Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Red Dirt Rising

But first the world's largest sport industry started here:

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By Tucker McLaughlin
The News & Record / August 04, 2009

South Boston Speedway fans were exposed briefly Saturday night to a new movie production, showcasing part of the early origins of southern stock car racing.

The movie is called, ‘Red Dirt Rising’.

Todd Morris, who lives in High Point, N.C., said the movie “is really based around the formation of NASCAR, as it popped up all through the Southeast. Some of the hot spots are based in High Point and some of the first tracks.

“The movie is based around (early southern racing figures) Jimmie Lewallen, Bill Blair and Fred Harb,” noted Morris. (Bill Blair Jr. raced in the Legendary Flatheads series at SBS last weekend, and his dad, Bill Blair Sr., won Daytona back in 1953).

The movie deals with selected North Carolina racing families before the sport became widely exposed as it is today. It’s escapist fare, and some old-time NASCAR fans, in particular, may appreciate the approach here.

Based on promotional materials for the film, ‘Red Dirt Rising’ tells the kind of story that should be interesting to tradition-minded NASCAR fans.

Based on a true story, the film shares with us a decade in the lives of Jimmie Lewallen and his wife Carrie as they experience the joys of love and marriage along side the tragedies of war and poverty (1939 - 1949).

Jimmie and his friends, Bill Blair and Fred Harb, find escape from life's challenges in racing - born out of hauling moonshine on warm North Carolina evenings - and inadvertently become racing's earliest heroes. Ultimately their antics laid the ground work for what has become one of the most lucrative sports in the world. A number of racing firsts occurred during the The Fightin' Forties, making this film a sensational history lesson as well as an exciting journey of romance, friendship and action.

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