CMT, NASCAR Team Up on Dale Doc

Country Music Television is co-producing a documentary on racing legend Dale Earnhardt that will be released theatrically as part of a National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing tour, and then air on the cable network next year, officials said Monday.

CMT Films and NASCAR Images’ Dale is the only authorized documentary on Earnhardt that will be released in movie houses, on television and later on DVD.

The film will premiere in selected cities on the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series circuit beginning next February, coinciding with the beginning of the 2007 Nextel Cup season. Dale will then debut on CMT in the third quarter of 2007, and it will be released on DVD following the CMT premiere.

Dale is the second film produced under the CMT Films banner. The first, Toby Keith’s Broken Bridges, will debut in theaters this fall, with a fourth-quarter release on CMT and DVD.

Narrated by actor Paul Newman, the Earnhardt documentary will include archival race footage, rare outtakes, never-before-seen family home videos and interviews with his closest friends and family, toughest competitors and most avid fans, illustrating the depth of Earnhardt's influence in the racing world and beyond.

Dale will tour the nation with select sneak-preview screenings near NASCAR racetracks. This limited release of the film provides NASCAR and Earnhardt fans a sneak preview of the film before its television and DVD release at the end of the year. These previews will allow fans a chance to see the film on huge, local screens with state-of-the-art sound in the weeks leading up to local race days.

Earnhardt earned more than $41 million in his career, winning seven NASCAR championships and virtually every major NASCAR event. He died in 2001 on the last lap of the Daytona 500.