Thursday, October 8, 2009
The good folks at the NASCAR Media Group were kind enough to send along an advance copy of their latest release. Together: The Hendrick Motorsports Story is a DVD that contains a major slice of NASCAR history.
In this case, the NMG production team is not looking back and documenting a personality already gone from the sport. Rick Hendrick and his teams are smack dab in the middle of the Chase for the Championship once again.
What makes this project so interesting is that Hendrick himself opened the door for interviews with his family members. The NMG cameras offer fascinating profiles of those in the family who are not normally in the public eye. Each seems to have invested in this project for very personal reasons.
As fans may expect, the current crop of Hendrick Motorsports drivers are involved but that certainly is not the centerpiece of the story. Many other NASCAR personalities also took the time to discuss their personal experiences with Hendrick. That provides a really fascinating peek into the broad reach of this one man and his NASCAR connections.
For some fans, the name Tim Richmond is going to be new. This former NASCAR star was nothing short of a sensation upon his arrival and nothing short of a mystery upon his departure from the sport. NMG has wonderful footage of Richmond that serves to remind veteran fans of the colorful personality and wonderful sense of humor that Richmond displayed during his driving days. Tragically, AIDS is a word we now know all too well.
Footage of Hendrick in his other role as an auto dealer helps viewers to understand how his message of personal interaction and teamwork was derived. Despite his legal struggles and personal health issues, Hendrick continues to deliver the very same message that has served him well for decades. It's all about people.
Some things transcend sports and serve as the most poignant reminders of the fragility of life. The difficult subject of the tragic Hendrick Motorsports plane crash that claimed so many lives is framed around the very personal remembrances of those lost.
This willingness of the remaining Hendrick family members to step-up in this very public way is truly inspiring. There is nothing for them to gain other than offering their own words and feelings on a topic very close to their hearts.
NASCAR racing is a world where many owners and sponsors have come and gone. It is fitting that the results of Hendrick's methods are on display in this project from the early days racing Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Richard Childress through the present battles with Joe Gibbs and Jack Roush.
Tom Cruise blends surprisingly well into the background as he provides the narration. Early video snippets of Cruise and the Hendrick family during the Days of Thunder filming only serve to reinforce the wide variety of experiences that have made up the twenty-five years of the Hendrick family's NASCAR dealings.
The full-length DVD will certainly be a very different viewing experience than the one-hour airing of Together scheduled for ABC this Sunday at 1:30PM ET. The DVD contains a finished full-length movie of over ninety minutes.
Thanks again to NMG for this screening. Together is a project that many fans will no doubt want to see. The long-form DVD is available at HendrickMotorsports.com for a reasonable price.
TDP will offer a post for comments on the ABC program on Sunday. For other comments or questions about this video project, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you.