WASHINGTON, May 26, 2013 —Before you dismiss NASCAR as a redneck sport enjoyed primarily in red states, keep in mind it has grown to an international sport that is broadcast in over 150 countries.
NASCAR also holds 17 of the top 20 regularly attended single-day sporting events in the world. In addition, the 75 million fans of NASCAR purchase over $3 billion dollars worth of licensed products annually. NASCAR is second only to the National Football League among professional sports franchises in terms of television ratings in the United States.
The allure of watching cars reach speeds of 200 miles per hour certainly deserves a fair share of credit for NASCAR’s popularity, but the accessibility of the fan friendly drivers is another important reason NASCAR is so hugely popular.
There are a few exceptions to the rule, but the majority of NASCAR drivers are grateful for their success, and show this by their willingness to immerse themselves in their fan base. Despite being worth millions of dollars, they have never forgotten the millions of faithful spectators behind their success.
NASCAR drivers are not only approachable; they welcome the opportunity to meet and get to know their fans. Perhaps it’s the fact that NASCAR was started by a bunch of moonshine runners during prohibition. Or maybe they are just a bunch of good old boys who enjoy talking about their exploits.
If fast cars aren’t your cup of tea, tonight on HBO Michael Douglas and Matt Damon star in “Behind the Candelabra.” The HBO special chronicles the turbulent five-year romance between famed concert pianist Liberace (played by Michael Douglas) and his young lover Scott Thorson (Matt Damon).
“Behind the Candelabra” is the brainchild of Academy Award winning film maker Steven Soderbergh, but they had me at Douglas and Damon.
In honor of this unique HBO production, communities own Gayle Falkenthal will be hosting a live on line chat during the broadcast of “Behind the Candelabra,” starting tonight at 9 p.m. Given the subject matter and the star power behind the film, this is one chat you will not want to miss!
All Times are EDT:
FOX: NASCAR Racing: Sprint Cup in Concord, N.C.: (Live) The Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kasey Kahne prevailed last year in this longest race of the Sprint Cup season, giving him four Charlotte wins. Denny Hamlin took second and was also runner-up in the track’s fall race won by Clint Bowyer.
CBS: 60 Minutes: (Repeat) Scott Pelley interviews the former Navy SEAL who wrote “No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden” using the pseudonym Mark Owen.
NBC: The Voice: (Repeat) The top ten singers perform.
ABC: Wipeout: (Repeat) John Henson reveals a slew of wild ideas for contestants; players tackle the Killer Croc and bust out of Wipeout Jail.
CBS: NCIS: Los Angeles: (Repeat) A former Navy intelligence officer is murdered, and the agents discover his double life and a possible threat to national security.
PBS: The National Memorial Day Concert 2013: Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise host the annual tribute to America’s military heroes. Slated performers include tenor Alfie Boe, Candice Glover (“American Idol”), mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins, Chris Mann (“The Voice”) and the National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of conductor Jack Everly. The event also shares the story of twin brothers who served multiple National Guard deployments; salutes the Greatest Generation; and honors Korean War veterans. From the U.S. Capitol’s West Lawn.
ABC: Motive: (Repeat) Detective Angie Flynn hunts down the killer of a well-liked science teacher.
NBC: Smash: (New) Hit List and Bombshell face off at the Tonys in Smash’s star-studded finale. Bernadette Peters and Rosie O’Donnell guest star.
HBO: Behind the Candelabra: (New) Michael Douglas and Matt Damon star in the story of the flamboyant pianist Liberace.
SHOWTIME: Nurse Jackie: (New) Jackie worries about Frank’s safety, and Zoey finds out about Coop and Carrie’s affair.
ABC: Rookie Blue: (Repeat) Nick and Andy go missing while working under cover to infiltrate a meth pipeline; Swarek and the other officers find themselves in the middle of a rescue operation; Andy works to deal with all the change going on around her.
CBS: The Mentalist: (Repeat) A reporter’s homicide may be tied to a story she was working on, and a wealthy philanderer is one of the suspects. Meanwhile, Jane claims he has his own methods for finding Lorelei.
SHOWTIME: The Borgias: (New) Cesare burns Constanzo’s palace in order to contain the plague, and Lucrezia blackmails Prince Raphael.
New episodes of:
Alaska: The Last Frontier at 8 p.m. on DSC
Cupcake Wars at 8 p.m. on Food Channel
Ultimate Survival Alaska: The Extra Mile at 8 p.m. on NGC
Trip Flip at 8 p.m. on Travel Channel
Long Island Medium: Beyond the Road at 8 and 8:30 p.m. on TLC
Ultimate Survival Alaska at 9 p.m. on NGC
Married to Medicine at 9 p.m. on BRAVO
North America at 9 p.m. on DSC
You Live in What? at 9 p.m. on HGTV
Iron Chef America at 9 p.m. on Food Channel
Long Island Medium at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on TLC
Rock My RV With Bret Michaels at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on Travel Channel
D-Day in 3D at 10 p.m. on DSC
Mad Men at 10 p.m. on AMC
Restaurant Impossible at 10 p.m. on Food Channel
The Kandi Factory at 10 p.m. on BRAVO
Unusual Suspects at 10 p.m. in ID
Life Below Zero at 10 p.m. on NGC
Breaking Amish: Brave New World at 10 p.m. on TLC
For movie lovers:
Girl Happy on ENC
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on FLIX
Extract on FMC
Battle: Los Angeles on FMC
The Shining on IFC
Take This Waltz on SHO
Bruce Almighty on TBS
Battleground on TCM
The Mechanic on TMC
Paul Blart: Mall Cop on ABCFAM
Contagion on HBO
Battleship on MOMAX
Think Like a Man on STARZ
Taking Chance at 9:30 p.m. on HBO
The Crow at 9:35 p.m. on TMC
Project X at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX
Heavenly Creatures at 10 p.m. on FLIX
Battle of the Bulge at 10:15 p.m. on TCM
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