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May 19, 1999|SHAV GLICK

What: "Inside the Ride: Xtreme Machines" compact disc.

Producers: T. J. Knowles, Like Dat Music Inc.

Price: $15.95, by calling 888-436-1551.

The appeal of motor racing can be experienced through all the senses.

Obviously, fans get a thrill from the visual, watching with apprehension and anxiety at the possibility of a crash. Or a sudden explosive pass through a tight corner. Or a dozen or more cars thundering nose-to-bumper in a pack.

The smells of racing? A female friend of mine enjoys the whiff of methanol or burning rubber from tires fighting for traction as much as most women do the aroma of Chanel No. 5.

Now T.J. Knowles has come forth with a CD filled with the sounds of screaming race cars--Kenny Bernstein's top-fuel dragster, Sterling Marlin's Winston Cup stock car, JJ Lehto's CART champ car, Bob Motz's jet truck and Joe Padovano's offshore powerboat.

Gearheads and racing pros will appreciate the accuracy of the sounds. And for those who know little or nothing about the different types of racing machines, this CD is a primer.

It's not all the sounds of engines. Knowles and his partner, Bobby Crew, composed, produced and recorded 12 music tracks that soothe the senses when listening to the 57-minute CD. There are also conversations with the drivers, but the main event is the different racing sounds.

"I found myself standing at the starting line between two top-fuel dragsters as they exploded off the line," Knowles said. "The enormous shock and the unbelievable sound left me looking and feeling like Wile E. Coyote after holding a bomb too long. My hair hurt."

Turn up the volume on "Inside the Ride," and be prepared to have your hair hurt too.

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