Disney/Pixar's latest animated feature Cars
is set for national release June 9, but it will get a unique unveiling Friday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte. Four huge screens are being erected at one of the track's turns, and a special sound system is being set up for a crowd of 30,000.
"We are going to be looking back 25 years from now and see this as a milestone moment not only for the speedway but for NASCAR," track President Humpy Wheeler says.
Wheeler is one of several motor sports personalities with voice roles in the film. Drivers Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are among the NASCAR representatives. Mario Andretti and Formula One champion Michael Schumacher also have small roles.
Paul Newman says there are advantages to doing animated features over regular motion picture roles. There's no location shooting. All it took was a ride to a New York sound studio from his home in Westport, Conn., to lay down the voice for his first Pixar film.
Instead of paying him a large salary, Disney/Pixar is making a sizable donation to Newman's Hole in the Wall Camps for kids.