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NASCAR Winston Cup Ratings Up, Fox NASCAR Racing Movie to Air this Month

12 September 1997


DAYTONA BEACH, FL - Saturday's Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 NASCAR 
Winston Cup Series race, televised live by ESPN in prime time from Richmond 
International Raceway, recorded a 3.3 cable television rating, a 10 percent 
increase from last year's 3.0 rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.

"Steel Chariots" makes its metal crunching, full-throttle action world 
broadcast premiere on Tuesday, Sept. 23 (8:00-10:00 pm (ET/PT)) on "The Fox 
Tuesday Night Movie." NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace, Terry 
Labonte, and Mark Martin, and announcers Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons all 
appear as themselves, in cameo roles in this made-for-television movie. 

The movie depicts the pulse-quickening world of NASCAR racing, where the 
family-owned Tucker Racing is well within reach of winning the NASCAR Winston 
Cup Series title for the first time in their long history.

Headed by matriarch Ethyl Tucker (Kathleen Nolan), the family has worked a 
long time as a team in their quest for the championship. Dale Tucker (John 
Beck) brings years of experience to the track in his role as crew chief. His 
youngest son, Brett (Scott Gurney), as their spotter, but aspires to share 
more of the driving with the team's star, his older brother D.J. (Ben 
Browder), who is having the best year of his career and is the points leader 
in the race for the championship.

It's truly a family affair, but D.J.'s ambitious wife, Amber (Heidi Mark), is 
convinced that he's wasting his time and is always on the lookout for a 
better opportunity for her husband. Of course, the Revvin' Reverend Wally 
Jones (Randy Travis) is always on hand to help when the situation calls for 
aid from a higher power. 

The excitement of the track is matched only by the off-track drama of rivalry 
and romance. Brett tries to win over Melissa Bogart (Madison Michele), the 
lovely sponsor representative who always seems to be at rival Glenn Walton's 
side. Accustomed to associating only with winners, she rebuffs Brett's 
advances, but he may yet have a shot at the prize. Meanwhile, Josie Flack 
(Heather Stephens), the hot-to-trot 19-year old daughter of Dale's deceased 
teammate, does her best to tempt the Reverend's son Franklin (Brian Van 

Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace and written by executive producers Michael Berk 
and Douglas Schwartz, the producers of the smash syndicated series 
"Baywatch," the movie was shot on location at some of racing's most noted 
tracks including Charlotte Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Texas 
Motor Speedway.

By NASCAR Public Relations