Street Racing Comes to Pay-Per-View in `Street Legal'
25 June 1998Street Racing Comes to Pay-Per-View in `Street Legal'
It's 'American Muscle' vs. 'Japanese Speed', Detroit vs. The Imports In First-Ever Live Street Drag Racing Competition NEW YORK, June 25 -- "Street Legal"(TM) gets the green light! SEG Motor Sports (SEG) has formed a strategic alliance with Sport Compact Car and Popular Hot Rodding magazines to produce and promote this first-ever, live pay-per-view auto racing event on August 2, it was announced by SEG President and CEO Robert Meyrowitz and President of McMullen Argus Publishing, Inc., Bill Porter. What makes "Street Legal" unique is that it takes the modern urban street racing phenomenon -- a hip-hop, hybrid, underground racing scene marked by souped-up, high-tech imports -- and brings it to a legitimate 1/4-mile drag strip where it meets the muscle car culture of the 60s and early 70s. "This is really a show for and about people who love cars," says Campbell McLaren, the Race Director for SEG Motor Sports and Executive Producer of the event. "Spanning different generations and backgrounds, it's about competition -- car vs. car, cubes vs. revs, rock vs. hip-hop, baseball caps frontward vs. baseball caps backward, culture vs. culture -- the things that America is about as we approach the millennium." "Street Legal" will be aired live from Sacramento Raceway at 3:00 p.m. (ET) on August 2, 1998. To be carried by every cable system and satellite provider in North America, the cost for the event is $14.95. In addition to the live broadcast, there are multiple replays scheduled on pay-per-view systems throughout the month. (Contact your local cable company or satellite provider for dates and times.) The first "Street Legal" event will present a field of 16 drivers -- eight in domestic cars, eight in imports. Elimination rounds will determine a winner in each division. Then, the two division winners will race each other head-to-head in the greatest 1/4-mile in drag racing history: Detroit vs. The Imports. "Street Legal" will feature 24-year-old Adam Saruwatari, one of the undisputed leaders in import drag racing. Recently, Saruwatari's Mazda RX-7 posted a 9.63-second 1/4-mile run at 139 mph, making it the fastest stock chassis RX-7 in the world! Speaking about "Street Legal," Saruwatari said, "This is a chance for me to race in front of people who don't know how fast the imports really are." The event also will feature female phenomenon Michelle Leo, a 20-year-old driver from Westbrook, Maine. She drives a black and pink '64 Chevy Corvette that runs a 9.6-second 1/4-mile at 138 mph. Michelle's car (which is 14 years older than she is) was built and maintained as a race car ever since it was made. About "Street Legal," Michelle says, "This is a perfect opportunity to show everyone -- especially import fans -- how powerful a Chevy really can be. It's also a perfect opportunity to prove that women really are the best drivers!" In addition to the feature races, the August 2 event also will include a celebrity exhibition race and a demonstration by the powerful, new Japanese rocket bikes (capable of reaching speeds of 170-180 mph in the 1/4-mile). Other elements in "Street Legal" include various segments that explore the many facets of our modern car culture, including the long-standing and always- passionate rivalries between Chevy and Ford, Honda and Mitsubishi, etc., plus beauty contests, sports car challenges, and more. All "Street Legal" events are sanctioned by the Street Legal Racing Association(TM) (SLRA). Under the leadership of SLRA Safety Commissioner Joseph Andujar, Jr., (a former policeman who has led the effort to curb illegal street racing in New York City), the SLRA is responsible for all standards and safety elements of the race, including driver and car qualification. The August 2 race will be the first in a series of scheduled "Street Legal" events. The second is set to air in November, 1998, with a third event to follow in February, 1999. While the inaugural event is set to air in the United States and Canada, plans are being developed to launch the program in Japan, the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia. Ultimately, "Street Legal" will be developed into a national -- and international -- circuit with sanctioned races held at local/regional tracks throughout the country and around the world. McMullen Argus Publishing, Inc., a division of Primedia, Inc., is publisher of 32 specialty consumer magazines, with a combined circulation of 2.3 million and over 19.2 million adult male readers. Primedia, Inc., is a leading company that publishes 170 magazine titles and 170 business and consumer information products, operates 25 video networks, and offers more than 100 websites, with a firm value of over $3.4 billion. SEG Motor Sports is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Semaphore Entertainment Group (SEG), a full-scale and highly innovative television and production company that conceives, develops and markets creative entertainment programming, including music, sports and comedy, for pay-per-view, cable and network television. Among its most notable programs are HBO and Cinemax specials, Cable Ace Award-winning concerts, talk shows and comedy specials, and the 10-part PBS series, "History of Rock & Roll." Semaphore Entertainment Group also produced "Reel Street: The American Independent Film Festival," the acclaimed independent film festival for home viewers, and the "Lifetime Television Film Festival" for the Lifetime Television Network. In sports programming, the company has achieved success with the "Battle of the Champions" exhibition tennis match and The Ultimate Fighting Championship(R) mixed martial arts competitions.