester will be the only African-American behind the wheel for any of the three major races, driving in Friday's MBNA Racepoints 200 in the Craftsman Truck Series. But NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program, in its second year, is putting young minority drivers in position to develop in lower racing series. One of them is Joe Henderson III, a 19-year-old racing in NASCAR's Dodge Weekly Racing Series. His father, Joe, is a first-hand witness to the progress made in a generation, watching his son race throughout the Southeast after his own racing aspirations were dashed decades ago by tracks that didn't welcome him. Henderson III said his racing sparked interest in his friends, who otherwise "don't see racing as a sport for black people, just because they don't see anybody out there like them." That's where the history comes in, with the knowledge that even though there aren't many African-American racers right now, they have been a few in the past. l In 1924, the Gold and Glory Sweepstakes was created as an alternative for black drivers barred from the Indy 500. The race was part of the Colored Speedway Association, the racing version of the Negro Leagues. Charlie Wiggins, dubbed the Negro Speed King, won the Gold and Glory many times before it was disbanded in 1936. In 1934, he operated as the crew chief, in disguise, for the Indy 500 winner. He died in 1979. Joie Ray was the first African-American racer to be licensed by the American Automobile Association and was the first black driver to run in a NASCAR race, in 1952. Wendell Scott became the only African-American to win a NASCAR race, in 1963, and four times finished in the top 10 in the points standings despite running as an independent, without factory sponsorship. Scott's life was chronicled in the 1977 film "Greased Lightning," starring Richard Pryor. Recent history centers around the recently retired Willy T. Ribbs, and Lester, who continues the fight for monetary backing. Greg Calhoun, the co-founder of the Drive for Diversity Program, hopes "Black Wheels," brings African-American corporations and millionaires to NASCAR, not because they want to make money, but because they want to aid black racers. Rapper Nelly pulled a short-lived sponsorship a few years ago [#15 Truck].(See full story and quotes at the Delaware News Journal)(6-2-2005)

  • Kulwicki Movie Openings AND: Dare To Dream opened in Texas on April 14th in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and three of the people involved were at the track, Texas Motor Speedway for the weekend promoting the movie, signing autographs and doing
    interviews: David Orgas (Writer/Director), Brad Weber (Alan Kulwicki) and Bryan Madson (Executive Producer/2nd Lead Actor). The movie will be opening in the Phoenix area at the end of this week and also through out the middle and western half of Wisconsin (Madison, La Crosse, Wausau, Rhinelander, Shawano, etc). Brad Weber and Bryan Madson will both be at the Phoenix track from Thursday through Saturday promoting and talking to fans. The movie will then open in the Talladega region the following week [Apr 29th] and Charlotte at the time of the All-Star race and the Coca-Cola 600 [mid to end of May]. New on the DVD release will come later in the year.(4-19-2005)
    this Thursday and Friday after the 7:00pm show at the Harkins theater in Avondale, AZ, Brad Weber (Alan Kulwicki), Bryan Madson (Lead Actor/Executive Producer) and Tom Loppnow (Sound and Score Engineer) will be present for a Q&A with the viewers. Also autograph and promotion sessions on Thursday the 20th at the Tempe AZ Hooters and Friday the 21st at the Phoenix Hooters.(4-20-2005)

  • IMAGE: New York Auto Show: Herbie the Love Bug does NASCAR.(3-26-2005)

  • Gossage featured in Kulwicki film: Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage plays a role in the new movie Dare to Dream - The Alan Kulwicki Story. Gossage reenacts a phone conversation he had with Kulwicki when the Wisconsin native was in the middle of a rags-to-riches climb that resulted in him becoming the 1992 Winston Cup Series champion. Kulwicki died in a 1993 plane crash.(Dallas Morning News)(4-18-2005)

  • The lastest on the movie Dust to Glory: Every fall since 1967 a hearty and eclectic band of adventurers have gathered
    in Ensenada, Mexico in Baja California for one of the roughest, toughest and most exhilarating rides ever concocted. It's the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the longest non-stop, point-to-point race in the world. Now award-winning filmmaker Dana Brown ("Step into Liquid"), plunges into the world of the Baja 1000 with DUST TO GLORY a feature documentary that captures all the excitement, hard knocks, sights and sounds of this extraordinary event. Using over fifty cameras and a crew of ninety, Brown puts the audience right
    in the middle of a race often called the most dangerous in the world. But the Baja 1000 is not only about the competition but the camaraderie among some 1200 participants driving 270 vehicles of all sizes and shapes in a carnival atmosphere witnessed by 200,000 spectators. As much as anything, DUST TO GLORY celebrates the unique people and geography of Baja, from sun-baked mountains to dusty deserts to the crystal blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. "The place is everything," says Brown. "If the race were someplace else, it wouldn't be the same. It's like a going back in time." Some of the drivers featured in the movie are NASCAR drivers Robby Gordon and Michele Jourdain, Jr., along with Jimmy Vasser, Ivan Stewart, Roberto Guerrero and Parnelli Jones. The movie is scheduled to open in April 1, 2005, the official site for more info and trailers at: d2gfilm.com.(3-4-2005)

  • Kulwicki Movie to open on April 1st: the upcoming movie Dare To Dream - The Alan Kulwicki Story plans to officially opening April 1, 2005 [12 years to the day Kulwicki died] through out the state of Wisconsin and in select theaters in Tennessee. Plans are to open in North Carolina in May during the All Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600, and then to Alabama, Texas and Arizona. Info on the movie at daretodreammovie.com.(2-27-2005)

  • Pepper nominated for award: Nominations for the 11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards for outstanding performances in 2004 in five film and eight primetime television categories were announced in Los Angeles at the Pacific Design Center's SilverScreen Theater. Screen Actors Guild will honor its own at its 11th Annual Awards ceremonies on Saturday, February 5, at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center, televised nationally on Turner Network Television (TNT) at 8:00pm/et. SO....why is this on a NASCAR page? Barry Pepper was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for his role as Dale Earnhardt in ESPN's movie '3'. Other nominee's are:

    Jamie Foxx / REDEMPTION - Stanley 'Tookie' Williams - F/X

    William H. Macy / THE WOOL CAP - Gigot - TNT

    Barry Pepper / 3: THE DALE EARNHARDT STORY - Dale Earnhardt - ESPN

    Geoffrey Rush / THE LIFE AND DEATH OF PETER SELLERS - Peter Sellers - HBO

    Jon Voight / MITCH ALBOM'S THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN - Eddie - ABC.(sagawards.com)(1-11-2005)

  • Herbie's NASCAR Movie opens June 3rd: Lindsay Lohan has a new co-star: Herbie, the Volkswagen Beetle. Lohan stars in the forthcoming movie, "Herbie: Fully Loaded," due in theatres June 3. The film takes place in the world of NASCAR, and Lohan plays Maggie Peyton, a racer and the new owner of the magical Volkswagen. "Herbie: Fully Loaded" also stars Matt Dillon, Michael Keaton, Breckin Meyer and Justin Long [and some NASCAR Drivers have cameos](netmusiccountdown.com)(1-11-2005)

  • NASCAR movie to be released in Feb 2005? UPDATE 2: hearing that the NASCAR on IMAX movie will be released in Video/DVD in conjunction with the start of the 2005 NASCAR season next February.(10-29-2004)

    UPDATE: New songs from LeAnn Rimes and Smash Mouth lead singer Steve Harwell are among the offerings on the "NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience" film soundtrack. The Shout! Factory disc will also boast previously released tracks from Sheryl Crow, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band, among others. The soundtrack audio disc and the auto-racing documentary Warner Home Video DVD will be available exclusively through retail giant Wal-Mart from Feb. 1 to March 14, and through most retailers after that date. Harwell's "You'll Never Catch Me" is a previously unreleased song, while Rimes' "I Got It Bad" appears on her forthcoming album "This Woman," due Jan. 14 via Curb. Rimes also contributes a version of the "Star Spangled Banner" to the soundtrack. Other songs on the 14-track "NASCAR" album include P.O.D.'s "Boom!," Crow's "Steve McQueen," Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" and the Allman Brothers' "Firing Line." Warner Bros Pictures' "NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience" was released in IMAX theatres in March, and has grossed $19 million to date at the U.S. box office, according to Nielsen EDI. Warner Bros. will re-release the film in IMAX theaters in January.(Billboard.com)(12-28-2004)

    UPDATE 2: Warner Bros. Pictures' "NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience" has achieved a box office milestone, surpassing $20 million in total gross receipts, IMAX Corporation announced today. The high-octane film is the second highest grossing documentary of the year, set box office records for an original IMAX production when it was released in March 2004, and has played in more than 100 IMAX theatres around the world - including engagements in Japan, Australia, and Poland. The movie is the first original Warner Bros. Pictures' IMAX 3D production and has been well received in both commercial and institutional venues, helping to increase awareness of NASCAR (The National Association of Stock Car Racing), as well as lead-sponsor America Online.(Comingsoon.net)(12-29-2004)

  • '3' does well in the TV Ratings: ESPN's original movie, "3", was a huge success delivering a 5.0 HH rating, a record for an ESPN original movie.

    * "3" was the highest rated ESPN movie among M18-34, M18-49, and M25-54.

    * "3" was the most-viewed cable program for the entire day among M18-34, M18-49 and M25-54.

    * From 9pm-11pm on Saturday, "3" was the most-viewed program on television among M18-34, M18-49, and M25-54.

    * "3" was the second highest rated movie on ad-supported cable this year, only behind "Librarian" which delivered a 5.1 HH rating on TNT (12/5).

    With the exception of the NFL, it is a special feat for an ESPN program to deliver a 5.0 rating. This is ESPN's highest rated EOE
    program and puts it in an elite class. Programs like the MLB Divisional Playoffs and premiere bowl games achieve this level of
    performance.(ESPN PR)(12-15-2004)

    AND Saturday's presentation of ESPN's fourth original made-for-television movie, "3", was the network's highest-rated movie ever, seen in an average of more than four million households, based on a rating of 5.0, according to the official data released today by Nielsen Media Research. The two-hour portrayal of the late NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt was the second-highest rated movie of 2004 on ad-supported cable. It posted ESPN's highest movie rating ever among all key male demographics (M18-34, M18-49 and M25-54). In addition, "3" was the most-viewed program on all of TV from 9-11 p.m. that day among men 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54. "We at ESPN know well the passion of NASCAR fans, and their approval of '3' is the most gratifying endorsement we could receive," said Mark Shapiro, ESPN executive vice president, programming and production. "3," presented by Kay Jewelers, an ESPN Original Entertainment (EOE) production, stars Barry Pepper ("We Were Soldiers", "Saving Private Ryan", "61*") as NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. Spanning from the red dirt tracks of his native Kannapolis, North Carolina to the NASCAR speedways where he won nationwide acclaim and the devotion of millions of fans, "3" tells "The Intimidator's" incredible life story. Available today on DVD, ESPN Original Entertainment and Buena Vista Home Entertainment present "3." Packed with five hours of exclusive bonus footage and interviews from the ESPN archives, this two-disc Collector's Edition DVD is the ultimate account of racing's legendary hero. Suggested retail price is $29.99.(Sports Business News)(12-15-2004)

    Buy "3" the Book

    Buy "3" the DVD.

    RE-AIR dates/times: listed on my TV Listings page

  • Kulwicki Movie Wraps Up: Filming has been completed on Dare to Dream: The Alan Kulwicki Story, but no release date has been announced. The movie is based on the life of Kulwicki, who won the 1992 NASCAR championship and died the following year in a plane crash.(Tennessean)(12-16-2004)

  • Kerry's response to "3": In an interview with Brandon Mudd and Tony Hubert from The SpeedZone on 590 The Fan, KFNS, in St. Louis (www.kfns.com), Kerry Earnhardt said he watched about 20 minutes of the movie "3," the ESPN-produced bio pic on the life of his father, Dale Earnhardt. Kerry said he was disappointed with the way the movie portrayed his father and said most of the scenes he saw were factually inaccurate. "Maybe if you're a race fan who doesn't know much about the history of the sport or know much about my dad, they would like it. My dad, and anyone who knew him knows this, was a very happy man and loved to play jokes on people and have a good time. He wasn't the person the movie said he was. And there were a lot of things in that movie that didn't happen or didn't happen the way (the movie depicted it)." Earnhardt went on to say he was never personally contacted by the movie's producers and said that if ESPN would have contacted him or other members of the Earnhardt family, then perhaps the movie would have been more true to
    life.(KFNS.com)(12-15-2004)

  • Why is the '3' different in the movie promos: NASCAR fans might have noticed something odd about ESPN's made-for-television movie about Dale Earnhardt, currently being advertised in advance of its release next week. The movie trailers and promotional materials have the wrong slant -- for Earnhardt's trademark #3. In real life, Earnhardt's race car had a "3" that slanted to the left [meaning on the drive door and roof, really all the #3's slanted to the front of the car]. Because the movie is intended to be an "actual dramatic recreation," producers were able to use replicas of Earnhardt's number for the film without infringing on the copyright, says ESPN spokesman Rob Tobias. But producers had to alter the "3" in materials used to promote the unauthorized biography, Tobias says. So, for the trailer they slanted the 3 to the right, and colored it a solid red, instead of the true-to-life Earnhardt "3" that was white with a red outline. "We went to great pains to paint this as accurate as possible," Tobias said. "Still, I'm sure fans will notice any and all differences."(Charlotte Observer)(12-6-2004)

  • Dale Jr. Awaits Release of '3': An ESPN movie about Dale Earnhardt, who died in a crash on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, is scheduled for airing early next month. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is eagerly awaiting its release. "From day one, I've been pretty excited about it," said Earnhardt Jr., last year's Checker Auto Parts 500 champion at Phoenix International Raceway. "I really, really hope they did a good job. You know, the stuff that they've done in the past on that network has been pretty good. I've been pretty surprised actually by the quality of the films that they've had. I think there obviously will be a little bit of a Hollywood twist to a few things. I'm sure you can't expect somebody to tell the most accurate story unless you're going to write a book. You know, every film has a twist, a Hollywood flair to it. I'm sure this one will, too." The movie, titled 3, stars Barry Pepper, who also played New York Yankees outfielder Roger Maris in 61*.(Arizona Republic)(11-5-2004)

  • Jarrett does taping for Herbie: #88-Dale Jarrett's trip to the west coast will include a trip to Burbank, Calif., where he will be participating in the filming of the movie Herbie: Fully Loaded. Jarrett was scheduled to film a small role as himself Tuesday on the studio set for the film.(Elevation Motorsports PR)(11-3-2004)

  • Racing Stripes at Atlanta Jeff Gordon joined actor Steve Harvey to unveil a special showcar at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 30 to promote the movie "Racing Stripes." The animated movie hits theaters in January 2005 and features the voices of Snoop Dogg, Mandy Moore, Dustin Hoffman, and Frankie Muniz. The plot centers around an abandoned baby zebra that grows up believing he's a racehorse. With the help of barnyard friends and teenage girl who dreams of being a jockey, he overcomes prejudice and self-doubt to pursue his dream of running with thoroughbreds. In addition to unveiling the car, Gordon named an honorary 'pit crew' consisting of children afflicted with chronic and life-threatening illnesses to support the mission of the Jeff Gordon Foundation, which will receive a portion of the proceeds from the premiere of the movie.(Gordonline.com)(10-31-2004)

  • New Stock Car Racing Movie in the works: A North Carolina production company plans to make a movie about the roots of stock car racing called "Run Lightning." Filming is expected to begin April1, 2005. Former driver Ned Jarrett has lent his expertise to the project.(Roanoke Times)

    AND An action-adventure movie about moonshining and the early days of Southern stock-car racing appears to be on the fast track for shooting here next year. The independent feature "Run Lightning," written by the husband-and-wife team of Joseph and Julia Gunnels of Asheville, NC, will open a production office in December and begin principal photography in April 2005. The Gunnels are longtime local residents who have been active in theater and the arts. No casting has been announced - and it is too early for locals to be looking for work - but the feature plans to shoot almost entirely in Western North Carolina. Locations have been scouted in Madison and Buncombe counties and elsewhere in the mountains. The movie, which has incorporated as Run Lighting Productions LLC, has a proposed budget of $15 million to $18 million, said Joseph Gunnels. The budget is not nearly as high as a Hollywood production, which could be $60 million and up, but is within the scope of an independent feature, said N.C. Film Commissioner Bill Arnold. Consultants on the movie include NASCAR racing legend Ned Jarrett, who won 348 races in a career that started in the early 1950s and ended in the mid 1960s when he was only 34. He won 50 races, including the 1965 Southern 500. Today, he is a racing broadcaster. "I've felt for a long time there needed to be an authentic film telling the story of the last days of moonshine running and how stock-car racing became the most popular racing series in the world," Jarrett said in a statement released by the film's producers. "Run Lightning" would be the latest in a long string of motion pictures shot in Asheville and WNC. The most recent was the Robert Redford thriller "The Clearing," which filmed locally in fall 2002, and was released this summer. "Run Lightning," which opens and closes in the present day, is mostly set in 1956 in Marshall, where a young man "runs whiskey to pay for his passion of racing cars," Joseph Gunnels said. "It's about the tension between justice and tradition." The Gunnels have been working on "Run Lightning" since 1999, gathering material, polishing the script and making major-league movie connections including veteran production consultant Jeff Dowd, who has been working in film for a quarter of a century. Most of Dowd's work has been as a producer's representative and creative consultant working with independent filmmakers. Gunnels shopped the project to Hollywood studios, but instead decided to develop "Run Lightning" as an independent film and shoot it in WNC.(Citizen-Times)(9-29-2004)

  • Dale Jr. 'actor' in '3' is a driver: Chad McCumbee is a business major at UNC Charlotte and aspiring Nextel Cup racer. He plays Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the TV movie "3," an ESPN production about the late Dale Earnhardt set to premiere Dec. 11. McCumbee, 19, spoke with Charlotte Observer writer Jennifer Rothacker, see the Q&A at: Racer gets Dale Jr. role in TV movie.(9-21-2004)

  • Robby Gordon In Documentary: Robby Gordon will fly back to Los Angeles, California on Wednesday, September 8, to see the premier of the action documentary, "Dust to Glory" in which he is one of the featured drivers. The film, by Brownwa Pictures, is about the Baja 1000 and is directed by Dana Brown, who also brought us the 2003 surfing documentary, "Stepping into Liquid." Also featured in the documentary will be racers, Sal Fish, Mario Andretti, Malcolm Smith, Chad McQueen, and Ricky Johnson.(Insider Racing News)(9-6-2004)

  • Herbie the Love Bug on the track: Matt Dillon spent hours in the NASCAR Nextel Cup garage on Friday morning, dressed in a black driving suit with orange flames which was pulled down to his waist. Walt Disney Pictures was filming scenes plus cameos of Casey Mears, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rusty Wallace, Kevin Harvick and Jamie McMurray for the new "HERBIE" movie. Herbie was in the garage, with his handler and hauler. The picture stars Lindsey Lohan and Michael Keaton, and filming continued throughout the garage on Friday.(Insider Racing News)

    AND Yes, that was a Volkswagen at the tail end of the Busch Series field during the parade laps for Saturday's Target House 300. No, NASCAR hasn't changed its rules. No, the #53 car didn't compete in the race won by Greg Biffle. Actually, it was Hollywood. In conjunction with NASCAR, Walt Disney Pictures used the California Speedway background to film part of the movie "Herbie; Fully Loaded.' It will be the fifth movie in the Herbie saga, which started in 1969 with "The Lovebug.' The latest Herbie movie will start Lindsay Lohan, Justin Long, Breckin Meyer, Matt Dillon and Michael Keaton. The film, scheduled for release next summer, will also feature cameos from Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, Kevin Harvick and Rusty Wallace. Director Angela Robinson and her crew filmed scenes in the track's garage and scoring tower. Robinson visited the Speedway in May during the Auto Club 500 to learn about NASCAR and determine what scenes could be shot. The production crew will return later this month and in October to complete physical and visual effect shots.(Los Angeles Daily News)

    AND II Now wouldn't it be cool to see Herbie go thru inspection - Taken At Fontana 9-4-03. The car actually went out and took laps with the Busch cars on the Pace laps, and was dicing it up with the guys that had to go to the back. The #55 Chevy, part of the movie, was supposedly driven by Andy Hillenburg. Thanks to Greg Kammerman and Robert Binns for the images, click on any of the images to see larger versions.(9-5-2004)


    at Califonia Saturday for the move Herbie: Full Loaded
    (click on image to see larger versions and more)

  • Drivers to film cameos in new Herbie movie: Casey Mears, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jamie McMurray, Kevin Harvick and Rusty Wallace will be filming cameo appearances in the Walt Disney Picture Herbie: Fully Loaded at California Speedway on Friday. The picture stars Lindsey Lohan, Matt Dillon and Michael Keaton.(9-1-2004)

  • Another 'Herbie' NASCAR Movie update: Matt Dillon has signed on to play the heavy in the Walt Disney Co.'s ''Herbie: Fully Loaded,'' opposite Lindsay Lohan and Michael Keaton. Additionally, sources said Breckin Meyer is in negotiations to join the cast. In ''Herbie: Fully Loaded'' -- which will set the mysteriously strong-willed Volkswagen Beetle in the world of NASCAR -- Dillon takes the role of Trip, the bad boy of the racing circuit. Meyer would play Lohan's brother; Keaton is playing the duo's dad.(Chicago Sun Times), see past news on the Herbie/NASCAR movie on my NASCAR Movie News page.(8-8-2004)

  • Update on Herbie and NASCAR: Michael Keaton will join Lindsay Lohan in Disney's Herbie: Fully Loaded, the studio's retooled "Love Bug" franchise, reports Variety. Written by Tom Lennon and Robert Robert Ben Garant, "Herbie" sets the famous Volkswagen in the world of NASCAR racing. Angela Robinson (D.E.B.S.) is directing. The original 1968 film The Love Bug starred Dean Jones and Buddy Hackett in a comedy about a car with a mind of its own.(Variety.com)

    AND Aug. 3 [um...2005 of course] is the opening day for Buena Vista/Disney's comedy adventure "Herbie," which reinvents the studio's "Love Bug" franchise that goes back to the 1968 feature starring Dean Jones. Directed by Angela Robinson, the new film stars Lindsay Lohan. Its story has Herbie, the famous white Volkswagen, winding up in the world of NASCAR racing.(Hollywood Reporter)(8-2-2004)

  • Interesting site, images from the ESPN movie '3' about NASCAR Legend Dale Earnhardt at http://3background.tripod.com.(7-29-2004)

  • Earnhardt movie to be shown in Dec - Image released: Barry Pepper's days seem to be numbered. He's been in 61 and 25th Hour. Next, he stars in 3- ESPN's biopic of NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt. The movie - titled after the number on Earnhardt's car - is set for broadcast in December. A photo of Pepper in character was released exclusively to The Associated Press. But what was it like transforming into the craggy, mustached face of the iconic driver? "I play him from 17 to 49, and there's all kinds of prosthetics all over my face," Pepper said. "It was a real challenge - especially in that heat, that North Carolina heat. You're always having things melting off of you. But it was just the coolest experience." Some of Earnhardt's family have expressed reservations about the movie, but Pepper said he had a positive meeting with Earnhardt's son, racer Dale Earnhardt Jr. "We had an opportunity to hang out and have a few beers. That was really important for me to make a connection with him and express to him how much effort and care went into the making of 3, to bring dignity and respect to his father's life and legend."(See full AP story and image at USA Today)(7-17-2004)

  • Petty Movie News: Disney's movie on the Petty family, once projected to be in theatres this year, has had its script rewritten. Bill Scott, executive vice president at Petty Enterprises, says the plan is for the movie to begin shooting late this year or early next year. Scott said that would lead to a release in early 2006. Scott says he's not sure if filming will take place in North Carolina. "North Carolina has not stepped up to the plate in terms of tax breaks for movie productions like some of the states, even Georgia and South Carolina have," Scott said. "I think that's going to be an issue. If they're going to save millions of dollars by shooting somewhere else, as much as we at Petty Enterprises and Richard and the family want them to do it in North Carolina, those are not calls that we make. Hopefully, the North Carolina film commission and the legislature will do something to really make it economically feasible to do in North Carolina."(Roanoke Times)(6-28-2004)

  • A Speed Racer Movie: Actor Vince Vaughn is developing a live-action movie version of the Japanese cartoon series Speed Racer [which can be seen daily on Speed Channel], Daily Variety said Thursday. The paper said the DodgeBall star would star as Racer X -- the long-lost brother of the title character. The project is being produced for Warner Bros. by Joel Silver (The Matrix) and Richard and Lauren Shuler Donner. Vaughn will also serve as an executive producer. Speed Racer has had a series of false starts in the past -- with such directors as Alfonso Cuaron, Julien Temple, Gus Van Sant and Hype Williams preparing at various times to take it to the starting line. Variety said Vaughn revived the project with a pitch that focused more on character and family than on big-budget effects. I've been a fan of the show since I was a kid and I always liked the theme of the protective older brother who can't reveal his identity, Vaughn said.(Big News Network.com), doesn't say who will play Speed Racer - Jeff Gordon?.(6-25-2004)

  • Love-Bug NASCAR Movie? hadn't heard much about this in a while: Herbie: Fully Loaded, a movie with Herbie the Love Bug. Plot Outline: The classic white Volkswagen with a knack for helping couples hook up finds itself in the world of NASCAR racing. Production is scheduled to begin on June 21st, 2004 [tomorrow]. Only cast member mentioned at www.imdb.com is actress Lindsay Lohan.(6-20-2004)

  • Another 'NASCAR' themed movie in the works: Beating out several other studios, Columbia Pictures has secured rights to the Will Ferrell comedy "Talladega Nights," to be directed by his longtime collaborator Adam McKay. Named after the famous racing track, the film will be co-written by Ferrell and McKay based on a pitch that is set in the world of high-stakes professional stock car racing. Jimmy Miller and Judd Apatow will produce the feature, which is tentatively set for a summer 2006 release. Ferrell and McKay will serve as executive producers, with Matt Tolmach overseeing for the studio. "We love this project and couldn't be more thrilled about working with Will, Adam, Judd and Jimmy," Tolmach said. Said Miller: "To produce this film with these three guys is a dream come true for me. Not only are they longtime clients, they are some of my best friends and some of the most talented people I know. I feel that this material is in great hands with Amy and Matt and the entire team at Sony."(Hollywood Reporter)(6-7-2004)

  • Movie script concerns Earnhardt family: As thousands of fans go to Mooresville today to celebrate what would have been Dale Earnhardt's 53rd birthday, an ESPN crew will be in Cabarrus County re-creating scenes from the Intimidator's life. Since mid-April, the TV moviemakers have spent time in the neighborhood where Earnhardt grew up. They've filmed at local tracks. They've held open casting calls in Concord to add local flavor. But as close as ESPN producers say they have gotten to Earnhardt's roots, they don't have approval from the people who were closest to him: his family. Out of concern for inaccuracies in the script, Dale Earnhardt Inc. -- the company run by Earnhardt's widow, Teresa -- hasn't endorsed the film. "Our job at Dale Earnhardt Inc. is to perpetuate what Dale was all about," said DEI spokesman Steve Crisp, adding that the company is reviewing a second copy of the script. "To accurately do that, you have to stick with the facts." One of Earnhardt's sisters said she is upset that ESPN didn't contact her side of the family to discuss Earnhardt's childhood. Because they didn't, she said, the movie gets things wrong, including where her father worked and where her family lived. Still, producers of the movie say they're being true to Earnhardt and his legacy. "This isn't a documentary. It instead is a movie that is a dramatic presentation telling the story of Dale Earnhardt," said Will Staeger, executive producer of ESPN Original Entertainment. "We feel we have a pretty good grasp of the essence of the man."(ThatsRacin)(4-29-2004)

  • Kulwicki Movie UPDATE - be an extra AND: a new website is up about the movie - Dare to Dream - The Alan Kulwicki Story, at daretodreammovie.com, just a one page site as of now.(4-14-2004)

    UPDATE: On April 18th you can have the chance to be an extra in Dare To Dream: The Alan Kulwicki Story. DDI Films, the Wisconsin based film company, will be shooting at Slinger Super Speedway in Slinger, Wisconsin on April 18th and would like people of all ages to appear as extras in crowd scenes starting at noon. Come out, meet new people and enjoy being in the upcoming feature film about Alan Kulwicki's life from local driver to champion of the track. Sorry, don't have any contact info to post.(4-15-2004)

    COLUMN Kulwicki's dream drives filmmakers - Movie to tell NASCAR champion's story by Dave Kallmann of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel(4-18-2004)

  • Earnhardt movie moves to Lincolnton: The East Lincoln Motor Speedway is gearing up for some serious lights, camera and action next week. The speedway will be bustling with activity starting Monday in order to film, "3: The Dale Earnhardt Story," a made for TV movie. Victory Lane Productions chose the speedway in December and found it to be the right size. "They looked at us first and then came back and told us they wanted to film here," said Ernie Knight, co-promoter for the speedway. Scenes from the movie will also be filmed at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. The movie will be shot starting Monday and continue until Wednesday. Knight said they will be doing a lot of painting, will change some signs and will be spending time making the building look old in preparation for the production. The goal is to have the speedway look like the old Metrolina and Concord Speedway of the '60s and '70s. Although the regular race season has begun at the speedway, filming will be scheduled around those times. Race season started April 3 and will continue until October.(Lincoln Times-News)(4-16-2004)

  • Earnhardt movie - filming info UPDATE 3: hearing that Victory Lap Production began fiming "3: The Dale Earnhardt Story" this morning in Kannapolis, NC. They are starting in from of Cannon Mills and moving over to N. Walnut St. this afternoon. The film will be using 602 N. Walnut St. as Ralph and Martha Earnhardt house.(4-14-2004)

    UPDATE: hearing that all of the race cars for the Earnhardt ESPN movie are being prepared by Andy Hillenburg [driver of the #80 Hover Motorsports Ford in Cup] at his Fast Track driving school facility and that Gary Glass is over seeing the immense project. And hearing there may be a couple of short term positions open for people with good mechanical skills and some basic fab skills.

    UPDATE 2: Film crews began shooting scenes Wednesday in Kannapolis for the ESPN movie "3: The Dale Earnhardt Story." Crews blocked Walnut Street to create scenes in the former Pillowtex Corp. Plant 1 area. Kannapolis City Manager Mike Mahaney said the crews could be in the same area today and Friday. The film's staff might then travel to Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, and they could return for more filming in Kannapolis later this month, Mahaney said. Movie props for this week's filming include trailers behind mill houses. Garages are also being built, but they will be removed when the filming is done. Crews are working to re-create the Kannapolis of the 1950s. Some of the Plant 1 area's homeowners have agreed to put their furniture in storage and have their homes decorated with 1950s period furniture. Film crews are also using vintage cars of the 1950s.(Independent Tribune)(4-15-2004)

  • Be a Star, Extra's needed for Earnhardt Movie: Want to be in a TV movie and support one of your favorite NASCAR drivers? Extras of all ages are needed for the ESPN original movie, "3: The Dale Earnhardt Story," which will be filmed in the Charlotte and Concord areas over the next month. Barry Pepper, who also appeared in "Saving Private Ryan," "The Green Mile," and "We Were Soldiers," will star as racing legend Dale Earnhardt in the upcoming ESPN original film. Pepper also starred as New York Yankee slugger Roger Maris in the 2001 HBO film "61". Extras casting director Tona Dahlquist is looking for many extras, all types, males and females of all ages. However, due to the nature of the periods covered in the story, there is a special need for adult males. Anyone with pit crew experience is also needed - as well as infant and toddler identical twins of both sexes. If interested, you must bring a non-returnable current photo to one of two casting sessions: 4-8 p.m. Eastern Friday, April 2nd; or 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 3rd. Both sessions will be held at the Center Court at the Carolina Mall, 1480 Concord Pkwy, Concord, N.C.(ThatsRacin)(3-31-2004)

  • More Casting for the Earnhardt movie: J.K. Simmons and Elizabeth Mitchell have joined the cast of ESPN's movie about NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. The movie, titled "3" after the number of Earnhardt's car, is set to begin filming April 14 in Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., ESPN says. Barry Pepper is playing Earnhardt. Russell Mulcahy ("Highlander," "Skin") will direct the film, which will track Earnhardt's life from the small town of Kannapolis, N.C., his rise through the NASCAR ranks and his lightning-rod status as both a hugely popular and widely reviled figure among the sport's fans. Simmons, a regular on HBO's "Oz" and the ABC series "The D.A.," will play Dale's father, Ralph Earnhardt, a driver in NASCAR's early days who introduced his son to stock-car racing. Mitchell ("The Lyon's Den") will play Teresa, Dale Earnhardt's wife. The movie is scheduled to premiere on ESPN in December.(Zap2It.com)(4-1-2004)

  • Kulwicki Movie? UPDATE: hearing from some readers that there will be a Alan Kulwicki movie filming in Wisconsin soon. No actors mentioned and not sure when. Supposedly the name of the movie is "Dare to Dream"(3-31-2004)

    UPDATE: been told that some filming will take place at Greenfield High School in Greenfield, WI on Friday, April 2nd. The school is where Kulwicki appeared in January of 1993 for a homecoming/victory celebration [see image above, that is from that appearance]. Flyers/Releases were handed out to the students. The film is called "Dare to Dream" by DDI Films LLC from Wisconsin. Some proceeds from the production will go to the Greenfield Education Foundation.

    AND been told that on Thursday, April 1st members of the cast and crew of the Alan Kulwicki movie will be on hand at Slinger Super Speedway [in Slinger, Wisconsin] to shoot several scenes for the upcoming film. Kulwicki, a former Slinger track champion, was well known for his expert navigation of the world's fastest quarter-mile oval.(4-1-2004)

  • NASCAR IMAX Movie Now Being Shown UPDATE record-breaking weekend:


    NASCAR.com - NASCAR comes to the really big screen - IMAX film opens Friday
    ; and

    NASCAR.com - IMAX Page; and

    THE IMAX - NASCAR page, location finder, etc.

    and see my Column/Article Links page for the IMAX Review Links section

    Jayski Note: I saw the 3D version at the Luxor in Las Vegas on March 7th and all I can say is 'awesome'.(3-12-2004)

    UPDATE: IMAX Corporation and Warner Bros. Pictures today announced the record-breaking opening weekend box office performance of their first IMAX 3D film collaboration, NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience. Over the three-day weekend, the film grossed $1,467,406 in 68 IMAX theatres in North America. NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience set the record for both the highest grossing opening weekend for an IMAX originally produced film and the highest per-screen average for an IMAX 3D film. At an impressive $21,579 per-screen average, NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience was significantly higher than the per-screen averages of the weekend's top ten highest grossing films.(Yahoo)(3-16-2004)

  • IMAX NASCAR Movie Debut's March 3rd in LA AND: Jeff Gordon will attend the premiere showing of "NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience" on Wednesday, March 3 in Los Angeles, California. The film takes the viewer into the cockpit of a NASCAR stock car, complete with the sounds of racing. Behind the scenes access and interviews with those in the sport are also included. The film will debut in IMAX theaters on Friday, March 12 to the public.(Gordonline.com), other drivers scheduled to appear include: Rusty Wallace, more info on the movie at IMAX.com. Claire B. Lang from XM Satellite - NASCAR Radio will attend and take a fan [Bob Johnson was the winner].(3-2-2004)

    AND Sunday's Arena Football League coverage on NBC will feature an exclusive preview from "NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience." Opening nationwide on March 12, the latest IMAX movie delves into the NASCAR phenomenon and showcases the thrill and speed of the sport up-close and personal on eight story-high IMAX screens. NBC will debut a two-minute excerpt from "NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience" film during the four regional Arena Football League broadcasts which begin at 12noon/et. The AFL will also show the excerpt to their in-arena fans. ... NBC's national preview will follow up on some special premieres set for this week: Wednesday night in Los Angeles, a private showing targeting the entertainment industry at Universal City Walk; and Thursday night at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, with showings set for both media (5:30pm/pt) and the motorsports industry (7:00 and 8:30pm/pt).(NASCAR PR)(3-3-2004)

  • Earnhardt Movie pushed back to Dec, Pepper to star? UPDATE: Barry Pepper is in the driver's seat for the upcoming ESPN original film "3: The Dale Earnhardt Story," which he will star in and co-executive produce. The network has confirmed that Pepper ("25th Hour") will portray the biopic's title character, who died in a crash at the 2001 Daytona 500. Production will begin in the summer in Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta. Originally scheduled to air in late summer, "Earnhardt" has been pushed back to December.(Hollywood Reports - need sub to view entire article)(2-25-2004)

    UPDATE: Barry Pepper will star as the late NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt in "3," a made-for-TV movie set to air in December on ESPN. Pepper previously played Roger Maris in the HBO feature "61." His other films include "Saving Private Ryan," "Knockaround Guys" and "25th Hour." Pepper also will serve as the movie's co-executive producer. He said Earnhardt "captured my fascination and the hearts of millions of NASCAR fans across America."(AP)(2-28-2004)

  • Coke Commercial: Coca-Cola's 30-second NASCAR commercial at movie theaters across the country was recently unvieled. Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Dale Jarrett, Kurt Busch, Kyle Petty, Michael Waltrip, Kevin Harvick, Elliott Sadler and Bill Elliott are part of the commercial preceding the featured movie. The commercial involves in a remote-control race.(Patriot News)(2-5-2004)

  • ESPN to make Earnhardt movie: ESPN has decided on its third original, made-for-TV movie, and its title begins with the number 3. That's an obvious clue to stock car racing fans, who will get to see a biography of Dale Earnhardt this summer. The show, "3: The Dale Earnhardt Story," will be produced by Orly Adelson, also responsible for "The Junction Boys" and "Playmakers" on ESPN. The cable network has not announced the actor who will portray Earnhardt.(AJC)

    AND ESPN announced Wednesday it will present a docudrama on Dale Earnhardt in the late summer that explores seminal moments in the racer's life. "It's not a controversial movie. It's an inspirational one," said Ron Semiao, ESPN senior vice president of original entertainment. Shooting on 3: The Dale Earnhardt Story will start in the next two months in Atlanta or Charlotte, N.C., executive producer Orly Adelson said. The title represents the number of Earnhardt's car and the three generations of racers in his family, said writer Robert Eisele. Adelson is starting to cast the film with director Russell Mulcahy. The chronological script will span Earnhardt's life and end with his death at age 49 in the Daytona 500 in 2001. Three actors will portray Earnhardt. His family is not involved in the production, Semiao said. "It touches the important moments of his life, the moments that changed Dale or his career or his relationships," Adelson said. "It gives you a look into the man." She said the inspiration comes from Earnhardt's learning the value of life before he died. "He had built something he hadn't had before," she said. "Those are the things you'd want to see because the racing is obvious." The film will mix authentic racing with re-created scenes. To prepare the script, Eisele said he watched videos, read articles and books and interviewed people in the racing world who knew Earnhardt. "I actually love the character of Dale Earnhardt, and I never knew him," Eisele said. "He's a fascinating individual, the Intimidator. He was loved by fans, feared by his fellow competitors, and some of them didn't like him much because he changed the way that they raced on those tracks."(Orlando Sentinel)

    AND II: ESPN has accelerated its development of several made-for-TV movies in 2004, including one devoted to the late seven-time Winston Cup champion, Dale Earnhardt. ESPN made the announcement Wednesday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Hollywood, Calif. The project, called "3: The Dale Earnhardt Story," will chronicle the life of Earnhardt, who died in a last-lap crash at the 2001 Daytona 500. ESPN hopes the show will be ready by late summer. Casting is expected to begin soon. It will be ESPN's third original long-form production. The 24-hour sports network is also planning movies this year on baseball star Pete Rose; track star Roger Bannister; and the 1997-78 New York Yankees. Negotiations regarding the movie have been ongoing between ESPN and officials with Dale Earnhardt Inc., including owner Teresa Earnhardt.(
    UPDATE - ESPN doing Earnhardt movie, but without widow's blessing: ESPN officials confirmed Thursday much of the footage of a planned made-for-TV movie devoted to the life of the late NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt could be filmed in Charlotte and Atlanta. Rob Tobias, ESPN's director of media relations, said the network originally had discussions with officials with Dale Earnhardt Inc., including owner Teresa Earnhardt, the driver's widow. "In the end, we couldn't agree on a story line, so we have proceeded on with the project. The script has been given the green light," he said. Tobias said the movie should be ready by late summer. Production is under way and casting decisions will be made soon, he said. DEI officials reached Thursday declined to comment on the movie. A spokesperson at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., said ESPN had not been in touch with the track as yet.(ThatsRacin)(1-9-2004)

  • NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience: see some QuickTime clips of the new NASCAR movie, NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience, which is scheduled for release on March 12, 2004.

    Plot Summary: "NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience" will transport fans directly into the driver's seat to explore the world of today's elite NASCAR drivers and teams. The film will briefly take fans into reverse to review the history of this legendary sport, told from the viewpoint of some of its most revered drivers, and will then thrust into high gear with a look at the thrilling phenomenon that is NASCAR today. Featuring rare behind-the-scenes glimpses, as well as gripping footage of the unpredictable action on the track, "NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience" will provide a close-up look at what motivates NASCAR drivers in and out of competition. "NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience" will also focus on the science of today's racing technology, the cutting-edge racing machines and the underlying physics that drivers depend on to make turns at the highest speeds while skillfully maneuvering within inches of their competitors. More info at ComingSoon.net Film Database.

    AND special paint scheme: The film is called NASCAR 3D and will be an in depth behind the scenes film about the sport of NASCAR. The #30 driven by Johnny Sauter will run a special paint scheme at the Las Vegas race with both RCR and AOL. AOL Broadband is the primary sponsor partner of the film release so that will guarantee an incredible amount of media awareness and hype surrounding the launch of the film.(12-20-2002)

  • Petty Movie Update: Richard Petty's life and racing career will soon appear on the big screen. Whether the film showcases the North Carolina landscapes where "The King" became famous remains uncertain. The Randolph County Tourism Development Authority wants the state to develop a film incentive program that keeps the state competitive for this and future movie projects. That comes after officials in Georgia made a push to land the project about the NASCAR legend. Petty, who's from Randolph County, won seven Daytona 500 races and seven Winston Cup championships during his 35-year stock-car racing career. The film could have a $75 million budget and will be a joint venture between actor Dennis Quaid and Disney Studios. Filming is expected to begin between early 2004 and spring 2005. Producers said Georgia has offered a 10 percent savings on the $75 million budget if the film is made in and around Atlanta. That has government officials, including Gov. Mike Easley and state Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, scrambling to find a solution. Easley's office, the state Commerce Department and the North Carolina Film Office are talking with movie producers and studios about the project, but officials would not elaborate on possible incentives. Rebecca Clark, head of the Piedmont Triad Film Commission, said local officials believe the best option is to waive sales taxes on production costs. Local officials estimated Tuesday that the government would give up roughly $1 million in sales taxes to capture $18 million to $25 million for hotel operators, production assistants, construction workers, retail outlets, trades people and actors. An estimated 30 percent of a movie budget is spent in the area where filming takes place. In exchange, Warner Brothers promised to spend $12 million on the 12 episodes, hire 120 local people for production jobs and hire 300 locals as extras.(WRAL/AP) past news about this and other movies, see my Media-Movie News page.(11-21-2003)

  • Movie Folk at Martinsville: The director, two producers, the writer and a production designer working on a movie about the Petty family were at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Director Callie Khouri says that pre-production is taking place now and that hopes are for the movie to be released in Feb.2005. The Disney-backed movie, which will star Dennis Quaid as Richard Petty, will detail the family's legacy from Lee Petty to Richard Petty to Kyle Petty and Adam Petty. Khouri says no particular locations have been picked yet for filming.(Roanoke Times)(10-20-2003)

  • Quaid Tests at Las Vegas: Dennis Quaid was out at the speedway this morning to drive a race car for the Richard Petty Driving Experience. He was getting background for a new Disney movie [about the Petty's] he will star in. He went 160 miles per hour, which was much faster than Brittney Spears went last year. The band Fuel was also there.(LVMS)(10-6-2003)



    Actor Dennis Quaid at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

    (click on image for larger image)

  • IMAX NASCAR 3D Date Set: NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience is scheduled to open on March 12, 2004. Experience speeds of more than 200 miles per hour. With screens up to eight stories tall and 12,000 watts of pure digital surround sound, you feel the thunder of the engines and your heart will be pounding not to mention your head so don't forget the Goody's Powder. It was announced this week the film will be narrated by actor Kiefer Sutherland.(Insider Racing)(9-29-2003)

  • Kiefer Sutherland to narrate NASCAR film: Kiefer Sutherland, star of the [exellent and Jayski Fave] show "24", will narrate the IMAX 3D NASCAR film, NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience. The groundbreaking IMAX 3D film will be distributed exclusively to IMAX theatres by Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX. The film is scheduled to open on March 12, 2004. "With The IMAX Experience putting you in the driver's seat at a series of exciting NASCAR races," said Kiefer Sutherland, "you can virtually feel the speed of the cars and the thunder of the engines, and that's why this film lends itself perfectly to the technology that IMAX provides."

    NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience will transport fans directly into the driver's seat to explore the world of today's elite NASCAR drivers and teams. The film will briefly take fans into reverse to review the history of this legendary sport, told from the viewpoint of some of its most revered drivers, and will then thrust into high gear with a look at the thrilling phenomenon that is NASCAR today. Featuring rare behind-the-scenes glimpses, as well as gripping footage of the unpredictable action on the track, NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience will provide a close-up look at what motivates NASCAR drivers in and out of competition.(MotorsportsTV.com)(9-23-2003)

  • IMAX Filming at Bristol: IMAX is filming more of "NASCAR: The IMAX Experience 3D" at Bristol Motor Speedway this week with IMAX crew members running around with multimillion-dollar cameras, capturing the Bristol experience in a way never before seen on film -- in three dimensions. Director of Photography James Neihouse said the IMAX format, 10 times larger than regular movie film, will allow fans to get a new perspective on the sport. Only three IMAX format 3D cameras are in existence. Two of the $3.5 million cameras were on hand for Friday's filming. The film is said to give a brief history of the sport told from the viewpoint of some of the legendary drivers, then will take a look at NASCAR today. IMAX, based in Canada, leases projection systems to more than 130 theaters in 20 countries. IMAX theaters are located throught the country. The film is set for release in March.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-23-2003)

  • Brittney Bails on NASCAR Movie UPDATE 2 um...nope, it is still on: Britney Spears says she 'probably won't be doing' the proposed NASCAR movie, that was so hotly promoted last summer. The storyline was for Spears to play the daughter of a car owner who persuades an ex-driver to return to racing, and the contract with NASCAR was to use real racing footage.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-21-2003)

    UPDATE: A reliable industry insider tells [MotorsportsTV.com], however, that the rumor that Britney is not involved with NASCAR movie anymore is false. The project is still being developed with Britney Spears Productions and Britney is still very much involved.(MotorsportsTV)(7-22-2003)

    UPDATE 2: NASCAR and Britney Spears Productions have confirmed that the NASCAR-themed movie starring Britney Spears is still on. "The film production company formed by Britney Spears with Larry Rudolph and Ann Carli -- announced today that, contrary to recent rumors, their NASCAR themed feature film project is alive and well. The movie, titled Trading Paint, has been developed specifically for Spears. She is attached to co-star and also to produce. Ann Carli, who also produced Spears' first film project Crossroads, expressed amusement at the rumors. 'Britney herself was surprised to hear that she had allegedly said she would not be making the movie,' said Carli. 'We have a wonderful script by Jim Hart and we are concluding our financing. We'll be announcing our choice of director shortly.' Trading Paint was written by James V. Hart (Contact, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Tomb Raider, The Cradle of Life). Carli also says, 'There was never a plan for Spears to play a driver. Her role has always been, as was announced last summer, to play the daughter of the head of a NASCAR racing dynasty.' The story is about a NASCAR driver who drops out of racing under mysterious circumstances. Spears' character uses her knowledge and experience in the family business to help him return to racing."(MotorsportsTV)(7-23-2003)

  • a few weeks old: NASCAR movie being filmed by Laura Beach.(5-29-2003)

  • Petty Movie in 2004: Plans for the Disney movie on the Petty family continue. Production is expected to begin later this year with a tentative release date of late 2004.(Roanoke Times).(5-28-2003)

  • A 44th car...for a moment AND more IMAX stuff: Fans who paid close attention to the grid Sunday noticed a 44th car, lined up dead last. It was a Roush Racing-provided #97 Ford, a car modified to accommodate an IMAX camera where the trunk ordinarily is. It made a handful of parade laps, then pulled off after getting all it needed for a film.(Daily Press)(5-26-2003)

    AND Newman spent Tuesday afternoon with Jimmie Johnson and the producers from IMAX Entertainment. Both drivers were asked to shoot the opening scene for IMAX's NASCAR-related movie. The duo played fleeing moonshiners in 1940s get-up, being chased by Mike Helton and Gary Nelson.(Tom Roberts PR)(5-28-2003)

    AND II: The moonshine running scene was being filmed at Wilson Creek for a documentary on the history of NASCAR. Warner Brothers, IMAX and NASCAR are teaming up on the project to offer movie-goers and NASCAR fans a unique motion picture experience. A crew of about 35 men and women were working May 14 to shoot a scene for the 45-minute documentary, "NASCAR the IMAX Experience 3D." The scene was filmed with a $3.5 million dollar IMAX 3-D movie camera. There are only two in the world. The camera holds three minutes of film and takes about 17 minutes to reload. It takes four men to lift the camera. Doug Hylton and Lorne Orleans are producing the 3-D film. Orleans said the Wilson Creek area was chosen because of the beautiful scenery and there are few signs of modern day life in many areas. Wincer admits he was not a race fan. He has read and studied the history and is now very knowledgeable on the history of NASCAR. The documentary does not focus on one NASCAR driver or one team. Crew members have already filmed scenes from Daytona, Martinsville, Talladega, Richmond, Michigan and California. They planned to film at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte and will be at Bristol in the fall. The opening of the film will be the moonshine chase. Using old model Ford cars, Steve Kelso -- stunt double for Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- was driving the moonshine car. In the car with Kelso was Cary Eubanks, double for Tony Stewart. Kelso use to be involved with racing. He owns 15 type NASCAR cars that are used in movies and commercials. Driving the sheriff's car was Al Wyatt, double for Mike Helton, CEO of NASCAR. Riding with Wyatt was Danny Pearce, double for Gary Nelson, who does a lot of security for NASCAR. "NASCAR the IMAX Experience" will open in IMAX Theaters the first of next year.(Charleston Post and Courier/AP)

    AND III: Darrell Waltrip is filming a piece of the IMAX movie Wednesday afternoon at Lowe's Motor Speedway. DW will be driving his 1985 Budweiser Chevrolet and be "retro'd out" in a Bud uniform, open face helmet and goggles."(5-28-2003)

  • Brittney Movie News: Britney Spears is hoping she can lure either Josh Hartnett or Mark Wahlberg as her co-star for the upcoming NASCAR flick she's starring in (and producing) this spring.(Chicago Sun Times), see past news about the movie and other moviews on the TV/Media page.(3-6-2003)

  • Update on the Petty movie: If all goes well, Disney's movie on Richard Petty and the Petty family should be filmed this year and be in theatres sometime in 2004, said Bill Scott, executive vice president at Petty Enterprises. Disney got involved in November. Dennis Quaid originally was set to play Lee Petty but now is expected to play Richard. Scripts are being rewritten to include more of the Petty family story than just the relationship between Lee and Richard. "This has been a project that has been ongoing; I personally have been working on this for four years," Scott said. "I really believe it's going to happen this year." Scott said he's not sure where filming will take place but says he'd "be surprised" if it was done outside North Carolina "based on our conversations."(Roanoke Times)(2-8-2003)

  • Spear's takes a few laps at LVMS: Pop sensation Britney Spears had the "Experience of a Lifetime" at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Wednesday night. Spears and a group of friends and associates spent Wednesday night turning fast laps around LVMS' 1.5-mile superspeedway. The program included an eight-lap driving experience followed by a ride along and two more 11-lap driving experiences. In all, Spears logged more than 30 laps around the speedway. "I'm just racing cars. I'm doing research for my movie," Spears said. Spears is expected to play the leading role as the daughter of a NASCAR team owner in a feature film, which is scheduled to begin filming sometime next year. After completing the four-hour program, Spears said she had gained a new perspective for auto racing. See fiull story and pics at the LVMS site.(11-14-2002)

  • Update on Petty Movie: Disney is near a deal to pick up a drama about NASCAR driver Richard Petty. Dennis Quaid will play Lee Petty, the patriarch of the racing clan who teaches son Richard the ropes. Disney will soon look to cast the role of Richard Petty. The film will be scripted by John Warren. Quaid would also produce with Dan Halsted, a former production partner of Oliver Stone. Halsted and Quaid previously worked together on Stone's "Any Given Sunday." The rights to the Petty film were secured through Petty Enterprises and shooting of the film is expected in the spring.(Reuters)(11-14-2002)

  • Spears Movie at Indy? as reported a few months ago, singer-actress Britney Spears plans make a NASCAR themed movie and will play the daughter of a successful NASCAR team owner who uses her savvy and experience in the family business to help a driver regain his will to return to racing. She'll do it with the sanction of NASCAR. And if it works out, with the cooperation of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Brickyard 400. Fred Nation, IMS vice president, said: "We'd be pleased to be considered, especially if NASCAR would like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to be one of the venues. . . . We will look for a way to cooperate with that." There are several racing film projects in the talking stages, he said, "but one never knows until they happen. Right now there are at least a couple based around the Indy 500, things that are being talked about, and we would hope something would come to fruition." Ann Carli, who is producing Spears' movie, said she hopes to be at next year's Brickyard 400. "We're in the development stages still. Until we have the final script, we're not going to lock locations."(Indianapolis Star), see past news on the movie below.(8-26-2002)

  • Stock car documentary beginning production: An independent documentary on stock car racing from inception to present day is in the beginning stages of production. The film, "Walk of Legends: Then and Now", will feature driver interviews with the likes of Bobby Allison and Joe Nemechek as well as major events in the history of NASCAR.(ThatsRacin)(6-25-2002)

  • Two more NASCAR movies in the works UPDATE 2: Britney Spears is to appear in the lead role as a racing car driver in her next film. She is all set to strap on her helmet and put the pedal to the metal in a movie about Nascar racing, the US motorsport where saloon cars race round an oval track. The pop star chose the film, her second, from a pile of offers and will start filming in October. An insider told the Sun: "There is no title yet but the film is inspired by one of Britney's favourite movies, Days Of Thunder, which starred Tom Cruise. "Tom played a hot-tempered Nascar racer - Britney wants to race too."(Sky News)

    AND Ice Cube is in negotiations to come aboard to rewrite and executive produce with Matt Alvarez through their company CubeVision the MGM comedy feature "Race" for Hyde Park Entertainment. The project, aiming for a fall start, is set to go out to actors and directors. "Race" reteams Cube with MGM, the studio for which he recently wrapped shooting the lead role in the comedy "Barbershop." Cube will not take on acting duties in "Race." Set on the NASCAR circuit, "Race" is a fish-out-of-water story about a cab driver who finds himself the only black participating in a stock-car race.(Sympatico-Lycos)(6-4-2002)

    UPDATE: The rumored Britney Spears-NASCAR project has officially been given a green light. Spears and her newly named production company, Britney Spears Prods., have closed a category-exclusive agreement with NASCAR to develop and produce a dramatic ensemble film set in the world of NASCAR. "Contact" scribe Jim Hart is currently writing the untitled screenplay that would see Spears star in the fictional story as the daughter of a successful, modern-day NASCAR team owner who uses her knowledge and experience in the family business to inspire a former NASCAR driver to return to the sport. Contrary to early reports, Spears will not play a NASCAR driver. The unique part about this deal, however, is that Spears may be sharing some screen time with the real thing. NASCAR, which is very protective of its brand and the values it has come to represent, signed the deal with BSP after the corporation and BSP principals -- Spears, her manager Larry Rudolph and "Crossroads" producer Ann Carli -- came to an agreement that the story line of the film would stay true to the sport and show its participants in the most authentic light. That means that, in addition to an approved story line, any scenes in the film that are meant to portray a NASCAR race or specific competitions and/or drivers will be plucked from real-life footage, giving an opportunity for the Jeff Gordons and Dale Earnhardt Jrs. of the sport to appear in the film as they compete at race events.(Hollywood Reporter - need sub or to register to read the full story)(6-17-2002)

    UPDATE 2: NASCAR and Britney Spears Productions (BSP), a production company formed by her co-manager Larry Rudolph, Ann Carli and Britney Spears, have signed a category exclusive agreement to develop and produce a dramatic feature film set in the world of NASCAR. The announcement was made today by NASCAR Vice President of Broadcasting Paul Brooks,. Rudolph and Carli. The untitled project, currently in the preliminary writing and development stage, will be written by Jim Hart (Contact, Hook). The film will tell the fictional story of the daughter of a successful, modern day NASCAR team owner and will include opportunities to feature real NASCAR drivers, teams, tracks and competition. The film will give an authentic portrayal of the heart and family spirit of NASCAR and Spears is slated to co-star as a young character that uses her knowledge and experience in the family business to inspire a former NASCAR driver to regain his desire to return to NASCAR racing. Spears will not portray a NASCAR driver. This is the first feature under the joint venture. Spears' previous involvement with NASCAR, as the Grand Marshal for the 2001 Pepsi 400 at Daytona, was extremely positive for NASCAR as it created exposure for the sport within the music and entertainment industry and media.(NASCAR PR)(6-18-2002)




    REVIEWS of the ESPN MOVIE
    "3" Dale Earnhardt (by Date)




  • RCR Sues ESPN over the number '3': The stylized No. 3 symbolizing the legacy of Dale Earnhardt has been reproduced on jackets, on stickers with an angel's halo, on the walls of local restaurants, and on countless other products and memorials to the late racing legend. RCR Enterprises Inc., which owns the trademark rights to the stylized No. 3, says that one of those memorials went too far. RCR, of Welcome, is owned by Richard Childress. RCR filed a federal lawsuit this week against ESPN Inc., the all-sports cable-television network that recently produced a film about Earnhardt's life. The film and its related products use a stylized No. 3 similar to the trademark owned by RCR, according to the lawsuit. RCR is owned by Richard Childress.

    "(ESPN's) use of a colorable imitation of the Stylized 3 Mark in connection with a motion picture, DVDs and books is a purposeful attempt to draw a connection between those products and RCR's Stylized 3 Mark," the lawsuit argues. "Defendant has used and is using a colorable imitation of the Stylized 3 Mark in commerce to advertise and promote itself and its products and services," the lawsuit continues. "Defendant has offered and is offering, in commerce, products and services for commercial sale or for commercial profit under a colorable imitation of the Stylized 3 Mark." Josh Krulewitz, a spokesman for ESPN at its headquarters in Bristol, Conn., said that the company did nothing illegal. "We did not make use of the plaintiff's trademark, and our use of the No. 3 was entirely legal," he said. In the lawsuit, RCR charges that ESPN is violating its trademark, is competing unfairly under federal law and is diluting the symbol used by Earnhardt when he was driving for RCR for 20 years. "The Stylized 3 Mark is distinctive and has become famous through extensive advertising, promotional expenditures, careful control and over 20 years of continuous use and commercial exposure," the lawsuit says. "Defendant's use of a colorable imitation of the Stylized 3 Mark has resulted in and will continue to result in a lessening of the capacity of the Stylized 3 Mark to identify and distinguish authorized products and services."

    RCR is asking the court to order ESPN to stop using any stylized No. 3 that could resemble its own trademark, and to recall and destroy any products that include such a symbol. Company officials are also asking for damages, attorneys' fees and "three times all gains, profits and advantages derived by them from (ESPN's) infringement, dilution, unfair competition or unfair trade practices." They also want interest. The two symbols have some similarities and some differences. The No. 3 used by Earnhardt was a block number italicized to the left. The No. 3 used by ESPN in its marketing has rounder edges, and it leans to the right.(Winston Salem Journal)(3-19-2005)

  • FoxSports:

    Stevie's scriptures missing from movie, but it was Dale's story, not DW's by Darrell Waltrip;

    Thumbs up for '3' by Larry McReynolds.(12-24-2004)

  • Racing West:

    "3" - A Movie Review.(12-21-2004)

  • Speed Channel:

    "3" Misses the Point by Tom Jensen.(12-20-2004)

  • Arizona Republic:

    '3' just misses victory lane by Mark Armijo.(12-18-2004)

  • Insider Racing News:

    Saving "3" ~ Barry Pepper Rescues Earnhardt Biopic by Sharon Sherwood.(12-18-2004)

  • Frontstretch:

    "3" A brief review by Jeff Meyer.(12-17-2004)

  • Naples Daily News:

    ESPN doesn't give '3' its proper due by Andy Kent.(12-17-2004)

  • SpeedwayMedia.com:

    Hung Jury ('3' Story) by Chris Campbell.(12-17-2004)

  • Insider Racing News:

    Thoughts On The Movie "3" ~ And The Man Who Inspired It by Carol Bell.(12-16-2004)

  • Rocky Mount Telegram:

    Looking back at '3' by Jeff Glunk.(12-16-2004)

  • Stock Car Gazette:

    The Gecko Reviews "3" by The Gecko

  • Alabama Live:

    Earnhardt biography worth a watch by Neal Sims.(12-15-2004)

  • Bristol Herald Courier:

    '3' depicts Earnhardt honestly by Allen Gregory.(12-15-2004)

  • Buffalo News:

    Flat script for ESPN's '3' propped up by actors, footage by Alan Pergament.(12-15-2004)

  • Catchfence:

    "3" hits on seven cylinders by Russell Schmidt.(12-15-2004)

  • Daily Journal:

    ESPN's '3' offers little insight by Jeff Decker.(12-15-2004)

  • femmefan.com

    3 (ESPN's The Dale Earnhardt Story) Was Truly a Charm by Valerie Wood.(12-15-2004)

  • Havre Daily News:

    Havre mud racer behind the scenes in Earnhardt movie by Ellen Thompson.(12-15-2004)

  • Racing Press:

    3 captures myth, but not life, of the Intimidator by Tony Johns.(12-15-2004)

  • Stock Car Gazette:

    3 - A Review of the ESPN Version of Dale Earnhardt by Chuck Abrams.(12-15-2004)

  • Daily Journal:

    ESPN's '3' offers little insight by Jeff Decker.(12-14-2004)

  • Alabama Live:(X)

    '3' passes driver test - ESPN movie on Dale Earnhardt is better than expected by Mark McCarter.(12-12-2004)

  • Teamracin.com:

    Review: 3 - The Dale Earnhardt Story by Jim Worsley.(12-12-2004)

  • Yahoo! Sports:

    Heartwarming [about the movie '3'] by Jerry Bonkowski.(12-12-2004)

  • Boston Globe:

    Actors steer it well, but Earnhardt biopic lacks drive by Matthew Gilbert.(12-11-2004)

  • Cleveland Plain Dealer:

    Television Preview: 3 by John Campanelli.(12-11-2004)

  • Courier-Journal:

    ESPN film '3' explores the drive behind Dale Earnhardt by Tom Dorsey.(12-11-2004)

  • Dallas Morning News:(X)

    Review: Strong Pepper spices up ESPN's Earnhardt film by Tom Jicha.(12-11-2004)

  • The Day:

    '3': For The Earnhardts, First Love Became The Family Business by Virginia Heffernan.(12-11-2004)

  • ESPN.com RPM:

    Junior thinks fans will like film/Childress not excited by the AP.(12-11-2004)

  • Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

    Pepper enters fast lane in '3' by Luaine Lee.(12-11-2004)

  • Houston Chronicle:

    Pepper shines as Earnhardt in '3' by Mike McDaniel.(12-11-2004)

  • New York Daily News:

    One fine NASCAR dad - Pepper's great as Earnhardt, but bio stalls by Richard Huff.(12-11-2004)

  • Sacramento Bee:

    Earnhardt movie is probably worth a '3' by Marcos Bretón.(12-11-2004)

  • St. Petersburg Times:

    Earnhardt's fans will want more by Brant James.(12-11-2004)

  • Tennessean:

    3 not No.1, but close by Larry Woody;

    Pepper determined to get Earnhardt's story right by Ken Beck.(12-11-2004)

  • Union Leader:

    Motor Sports: 3 misses the mark by Kevin Provencher.(12-11-2004)

  • Philadelphia Daily News:(X)

    '3' takes checkered flag by Bill Fleischman.(12-10-2004)

  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Filmmakers, actors tap racing 'bloodline' for authenticity in '3' and

    Earnhardt: Intimidator's complexity revealed in TV movie by Jill Vejnoska.(12-10-2004)

  • Columbus Ledger-Enquirer:

    Actor shifts gears from Springer to Waltrip role by Sandra Okamoto.(12-10-2004)

  • Fayetteville Observer:

    Pepper nails role as Earnhardt in '3' by Thomas Pope [I agree with Tom, but we both are Judas Priest fans](12-10-2004)

  • Greensboro News and Record:

    ESPN movie about Earnhardt tries to fill in emotional gaps by Richard M. Barron.(12-10-2004)

  • Michigan Live:

    ESPN gets it right with Earnhardt movie by Brian Vanochten.(12-10-2004)

  • Myrtle Beach Sun News:

    Pepper Captures Earnhardt in Biopic '3' by Jenna Fryer of the AP.(12-10-2004)

  • Seattle Times:

    An ode to NASCAR's "3," and a less fatal game by Kay McFadden.(12-10-2004)

  • Treasure Coast Palm:

    Intimidator imitator by Bill Whitehead.(12-10-2004)

  • USA Today:

    Earnhardt film on skids: ESPN biography runs out of gas telling driver's story by Rudy Martzke;

    As Earnhardt, Pepper got up to speed by Bill Keveney.(12-10-2004)

  • Augusta Chronicle:(X)

    Film focuses on personal side of Earnhardt by Don Coble (12-9-2004)

  • Chicago Tribune:(X)

    OUT LOUD: Barry Pepper by Steve Rosenbloom.(12-9-2004)

  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

    Pepper slides into Earnhardt's seat by Joanne Weintraub.(12-9-2004)

  • Mooresville/Decatur Times [IN]:

    'Indiana Andy' [Hillenburg] plays big role in ESPN movie '3' by Al Stiley

  • NASCAR.com:

    "3" a family affair by Ryan Smithson.(12-9-2004)

  • Orlando Sentinel:(X)

    '3' not good company for NASCAR, ESPN by Jerry Greene.(12-9-2004)

  • Reuters:

    TV Review: 3 by Ray Richmond.(12-9-2004) - first one I have read that didn't praise Pepper in the role.

  • San Diego Union-Tribune:

    Something's missing - Movie about Dale Earnhardt doesn't quite capture his aura by Bill Center.(12-9-2004)

  • Dallas Morning News:(X)

    Hot air: Plenty of back-seat drivers - NASCAR, Earnhardt family were in the loop during making of '3' by Barry Horn.(12-8-2004)

  • Philadelphia Inquirer:(X)

    For one actor, many views of Earnhardt by Pete Schantz.(12-8-2004)

  • CNNSI:

    Intimidating assignment - Playing Dale Earnhardt Sr. in ESPN biopic is Pepper's toughest role yet by Richard Deitsch.(12-6-2004)

  • Orlando Sentinel:(X)

    Pepper rates a 10 -- but '3' is a 5 by Hal Boedeker.(12-5-2004)

  • The State:

    '3' takes evenhanded view of Earnhardt's life - Producers recognized need for realistic treatment by Mark Washburn(12-5-2004)

  • Washington Times:

    Earnhardt movie a bumpy ride by Patrick Stevens.(12-5-2004)

  • fingerprintinc.com:

    Thoughts for Ebersol / "3" The Movie - a bad review by Jade Gurss.(11-30-2004)

  • Motorsport.com: Motorsport.com: A review of ESPN's upcoming Earnhardt biopic by Bill King.(11-18-2004)

  • Motor Trend:

    Don't Miss: Dale Earnhardt Book and ESPN Movie '3'.(11-10-2004)

  • Earnhardt Movie "3" - re-airs: ESPN will premiere the movie about Dale Earnhardt on December 11th, "3" will air at 9:00pm/et. More info about the movie at ESPN.com.(11-9-2004)

    mini REVIEW: went to the Charlotte premiere of the movie "3" on Tuesday night. Many media and others attended. I went in with an open mind, but expecting more of an over the top movie. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The movie had some great race scenes, but was more of a character driven movie. Barry Pepper did an excellent job as Dale Earnhardt. And the supporting cast did quite a good job. Anyone I talked to after was surprised how well done and respectful the movie was. Personally I think it is a movie Dale Earnhardt fans will like.

    TV in Canada: been told there are NO plans for TSN or other Canadian networks to air the movie, but it will be available per DVD at ESPN.com. Any problems with this can be directed at local networks and cable/dish companies.(11-27-2004)

    You can buy the Book "3" or the DVD of the movie "3" at the ESPN Shop.

    TV Dates/Times listed on my TV Listings page




    REVIEWS of the IMAX MOVIE
    NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience