Mach 1 Productions, LLC is pleased to announce their feature film SHORT TRACK will be released on DVD throughout the U.S. on Tuesday, September 30th, 2008. SHORT TRACK, a small, yet ambitious stockcar racing movie, rated PG, should appeal to race fans of all ages. Shot primarily in the Carolinas and in Georgia, SHORT TRACK features the UARA-STARS Racing Series late model stock cars and stars veteran actors Pepper Sweeney ("Gray's Anatomy"), Barbara Niven (HBO's THE RAT PACK and REDLINE), Joshua Snyder (SHOPGIRL), newcomer Ann Bratton and Patrick Gorman (GETTYSBURG and GODS AND GENERALS). Check out the trailer by clicking here. www.shorttrackmovie.com/trailermedium.html
Written and Directed by Marie Hopkins, a native Carolinian from a longtime NASCAR associated racing family, the film centers on the family life of short track veteran race driver, Blake Beckett (Pepper Sweeney). The daily life experiences of Blake's family and crew are exposed through unique characters that work and play through weeks that culminate in 120 mph Saturday nights. Blake longs to make it to the sport's top series, while struggling to help his deaf son follow in his race-driving footsteps. Indy Johansen (Joshua Snyder), a well-heeled, young California driver, arrives to recruit Blake for a shot at the big time. There's only one catch: Indy's driving. Blake's daughter, an aspiring country music singer, Abby (Ann Bratton) falls for the young hot-shoe driver, forcing Blake to see that his little girl is all grown up. Blake's lively, resilient wife, Audrey (Barbara Niven) longs for the day when he will retire from driving. "Driving racecars is a young man's business."
Alex Yontz and SHORT TRACK Movie's star Pepper Sweeney.
The movie features electrifying race footage from the UARA-STARS Racing Series. Writer-Director Marie Hopkins says, "I looked very hard for the best short track racing I could find. The UARA provided exactly what we were looking for, intense door-to-door racing action with some of the country's most talented and experienced young drivers. Some of these drivers will no doubt be among the ranks of the very best NASCAR top series drivers in the foreseeable future. Though a relatively young series, the UARA has become a well-respected, well-run, thriving touring series built around giving up-and-coming drivers and teams the opportunity to compete at many of the best short tracks in the country. Just this year, there were two big UARA tour events at the famed Bristol Motor Speedway."
SHORT TRACK features race footage at three great tracks: Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, GA, Tri-County Motor Speedway and the historical Hickory Motor Speedway. "UARA-STARS Series President Kerry Bodenhamer gave us such great access to the races, the drivers and the teams. The UARA really bumped the project up to a whole new level. SHORT TRACK's exciting race footage features most of the 2006 UARA-STARS roster."
Since we were shooting actual races and not staging them for the movie, we chose two of the series' drivers and teams to be our lead character's cars/drivers. We needed to assure that the teams we chose were experienced, consistent, exciting and, of course, bad fast. Filling that bill for us was young Alex Yontz (as driver for the movie's Blake Beckett) in his orange #55 car. Yontz, a UARA Series multi-race winner is also a former winner of the big annual late model race at Martinsville, the Bailey's 300. Yontz has since won two UARA races at Bristol as well.
The other team we felt really confident about was Jamie Yelton and his Forest City Bad Boys. Yelton (as driver for the movie's Indy Johansen) who's still a pretty young racer, is a real late model veteran. He's a threat anywhere and everywhere he unloads that slick-looking black #8. And his late model stock win column is a mile long. 2006 Series Champion Brandon Ward is also featured, as well as Mark Setzer, Kyle Grissom, Kevin Leicht and the entire field of the 2006 UARA Series. Mark King and Lucas Ransone assisted with getting some great in-car camera footage."
Kevin Leicht (32), Mark Setzer (27) and Alex Yontz (55) at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Writer-Director Marie Hopkins' vision for the film was to simply bring to the screen an authentic portrayal of the many talented people and dedicated families who participate in the exciting and popular sport. Hopkins states, "These are some really passionate and wonderful people who entertain thousands every Saturday night. The risk, the rewards and the disappointments are many, but these people have such passion for racing. They include their families in their dreams and goals and have a great time doing it. I have felt for a long time that stockcar racing in general has often been characterized in movies as cartoonish, overstating the role of moonshining in stockcar racing's early days and trite portrayals of drivers as thrill seekers. I just wanted to push to the forefront how little these assumptions are actually what this sport is about. I tried to put forth an honest portrayal of racing families and the kinds of things that they deal with day to day."
On her actor's contributions to the movie, Hopkins says, "It was so touching to me how my actors just delved into researching the sport and its participants. I was so impressed by their abilities, all of them, to transform themselves into these people. And not just the physical performance part of the acting, but the real heart that they delivered in their performances. I wrote these characters from my background and experience, but these actors brought them to life in such realistic portrayals. Pepper Sweeney and Barbara Niven, who play Blake and Audrey Beckett in the movie, are in my mind, real racers if I've ever known any. And I have, my whole life. The chemistry between them is wonderful and that relationship is the real heart of SHORT TRACK, and a testament to the talent and abilities of these two wonderful actors."
Regarding the distribution announcement for SHORT TRACK, Hopkins says, "I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to get SHORT TRACK into the hands of Curb Entertainment. (Curb Entertainment's CEO Mike Curb is a long time participant and supporter of stockcar racing and co-owner of Baker-Curb Motorsports' Nashville-based NASCAR Nationwide Series race team.) It is well known in racing circles that Curb was an early supporter of a young Dale Earnhardt and was the car-owner of the famous yellow and blue #2 car in Earnhardt's first NASCAR championship season, as well as car-owner for Richard Petty's 1984 win at Daytona. But more impressive to me are the close to one-hundred young and up-and-coming drivers that Mike Curb has invested in over the years, in all forms of American motorsports, from dirt sprints to entrants in the Indy 500. I so genuinely respect and appreciate Curb's contribution to racing, which led me to feel that Curb Entertainment was where SHORT TRACK belonged. My best case scenario was that Curb would like the movie. And it was important to make sure we aligned ourselves with someone who really got it, loved the movie and would do what I know needed to be done to get it to the audience for whom it was written - racers and race fans."
UARA owners, Kerry and Wink Bodenhamer, on Race Day
"When I met with Curb Entertainment's President Carole Curb, her enthusiasm and excitement for SHORT TRACK was great. In fact, she had great marketing vision for it immediately and in literally days, brought in a DVD distributor, Monarch Home Video, which has turned out to be a perfect fit for the movie. Carole is doing a great job marketing the movie in the foreign arena as well. And I think this association is working great for SHORT TRACK.
Carole also brought some great music from Curb recording artists to the movie's soundtrack. Los Angeles composer, John Boegehold did a beautiful job on the filmscore and wrote some great original music for the movie. Now, with the Curb association, we were able to get some amazing music from some great artists. Wynonna's heart-pounding, "Attitude" opens the movie with, well, lots of attitude. The movie also features music from Curb artists' Plumb, Mikeschair, Kimberely Locke and Lee Brice. And the most perfect song there could ever be for a short track racing movie, "Carolina Boys", was written and performed by the super-talented artist and songwriter, Lee Brice. Brice, who is himself a real Carolina Boy, has generated tremendous excitement for the upcoming release of his debut album due this fall on the Curb record label. So needless to say, the Curb association has been a great boost for SHORT TRACK."
Pre-Sales available NOW online at www.target.com, www.bestbuy.com, or www.circuitcity.com
For more information about SHORT TRACK visit www.shorttrackmovie.com