NASCAR at the Movies
Sports fans are glued to the Olympics right now. But in a week or so the competitions will be over, the medals awarded and the athletes back home.
Luckily for those looking for their next fix of competition adrenaline, the NASCAR season opens on February 23 with the 56th running of the Daytona 500. The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is a family owned business that governs a number of different auto racing events. It has become the largest sanctioning body of stock car racing in the United States according to History of NASCAR. It ranks among the Big Four when it comes to professional sports in America in league with the basketball, baseball and football. According to Forbes, it is the second-most-popular TV sport, after the NFL.
So why are there so few movies about sanctioned car racing?
This year’s Golden Globes-nominated movie Rush stars Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl as Formula One rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda. The Fast and The Furious franchise has made illegal street racing popular in movie theaters. But NASCAR hasn’t been on the big screen in a big way for a very long time.
In the 1960s, 70s and 80s, films like Redline 7000 (1965), Six Pack (1982), Stolen Ace (1983), Greased Lightening (1977), The Last American Hero (1972) and Elvis Presley in Speedway (1968) entertained audiences.
But more recently if you want to get up close and personal with the racetrack, you’ll have to settle for Will Ferrell playing the insecure Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby or Owen Wilson voicing the overconfident Lightening McQueen in Pixar’s animated movie Cars. .