ABC News working on NASCAR reality documentary series
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/13/2007
Getting a behind-the-scenes look at the world of NASCAR can be a dangerous venture.
But ABC News changed that when it began production on the tentatively titled NASCAR in Primetime, a docu-reality series that will follow NASCAR -- the largest sanctioning body of motorsports in America -- and tell both the personal and professional stories of its drivers.
"The idea is to basically do a primetime drama where the main characters are NASCAR drivers, and find drivers whose stories connect beyond the sport," executive producer Michael Bicks toldThe Hollywood Reporter.
NASCAR in Primetime began filming last Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and according to The Reporter, ABC envisions airing four to six one-hour episodes this summer and fall. While ABC didn't confirm any of the NASCAR drivers that will be featured in the series, Bick singled out current Nextel Cup points leader Mark Martin and Colombian Formula One racer Juan Pablo Montoya.
"We're looking for drivers with stories like that that connect with an audience and stretch them across the episodes," Bicks told the trade paper. "Once you know the drivers and care about them it's a completely different experience."
Sarah Nettinga, managing director of film, television and entertainment for NASCAR, said giving the country's general public a look at the world of NASCAR is one of the things that attracted the popular yet unconventional professional sport to the idea of doing a docu-reality series.
"We think they're going to do a great job telling the non-fan what NASCAR is all about," she told The Reporter.
NASCAR in Primetime will be the first time NASCAR has allowed "unfettered access" to its behind-the-scenes workings without having editorial control over the finished product.
"We don't have editorial or approval power over the piece but we believe our sports has so many compelling people and stories that they'll come out with great stories," Nettinga told The Reporter. "We're not really worried about anything."