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NASCAR -- The Musical

DAYTONA BEACH -- Mike Helton, President of the National Association for Stock Car Racing, announced that the organization has contracted with Great Britain's most famous composer of musicals, Andrew Lloyd Webber, to create a Broadway musical based on the popular racing series.

"More than forty percent of the over 75 million NASCAR fans are women and we believe that, with Mr. Webber's help, we can push those numbers up by exposing a greater portion of that market demographic to the heroes and excitement of our sport," said Helton. "The only thing we told him was to definitely stay away from any kind of Evita-type theme with Teresa Earnhardt."

When Bill France Sr. organized NASCAR 55 years ago, he envisioned stock car racing as a nationally embraced sport, but even he couldn't have foreseen that it has grown into the No. 2 televised sport behind the NFL, funded by more Fortune 500 companies than any other sport, and driven by strong fan loyalty, with customers who are three times as likely to purchase NASCAR's sponsor's products and services.

The play, which the Jayski's website has variously reported the working title as being "The Phantom of the Speedway," "Stockcar Express" or "Jeff Gordon and the Amazing Technicolor Racecar," is scheduled to open at the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater in Jupiter, Florida, this fall, featuring Robert Goulet as Richard Petty and Rosie O'Donnell as Jimmy Spencer.

Helton was quick to assure theater goers that NASCAR is taking extraordinary safety measures with this production, including nomex suits for all actors, theater seats equipped with the HANS (Head and Neck Support) device and new technology energy absorbing soft walls in all of the rest-rooms to protect against high speed impacts with porcelain.



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