Love in the Fast Lane of Speed Network

NEW YORK Call it a tailwind courtship—one that moves at about 200 miles per hour.

Charlotte, N.C., shop Boone/Oakley is helping the Speed Network launch its first reality dating series, I Wanna Date a Race Car Driver, in which fans perform stunts to win the affection of their favorite Nascar hero or heroine.

A series of print ads juxtapose a photo of a stereotypical dashing, windswept race car driver with significantly more cerebral suitors, including bespectacled accountants, chemists and a podiatrist with a pursed mouth and greasy locks. Guess whose box is checked?

Copy reads: “Four out of five women prefer dating a racer.”

Also promoting the cable show, which debuted last night, are mock personal ads that last week broke in national newspapers’ classified sections. One, with a picture of the boyish Jon Wood, notes the Nascar Craftsman Truck speedster “enjoys long drives at 190 miles per hour. Usually in circles.” Another, for female Nascar racer Leilani Munter, says the sometime body double for Catherine Zeta-Jones “seeks a man who can keep up with me.”

Boone/Oakley’s phone number appears below the photographs in the ads, and the line has been ringing, according to creative director David Oakley.

“People have actually left messages thinking that it’s real,” said Oakley, who added that the agency might incorporate elements from some in upcoming work.