"My initial reaction was, why do they want me? Because I'm certainly not a good actor, and I don't have a Hollywood face by any means. When I go to the beach, whales gather around."
-- NASCAR Sprint Cup star Jeff Burton, on receiving the call to make a guest appearance on the ABC daytime soap opera General Hospital.
Burton's episode will air on Wednesday (March 18) at 2 p.m. (Central) on WFAA/Ch. 8 in the Fort Worth/Dallas area. The show is also scheduled to air on SoapNet at 9 p.m. (Central). ESPN The Magazine was on set with Burton. Go here for a story and behind-the-scenes video.
According to ABC, in the story line, Burton visits neighborhood tavern Jake's where he has a conversation with bartender Coleman (Blake Gibbons) when Dr. Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson) arrives and despite being a motorsports enthusiast, the neurosurgeon does not recognize Burton and a comedic exchange ensues.
NASCAR Sprint Cup owner/driver Michael Waltrip is no stranger to acting. He's starred in countless commercials over the years, with trained actors or with other NASCAR and NHRA stars. Now he'll get a chance to play himself alongside actors Jason Lee and Ethan Suplee in the NBC sitcom My Name Is Earl.
During this off weekend on the NASCAR schedule Waltrip will be in Hollywood until Saturday to tape the episode, which is scheduled to air on April 30, Waltrip's 46th birthday. Waltrip got the opportunity to star on the show after Auto Club Speedway president Gillian Zucker recommended him to the show's creator and executive producer, Greg Garcia.
"In my opinion, My Name Is Earl is an instant classic," Waltrip said in a release. "I am proud to be a part of this show as it always tells a great story about Earl's need to do good things for people. How he gets to the resolution is absolutely hilarious."
The Daytona 500's television ratings declined as the rain-shortened race missed out on the final laps that typically draw the most viewers. Sunday's event on Fox drew a preliminary national rating of 9.2 and a 19 share, the network said Tuesday. The last rain-shortened Daytona 500 earned a 9.8/21 in 2003. Last year's full race drew a 10.2/20. The rating is the percentage of all homes with televisions watching a program. The share is the percentage tuned in among households with the TV on at the time.