CMT TO CELEBRATE NASCAR WITH THE PREMIERE OF “NASCAR: THE RISE OF AMERICAN SPEED” A THREE NIGHT SPECIAL EVENT REVEALING THE IN-DEPTH TRUE STORY OF THE MOST POPULAR MOTORSPORT IN AMERICA
New Interviews Include NASCAR Superstars Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Richard Petty, Tony Stewart and Darrell Waltrip
NASHVILLE – April 6, 2016 – Each week millions of NASCAR fans – a massive television and digital audience – tune in to watch NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events and today CMT announced an unprecedented six hour, three night special event dedicated to the fearless men who took stock car racing out of the backwoods and into the national spotlight with “NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed,” premiering Sunday May 8, May 15 and May 22 at 9 pm ET/PT. From Stephen David Entertainment, the Emmy Award-winning company behind the miniseries “The Men Who Built America,” “Gold Fever” and “The World Wars,” the special event is not only a unique look into NASCAR’s legendary beginnings, but in the spirit of racing, it is a no-holds-barred account of the sport’s early pioneers and ascension to national prominence. The film features archival footage, reenactments and interviews with NASCAR personalities and experts including Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Richard Petty, Tony Stewart and Darrell Waltrip.
From bootleggers settling their differences through racing to a singular vision from “Big Bill” France that launched an empire, NASCAR has always been and continues to be a family affair with a long history of “racing royalty” to be shared and passed along. Time and again, fathers, sons, brothers, uncles and nephews would race together – Ray Parks, Junior Johnson, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and more – they were family best friends, rivals and heroes. In “NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed,” these drivers, mechanics and owners come to life through character-driven scenes that unfold chronologically across the three nights, starting with NASCAR’s founding fathers and concluding with racing’s great modernizers and current superstars of the track.
“Our longstanding and unwavering connection with NASCAR and its fans makes CMT the perfect home to bring the high-octane true story of NASCAR to life,” said Jayson Dinsmore, executive vice president of development for CMT. "This first-of-its-kind television event will take viewers deep inside the enthralling and thrilling rise of an American premiere sports and relentless obsession.”
“NASCAR has one of the most exhilarating and inspiring origin stories in all of sports,” said Zane Stoddard, NASCAR vice president of entertainment marketing and content development. “Our collaborative relationship with CMT and Stephen’s unique style of production will bring it to life in a way our fans haven’t experienced before.”
It’s the story about how a generation of Southern bootleggers and gangsters pursued their version of the American dream and created an industry that defined them. Despite a destitute South, they became wildly rich, while in the process forming the nation’s greatest racing league through their persistence, sweat and moonshine. The success of NASCAR surpassed even their wildest dreams and inspired a new generation of Southern icons. But in the race to always go bigger and faster, sometimes there were casualties along the way. “NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed” is a tale of fearless men who didn’t just live their lives, they raced them to the finish.
To see a sneak peek of “NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed,” click on the trailer here.
“NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed” is executive produced by Stephen David and Tim W. Kelly, of Stephen David Entertainment, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Shirley E. Scott is co-executive producer and Rick Lopez directs. Zane Stoddard executive produces and Matt Summers co-produces for NASCAR. Jayson Dinsmore, Lewis Bogach and John Miller-Monzon executive produce for CMT.
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CMT, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the leading television and digital authority on country music and entertainment, reaching more than 92 million homes in the U.S. CMT, CMT.com and CMT Radio offer an unparalleled mix of music, news, live concerts and series and are the top resource for country music on demand. The network’s digital platforms include the 24-hour music channel, CMT Pure Country, CMT App, CMT Mobile and CMT VOD.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™, NASCAR XFINITY Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit http://www.NASCAR.com and http://www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).
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PRESS CONTACT:Cindy Finke/CMT