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Original Issue

Under Review

BEHIND THE WHEEL On May 14, FX debuts NASCAR Drivers: 360, an
hourlong weekly series that follows the personal and professional
lives of some of the sport's biggest names. While many programs
promise unfettered access to athletes, this show actually
delivers the goods. The premiere features genuinely tender and
awkward moments in the households of drivers Kevin Harvick, Kenny
Wallace and Rusty Wallace. (Ten drivers, including Dale Earnhardt
Jr., are featured during the show's eight-week run.) There's
comic relief, too, when Harvick, an occasional hothead who is
nonetheless nicknamed Happy, cleans up his dog's poo by tossing
it into his neighbor's yard. At the track, cameras are allowed
into normally sacrosanct team meetings, and viewers can eavesdrop
on conversations between the drivers and crews during a race. But
the program's greatest strength is that it reminds us that the
drivers aren't risking their lives just to satisfy a need for
speed--they're trying to make a living. When Kenny Wallace learns
he might not be able to drive in a Busch series race due to a
technicality, he laments, "NASCAR says don't take it personally.
But it is personal because it's my paycheck that feeds my kids."

CLASSIC CALL Dick Enberg, who was the voice of Wimbledon and the
French Open for nearly a quarter of a century until his stint at
NBC came to an end in 1999, has been hired by ESPN to work those
two Grand Slam events. (He will also work the U.S. Open for CBS,
as he has since 2000, and the Australian Open for ESPN.) "It's
nice to get a second chance," Enberg, 69, says. "But I think the
happiest person is my wife because while I'm working, she's going
to get a two-week holiday in two of the greatest cities in the
world." --S.P.