From Mike Hockett, photog with the Newton Daily (a few more at his fb):
Getty (via VW):
How can ONTD say he's not lovely right now?
Des Moines Register, 'Iowa Speedway crowd cheers on film actors'
"Dean Whipple" of Iowa was a crowd favorite Saturday at the Iowa Speedway. The impeccably groomed young man in the black race suit strode across the stage to loud applause before the Prairie Meadows 200. Of course, "Whipple" was actually actor Zac Efron, who was at the track filming scenes for a movie tentatively titled "Heartland."
After being introduced to the crowd, waving several times and then climbing down the stairs, Efron deftly jumped the concrete barrier on Pit Road and climbed into the No. 11 car for more filming. Once he exited, driver Bryan Silas, of Stuart, Fla., took the wheel for the actual ARCA race, finishing 16th. "I talked to him for a couple minutes," said Silas, who spent five to 10 minutes showing the actor how to enter and exit a stock car. "I can see what people see in him; he's a very down-to-earth guy. And especially with the schedule on him right now, if it was me, I wouldn't make two minutes for someone like me."
The film, directed by Ramin Bahrani for release next year, is about an Iowa farm family whose patriarch (played by Dennis Quaid) is at odds with his son over his desire to race cars. Quaid was on hand as well this weekend, being filmed among fans watching the races and enthusiastically cheering on Silas from the pits. Efron, a 23-year-old teen heartthrob who rose to prominence as one of the stars of "High School Musical," was unavailable for comment.
He is being trained in the nuances of auto racing by Andy Hillenburg, owner of the 11 car. This is the sixth film Hillenburg has served as an adviser, with previous titles including the comedy "Talladega Nights." He said he has only seen select parts of the script, but noted that driving scenes will be filmed again in North Carolina, Illinois and once more in Iowa. "There's pretty good racing action," Hillenburg said. "And the dialogue, what I've seen, has been OK."
Hillenburg said Efron has not driven on a racetrack yet, and likely won't. "When you have stars that big, a lot of times they won't let them (drive on a speedway)," Hillenburg said. "That's why we have Hero here (nudging Silas) to do the dirty work." Silas said Efron transformed before his eyes this weekend. "At first, he just looked like an actor," Silas said. "At the end of the day, I was watching him doing his performance. He looked more intense than I do."
LOL, bet Zac is wishing he could drive.
One last nice little thing: