ESPN Ride-Along Program Continues for 1998

BRISTOL, Conn. (March 12, 1998) - The "ESPN/NASCAR Ride-Along Program" will return as the theme of ESPN's 1998 NASCAR promos. The humorous spots, introduced last year, each feature a NASCAR driver competing while carrying on conversations...

BRISTOL, Conn. (March 12, 1998) - The "ESPN/NASCAR Ride-Along Program" will return as the theme of ESPN's 1998 NASCAR promos. The humorous spots, introduced last year, each feature a NASCAR driver competing while carrying on conversations with a passenger in the back seat of his car. Kyle (left) and Richard Petty appear together in an ESPN NASCAR ad that is currently running.

Drivers featured in the 1998 campaign will be Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, Kyle Petty and Rusty Wallace. The passengers in the spots include Joan Embry of the San Diego Zoo, Keyshawn Johnson of the New York Jets, Baltimore Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina and NASCAR legend Richard Petty.

The spots, filmed at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Concord (N.C.) Motor Speedway were written and produced again this year by Radical Media and utilize a variety of humorous skits:

Gordon tells a New York cab driver how tough NASCAR driving is, but has no response when the cabbie brags, "I drive a cab through the Bronx...at night."

Labonte admires an iguana and a kinkajou that Embry has brought with her in the car, but then expresses concern when he realizes the weasels she brought are loose in the car.

Martin steers according to directions from Johnson, who is hoping to catch a football being thrown towards the car. After he drops the ball, he complains that there was pass interference on the play and a penalty flag flies into the car.

Kyle Petty shakes his head while getting back seat advice from his father Richard ("What gear you in?" and "Watch out for this guy!") before responding "If you think you can do better, get up here and drive" to which the elder Petty responds by trying to climb over into the driver's seat.

Wallace tries to taunt Mussina with the chant, "We want a pitcher, not a belly itcher." In a second spot, Wallace admires the family photos in the wallet of an elderly relative.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Rusty Wallace , Kyle Petty , Richard Petty , Mark Martin