STERN PINBALL, INC.- NASCAR PINBALL MACHINE PRESS RELEASE ( Released 06/29/05 - edited, with pictures )
STERN PINBALL, INC. ANNOUNCES THE NASCAR ® LICENSED PINBALL MACHINE
June 28, 2005 (Charlotte) – Merging the speed of the race track with the speed of the silver ball, Stern Pinball, Inc., has introduced a new NASCAR ® licensed product – NASCAR ® Pinball. Designed by Pat Lawlor and his team at Pat Lawlor Design, NASCAR Pinballfeatures the high energy of NASCAR racing along with the fascination of high-tech gaming.
The new NASCAR Pinball game features cars from three race teams – the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by Rusty Wallace of Penske Racing South; the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet driven by Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress Racing; and the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford driven by Ricky Rudd of Wood Brothers Racing.
“NASCAR ® Pinball is the kind of game and license combination that comes around only so often,” said Lawlor. We believe we have created an exciting game fori both the casual players and the more experienced players". NASCAR Pinball is a fast-paced, action-packed game that should do extremely well anywhere is located at, home or business.
A cool component of NASCAR Pinball is the new "racetrack" feature that surrounds the entire playing surface. Energized by magnets, the racetrack loop sends pinballs around the playfield like cars racing around a track. NASCAR Pinball also features a "truck hauler" that players can launch balls through, along with a "test toy car" that players can bang with pinballs.
“NASCAR Pinball is a terrific simulation of the experience one gets while at the racetrack,” said Blake Davidson, NASCAR’s managing director of licensed products. “The speed and acceleration demonstrated by the race cars are displayed through the game itself.”
Other features of the game include a voice over from Allen Bestwick, NASCAR television analyst for NBC, and recording artist Sammy Hagar’s “I Can’t Drive 55,” a popular tune among NASCAR fans.
The NASCAR Pinball was brought to life by Pat Lawlor Design industry veterans Louis Koziarz and John Krutsch. Well-known pinball artist John Youssi did the art package for the game, while expert sound engineer Chris Granner produced the sound work.
The Miller Lite logo is featured on Rusty Wallace's® 2 car. If any operator or homeowner is sensitive to this logo, Stern Pinball offers a replacement backglass for exchange that does not contain the Miller Lite logo. To obtain this backglass, please call the Stern distributor through which the game was purchased.
The NASCAR pinball machine is available in Spanish for locations with Hispanic clientele. These are available for download through the Stern Website (EPROM Burner required) or click the link for the NASCAR Instruction Card (English, French & Spanish) available to print.
About NASCAR The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing , NASCAR, is the sanctioning body for one of America’s premier sports, which is the second highest-rated sport on television and has the most corporate involvement of any major sport. NASCAR sanctions approximately 1,800 races at 120 tracks in 38 states. The licensing division of NASCAR, based in Charlotte, N.C., works with more than 200 licensees nationwide. Overall, NASCAR fans purchased $2.1 billion in NASCAR-licensed merchandise in 2004. Headquartered in Daytona Beach, FL, NASCAR has offices in Concord, N.C., Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, and Bentonville, Ark. For additional information on NASCAR, contact: Kerry Tharp, NASCAR Public Relations, 704-348-9730 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The NASCAR ® PinballMachine is UL, CUL and CE approved. All Stern Pinball Machines, are created and was completely Made In The USA with pride by American workers. The NASCAR ® PinballMachine will begin shipping from the factory soon, with anticipated final delivery to consumers and businesses sometime in mid to late August, 2005.
The game is designed by Pat Lawlor but it is an unusual design for him with the main feature of the game being a variant on an old Steve Ritchie device - an overgrown super charger.
Running around the outer edge of the playfield is a racetrack. The ball can enter this loop and is propelled (Getaway-style) by a couple of magnets mounted on the bottom left of the playfield. Presumably in the finished version there will be a cover over these magnets but their positioning does produce a problem for the outhole. If the track runs around the outer edge, the outhole has to be moved forward to just behind the flippers and in front of the track loop. The layout of this game is quite unusual for a Pat Lawlor design with it appearing to be a fan of eight possible shots and no cross-playfield shots from an upper flipper. There look to be ten features to complete, circling the car on the playfield and the ramps are clear plastic rather than the steel used recently.
The backglass and cabinet feature three themed teams from the NASCAR series - the No. 21Motorcraft Ford driven by Ricky Rudd of Wood Brothers Racing, the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet driven by Kevin Harvick of Richard Childress Racing and the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by Rusty Wallace of Penske Racing South. Inclusion of specific teams is always dangerous ground and ever more so than in NASCAR where team loyalty approaches fanaticism and a game featuring opposing teams could be an instant turn-off. When the NASCAR theme was first announced, there was much concern from non-US sellers about the relative obscurity of the brand outside North America, where Formula 1 is the dominant motor sport. In an attempt to address this, the game will be sold under the "Grand Prix" name in these markets. This is the first time Stern has taken this step and follows previous themes such as Ripleys Believe It Or Not , which underperformed due to lack of brand recognition - one of the key benefits of licensed themes.
The Grand Prix name is close enough to associate the theme with Formula 1 racing but is not a copyrighted name, nor is it a license of the FIA, making Grand Prix Stern's first non-licensed game since High Roller Casino in January 2001. No images of the Grand Prix model are currently available but the layout will be unchanged from the NASCAR model but there will obviously be changes to the speech package and the artwork across the game. Interestingly, Kevin O'Connor will do the Grand Prix artwork, while John Youssi does the NASCAR version.