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Speed to Launch NASCAR 'Idol'

Auto racing cable network Speed is borrowing from its broadcast brethren and
launching a talent show for NASCAR fans. Fast Track to Fame will debut
on March 1 at 9 p.m. ET and
feature a 10-episode, grassroots talent search taped at stops along the NASCAR

Speed is also owned by Fox's parent company, News Corp. It is the first major
development announced since Fox Sports chairman David Hill expanded hisrole at
News Corp.

The show will be hosted byMichael Waltrip, a renowned NASCAR owner and
driver. His brother, Darrell, is part of Fox Sports' NASCAR announcing team.

"I love talent shows," Michael Waltrip says. "I went to Hunter [Nickell,
Speed's president]and told him he should air a NASCAR talent show. He thought
it was a great idea, and next thing you know, we're doing it. I know there's a
lot of hidden talent in NASCAR Nation, and we're going to find it and have a
blast while we do."

Fox/FSN on-air talent Charissa Thompson will co-host the60-minute show with
Waltrip.Fast Track will feature not just wannabe singers, but also
acts such as comedians and dancers.

The show will tape from late February until May. Speed plans on airing each
episode as many as six times after its Monday-night original.

According to Fox Sports, acts will be solicited through local media in
NASCAR stops, and when selected they will perform over the weekend in front of
three judges. The judges will be Riki Rachtman, a former rock star and host of
radio's NASCAR 24/7; Hollywood talent
manager Kathy L. Carter; and a weekly guest judge culled from NASCAR's many

The show is produced in conjunction with FiveBinks Inc. David Hill and
George Greenberg from Fox Sports/Stars Avenue, and Michael Binkow and Joe
Revello from FiveBinks serve as co-executive producers.