Raquel actually co-produced the 1972 movie, Kansas City Bomber, as a personal project and it was made with the cooperation and assistance of the National Skating Derby. Welch performed her own skating for the film and she worked with professional skater Paul Rupert and was said to have practiced five hours a day for three solid months, learning how to maneuver the banked oval tracks and how to take falls. Despite this intensive training schedule, she broke her wrist in a fall during one scene, halting production for six weeks.
Real life roller derby stars (John Hall and Danny "Carrot Top" Reilly from the L. A. Thunderbirds) were cast as extras. Real roller derby venues in Kansas City, Fresno, and Portland were also used for key scenes. Co-star Helena Kallianiotes intense performance as a bitter alcoholic teammate and rival won her a Golden Globe nomination and inspired critic Roger Greenspun (of The New York Times) to say she gave "the film's one incredible performance...She goes to the dogs with an inappropriate passion rich enough to suggest an over-the-hill Sarah Bernhardt being traded to the minors by the Comedie Francaise."
A very young Jody Foster plays Raquel's daughter and the film gives an almost documentary level view of the roller derby world. Its a soap opera drama mixed with grit. Its hard to imagine a world where the roller derby was such a hard-core and wildly popular sport but them again one look at Raquel in those uniforms and you suddenly get why it got so popular. Though Raquel insisted the 1972 movie was less about her looking like a sex symbol and more “about women who were athletes, and damn good athletes … and they got beaten up pretty good”.