By David G. Firestone
Most sports have their own media production company, to produce television or DVDs. NASCAR is no exception having founded the NASCAR Media Group. The NASCAR Media Group has produced many books, television commercials, television programs and DVDs showing the history and the competitors of NASCAR. They are a promotional tool used by NASCAR for self promotion.
One of the DVDs that they produced in 2009 was NASCAR Presents Greatest Finishes & Dominators. This single DVD contains NASCAR Presents Greatest Dominators and NASCAR Presents Greatest Finishes. These are two 37 minute long specials which could have aired on television at some point. The DVD also has 60 minute long versions of the 2007 Daytona 500 and the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400.
NASCAR Presents Greatest Finishes features a group of picks for the 10 greatest race finishes in NASCAR history. Their picks are:
10-1997 Mountain Dew Southern 500-Jeff Gordon Wins the Winston Million beating Jeff Burton
9-1999 Goody’s Headache Powder 500-Dale Earnhardt is racing for the win. He gets into the back of Terry Labonte, and spins him out, and collects the win.
8-2001 Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500-Kevin Harvick wins a close finish against Jeff Gordon, his first race in what used to be Dale Earnhardt’s car.
7-1992 The Winston-Kyle Petty wrecks Dale Earnhardt to set up a close finish with Davey Allison. Allison would win, but the two cars wrecked, and Davey had to be flown to a hospital.
6-1992 Hooters 500-In the final race of the 1992 season, Bill Elliot, Davey Allison, and Alan Kulwicki were each racing for the championship. Davey Allison got wrecked by Ernie Irvan, and Alan Kulwicki would go on to win the 1992 Championship. Factor in the fact that this was Richard Petty’s last race, and Jeff Gordon’s first, and you have a race for the ages.
5-2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400-The then closest finish in NASCAR history saw Ricky Craven beat Kurt Busch in a frantic and physical race to the finish by 0.002 seconds.
4-1986 Miller High Life 400-Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt had a battle for the lead, which saw both drivers wreck, and Kyle Petty winning. Both cars were destroyed, Earnhardt had to pay $10,000,($29,284.19 today) had his neck broken, and was suspended for his actions.
3-1984 Firecracker 400-With President Reagan traveled to Daytona to watch the Firecracker 400. The race came down to Richard Petty and Cale Yarborough race for the checkered flag. Petty would win his 200th, after a wreck forced a late race caution.
2-1979 Daytona 500-Considered the most important race in NASCAR history. Broadcast nationwide by CBS, the race came down to a two car battle for the lead formed between Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough in the closing laps. The two would wreck, and Richard Petty would win the race. A legendary fist fight between Allison and Yarborough took place in the infield, which made the front page of the New York Times sports section, thus bringing NASCAR into the national picture.
1-1976 Daytona 500-David Pearson had finished second to Richard Petty in the Daytona 500 on several occasions. In 1976. Pearson would finally get the better of Petty in a legendary wreck, where Pearson limped across victory lane with both cars destroyed.
I can’t say I disagree with their choices, they are all great finishes. They feature some of the greatest drivers in the sport. This is the better of the two features because everything about the program is good. The narration, editing, interviews, and music are all great. NASCAR Presents Greatest Finishes is a great production.
The same cannot be said for NASCAR Presents Greatest Dominators features the top 10 NASCAR Dominators. They are:
The first issue here is that THEY PUT THE LIST ON THE BACK OF THE DVD COVER! Who thought it would be a good idea to spoiler alert the outcome on the back of the DVD cover? I should purchase the DVD to see who made the list, but they couldn’t get that right.
NASCAR Presents Greatest Dominators is also quite dated. The DVD depicts Dale Jr. in Budweiser gear, Jimmie Johnson is never mentioned, the Gen 4 car is the newest car racing, and Rusty Wallace hasn’t retired yet. Another thing is that Cale Yarborough is lauded as being the only driver to win three championships in a row, and the point is driven that this will probably never happen again. This might not seem that bad, but again, it was released in 2009, AFTER JIMMIE JOHNSON HAD WON HIS THIRD CHAMPIONSHIP IN A ROW.
With that out of the way, NASCAR Presents Greatest Dominators is a mediocre showing. The structure for how the segments work is non-existent. Some segments run longer than others, and there are long awkward pauses for no reason. The music is decent though, and I do like the showing footage on vintage stock cars. Ken Squier’s narration is amazing, but Ken Squier could read the legalities of a mortgage, and make it sound amazing.
The two races, the 2007 Daytona 500 and the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400, are trimmed down versions of the telecasts, but they are decent, and show some great racing action. I’m a fan of these kinds of things. The DVD is worth it for that alone. The top 10 list thing has been done better, but the races are worth the price of the DVD. Across the board, I’m giving this a B-. It’s decent, some parts are worth the money, other parts aren’t.
Next week, another vintage stock car racing movie.