It’s been 20 years since that first Daytona 500 win. It was truly special. Coming off a 10-win season in 1996 with no championship, there was a lot to prove. For the #24 team, the motto was simple – Refuse to Lose.
On February 23rd, 2017, FS1 will premiere a special TV program aptly titled, Refuse to Lose, which shows never-before-seen footage surrounding the 1997 Daytona 500 as Jeff Gordon, Ray Evernham and the Rainbow Warriors went on to claim their first Daytona 500 victory.
The program is scheduled to air after the duels on FS1, so be sure to tune-in and spread the word!
In advance of the 59th annual Daytona 500, FOX Sports and NASCAR Productions have teamed up to deliver a rare behind-the-scenes look at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s first win in the “Great American Race” with an original film entitled “Refuse to Lose.” On the 20th anniversary of Gordon’s milestone triumph, the documentary takes viewers inside his journey to victory lane using never-before-seen footage of the No. 24 team captured in the 10 days leading up to the event.
Featuring interviews with Gordon and crew chief Ray Evernham, both executive producers on the project, the film premieres on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 10 p.m. ET immediately following FS1’s coverage of the Duel at Daytona International Speedway.
“I forgot that Ray had secured a camera crew to document the No. 24 team heading into the 1997 Daytona 500,” Gordon said. “There is footage included in ‘Refuse to Lose’ that even I hadn’t seen before we started this project, and I think it helps paint the picture of why this team led by Ray was so successful – especially from 1995 to 1999.”
“After winning 10 races in 1996 but missing out on winning the championship, I felt like I needed to do something to boost morale in the No. 24 shop. That’s why we brought in the camera crew,” Evernham said. “‘Refuse to Lose’ will give viewers an extremely unique, behind-the-scenes look at the championship Rainbow Warrior team.”
FOX Sports and NASCAR Productions partnered for two additional Daytona 500-themed originals heading into this year’s season opener, including “Miracle at Daytona – The Tiny Lund Story,” part of season two in the acclaimed “Beyond the Wheel” series. The short film is narrated by actor Luke Wilson, who served as the Official Pace Car Driver at last season’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. Premiering February 16th at 6 p.m. ET during “NASCAR Race Hub” on FS1, the film recounts how DeWayne “Tiny” Lund risked his life to rescue a fellow driver from his burning Maserati before going on to win the 1963 Daytona 500 just five days later. The complete “Beyond the Wheel” series will air Friday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. ET.
Fans can also tune-in for “NASCAR Race Classic: The 1997 Daytona 500,” a condensed version of the race broadcast hosted by Dale Earnhardt Jr. airing immediately following “Refuse to Lose” on Feb. 23.
The 2017 NASCAR Cup Series season kicks off with the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway live on FOX at 2 p.m. ET on Feb. 26.