Animax, the entertainment studio founded by Dave Thomas (Brother Bear) and ad/production man Andrew Bain, is filling up its tank with restaurant chain Hardee’s for a new web series to poke fun at new American past time – stock car auto racing.

Launching this week and produced by Animax web branding unit Unplugged, the series of one- to two-minute Slotcar episodes will include highlight packages, driver biographies, controversial stories, rumors, speculation as well as parodies.

Hardee's Slotcar web series“We produce each webisode only a week out from the launch date, so we are able to keep the content fresh and topical,” Animax COO Tim Jones said. “If something big happens in a race on Saturday, you’re going to see it spoofed on the next Slotcar webisode.”

Each new Slotcar episode will be released to coincide with key dates on the 2009 racing schedule. The first full episode, which featured a Hardee’s slotcar, premiered Saturday on Slotcar2009.com and at hardees.com. Sister chain Carl’s Jr. also is among the series’ sponsors and will be featured in upcoming episodes.

Hardees “Hardee’s is known for our innovative burgers as well as our edgy advertising,” said Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing for Hardee’s Food Systems. “We were thrilled to partner with a company known for producing original and very funny online content. The Slotcar series manages to blend a popular sport with the kind of irreverent sense of humor that we know our ‘Young, Hungry Guy’ customers enjoy, so we are happy to be able to help make it available it to them.”

Animax, which won the inaugural Broadband Emmy for ESPN’s Off-Mikes, serves as the series’ producer. Commercial director Richard D’Alessio, who has worked with Barry Levinson and Jerry Seinfeld on the web series Adventures of Seinfeld and Superman, will direct the episodes. His credits also include the NHL spoof Knob Hockey, which ran for three seasons in Canada.

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