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NASCAR legend film

DaleEarnHardt.jpgA film biography of the NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt is set to appear on screen. For those of you who don't know Earnhardt was one of the sports most famous and most successful drivers who was killed in an accident on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.

The statistics for the driver are staggering, but there's one big obsticle for the film, how well NASCAR is known abroad.

According to Variety who carry the announcement, Dale Earnhardt was the most successful driver of all NASCAR:

Earnhardt drove the famous No. 3 black Chevy, won seven NASCAR Winston Cup titles, 76 career races and more than $40 million in purses, finally winning Daytona in 1998 after losing the prestigious race 20 times.

He built his own racing empire called DEI, which his widow and son have both been involved in, however his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., left the company after his stepmother refused him majority control of the company and he's off racing on his own, entering the Daytona 500 under his own banner for the first time. Despite that it appears that both widow and son have pledged cooperation on the film.

Now I love fast cars, and in particular I love F1, despite the horribly tainted reputation the governing body of the sport has given it this year with inconsistent punishments clearly penalising one team in favour of allowing their main money earner to win. Yes, I'm not bitter about it, but the sport is hugely corrupt.

However the American NASCAR racing has never really made it to the same scale in my eyes, nor is it as big over here as it is in the U.S., getting to see it on television is the biggest issue for a start.

Then there are the films of racing where not many have been successful, and with NASCAR in particular the comedy Talladega Nights was more successful than Days of Thunder. It seems racing films don't have a great finishing record at the box office.

This film will take the American icon and create his life in film and cover a number of topics that aren't just about racing, something I think will make the film much more accessible to a non-racing and a non-U.S. audience. There's the love story between Dale and Teresa his widow, there's the story of how his son began racing and was still trying to find his way when his father was killed, then there's the story of his racing and the man himself.

It does sound like there's plenty of potential here, but the most worrying thing is that the NASCAR might not appeal to a worldwide audience.



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