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What: “NASCAR: 50 Years On the Fast Track With Brooks & Dunn”

When: Thursday, Channel 2, 8 p.m.

For NASCAR enthusiasts who can’t seem to get enough of their stock car heroes, this hour-long combination of country music and Winston Cup racing lore will be an appetizer for the historic running of the Pepsi 400 under the lights at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, July 4. For people who are curious, or puzzled, as to why NASCAR is enjoying such popularity, this goes a long way toward providing an answer.

And if motor racing definitely isn’t your bag, Brooks & Dunn, the Country Music Assn.'s vocal duo of the year, provide good listening with their hits.


Between tunes, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett and Rusty Wallace are showcased, but the high points of the hour are clips from NASCAR’s greatest races of all time, including Lee Petty’s win at Daytona in 1959 that took two days to decide, Richard Petty’s 200th win in front of President Ronald Reagan, and the unforgettable 1979 Daytona 500 that Richard Petty won while Cale Yarborough and the Allison brothers, Donnie and Bobby, were fighting in the infield after knocking one another out of the race.

Dyed-in-the-wool fans will love Waltrip’s analysis of why racing is popular--the noise, the speed, the danger, the color, down home personalities--and the fact that “racing’s not boring, like baseball, or golf, or [long pause] tennis. Wow!”

In case you’re wondering, none of the drivers sing.