Broadcast Premiere of CMT'S "NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed" Sunday May 8 at 9 pm

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Broadcast Premiere of CMT'S "NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed" Sunday May 8 at 9 pm

CHARLESTON, West Virginia – CMT will begin airing its three-part special event "NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed" on May 8 at 9 p.m. EST. Predominantly filmed in West Virginia's Berkeley and Jefferson counties, the three-part special event is dedicated to the fearless men who took stock car racing out of the backwoods and into the national spotlight. American Speed is produced by Emmy Award-winning producer Stephen David of Stephen David Entertainment.

Since fall of 2012, in addition to American Speed, Mr. David has filmed five other miniseries in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, namely, "The Men Who Built America," for History, which was nominated for five Emmy Awards and won two for Outstanding Documentary and Outstanding Cinematography; "The World Wars," also for History, which was nominated for three Emmys; "American Genius," for National Geographic, "The Making of the Mob: New York," for AMC Networks, and "The American West," also for AMC, which is scheduled to air this June.

"It has been a marvelous experience hosting six back-to-back miniseries in West Virginia. Stephen David Entertainment is a respected company that recognizes the potential of great locations," said Pam Haynes, Director of the West Virginia Film Office. "Mr. David has repeatedly stated that the Eastern Panhandle is a gold mine for locations and the hospitality is unmatched. Both the Berkeley County and Jefferson County visitors bureaus have proven time and again that they will bend over backwards to support the economic impact generated by the film industry."

During filming, American Speed used dozens of locations throughout Berkeley and Jefferson counties, including the Martinsburg CVB office and its street front. "With all of this business activity in the panhandle, we have developed a greater understanding of the unique needs associated with film production," said Laura Gassler, Executive Director of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "The financial impact on the area has been substantial, from hotels and restaurants, to car rentals, props acquisition and other expenditures you don’t normally think of such as coin laundries and wages paid to local talent."

“Jefferson County is always excited about hosting film productions. Every time our beautiful panhandle is used for locations, it sparks interest in film tourism,” said Annette Gavin, Executive Director of the Jefferson County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Film productions provide a general boost to the economy during and after filming. And with NASCAR having such a huge following, we’re looking forward to celebrating even more attention on the panhandle.”

The Film Office is able to recruit these types of high-profile productions because of a film tax credit program unanimously enacted by the legislature in 2007. West Virginia's workforce and business service providers have benefited financially from all of the productions that have filmed in the state because of the program. It is a positive economic tool designed to build a sustainable industry and to put the state's residents to work, thereby gaining valuable experience and an ability to expand their skill sets.

More information about "NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed" is available at http://www.cmt.com/shows/nascar-the-rise-of-american-speed/explore/.