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It's the end of February, and just about the time where most of the racing world rubs the sleep out of their eyes, yawns, stretches, and emerges from their hibernation. Oh, sure, the drag racers have been going for a few weeks now, but NASCAR? Well, we got a taste of what 2022 holds in store for the season with the Clash at the Coliseum race, where the Next Gen NASCAR platform (the seventh-generation car) made it's first laps in competitive anger. But the real start of the season for most fans is the Daytona 500. 200 laps around Daytona International Speedway in Florida means 500 miles of hard-charging hell for driver and machine alike. Add in the rather substantial prize for the winner of the race, the likelihood of a "Big One" wreck (Daytona is the other major track besides Talladega where that is a common occurrence) and the dark history of events that have taken place at this race, such as Ryan Newman's fiery crash from 2020's running or the spectre of Dale Earnhardt, Sr.'s final race and every running becomes a legendary event.
With the big dance of NASCAR about to go underway with new cars and all, the gentlemen of the Kibbe and Friends Show have decided to put out a bit of a re-run: their look at the 1990 film "Days of Thunder". Now, if the idea of Tom Cruise in a Chevy Lumina stock car makes you roll your eyes and gag a little, we suspect that you haven't actually seen the movie. First of all, the Lumina was still hot news, both for General Motors who had bet big on the GM-10 front-wheel-drive platform, and the NASCAR teams who were exploiting the aerodynamic improvements over the G-body Monte Carlo as far as the rules would allow (and, knowing many teams, probably a tenth or two further than that because...you know...racing.) The cars are instantly recognizable, not as Luminas so much, but because they were blindingly colorful takes on NASCAR racers: the #51 Mello Yellow car, the #46 Superflo car, the #18 Hardee's car, the #46 City Chevrolet car. The cars themselves are legitimate racers, all built by Hendrick Motorsports, and the movie's origin itself can be traced to Rick Hendrick, who cut Cruise loose in a stock car to the tune of about 180 miles per hour. Some of the footage was actually shot during the 1990 Daytona 500 race, and a couple of the cars were run on the track (driven by Bobby Hamilton and Tommy Ellis) unscored for the first hundred miles. The storyline has elements of NASCAR lore blended into one story. The characters of Harry Hogge and Cole Trickle were based upon Harry Hyde and Tim Richmond, respectively, and there are references to other individuals like Buddy Baker, Bobby Isaac, Joe Weatherly, Curtis Turner, Dale Earnhardt, Sr., Geoff Bodine, and more. Even City Chevrolet is a real thing...the actual dealership is in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Is it a completely accurate portrayal of what NASCAR was like in 1990? Nah. It was never meant to be. What it did do for the sport was two-fold:
Look at NASCAR's popularity from the 1990s onwards, and see if you can find one way to prove that there is no connection to the movie. Best of luck.