Motorsports – My list of the 10 best racing movies

We all love movies. We all love racing movies too. Plus, as we all sit at home during this 40s, we are all blessed by the endless runs that live on YouTube. There are also documentaries on streaming services. Not only am I a racing and sports nerd, but I’m also a movie nerd. In fact, I can usually be found at the movies almost every weekend. With that in mind, Indycar, NASCAR, Sports Cars, and Formula One have all been the backdrop for Hollywood movies.

I love movies, but to blame I like them to be realistic, or at least close to the real story. Goodfellas is pretty darn close to what really happened. Meanwhile, Public Enemies, the John Dillenger movie, is everywhere and nothing like what actually happened in real life. But I digress, this list is about racing movies.

This is my worst at the first list. These are just movies that I have seen. Some that I have seen but are not listed for various reasons. Those not listed include Greased Lightning, Richard Pryor’s film about Wendall Scott. The Cars movies, or Death Race. Turbo is also not listed, although I really enjoyed this movie. The Ferris Wheel which starred Mickey Rooney, nor any of the Herbie films. I mean who doesn’t love a classic Herbie movie? No Cannonball Run movies either, but I love both of these movies. Let me also add that the favorite racing movie that is not on this list is Talladege Nights, the ballad of Ricky Bobby. Is it a comedy or a racing movie? I’ll let you decide this one for yourself.

So without further ado, here is my list. From worst to first. My list of the 10 best racing movies. Please keep in mind that this is based on my opinion only and that I am not a professional film critic.

10. Conduit (2001)

I met Sylvester Stallone while he was making this movie at Homestead Miami Speedway. I wanted this movie to be good in the worst possible way. Originally set as a film with Formula 1 as a backdrop, this Sylvester Stallone film has had to undergo multiple changes. Thy eventually got the nod from CART, with the main filming taking place in the 2000 season. Kip Pardue joins Stallone as an Indycar driver. Gina Gershon is a former sweetheart and Burt Reynolds as a wheelchair car owner based on Frank Williams. You see real drivers and races interacting with the stars. Some of the racing scenes are thrilling, but the movie itself is just plain bad in every way. This movie is full of action. If you love bad movies like me then you are going to love this movie.

9. Days of Thunder (1990)

I know I’m going to catch a lot of bullshit for this, but Days of Thunder is a horrible movie. It is far from realistic. Ricky Bobby is just as realistic as this beautiful feature film. In fact, it is one of the most beloved movies for all NASCAR fans. Is Cole Trickle a sprint driver or Ian ndycar? Both are mentioned. The constant shocks and friction in Daytona would never happen. Friction is not a race, it is intentionally trying to crash someone. Everything is a shipwreck from there. While this is a classic Tom Cruise movie, it’s also one of the worst racing movies ever made. In fact, if Driven had never been filmed, this would be the worst racing movie on my list.

8. Stroker Ace (1982)

Burt Reynolds plays a stock car driver and Jim Nabors plays his buddy / crew chief. It’s a typical 80s action comedy / comedy movie directed by Hal Needham who teamed up with Reynolds on Smokey and the Bandit. This movie is typical 80s cheese but it’s okay. Parker Stevenson plays your nemesis in the movie NASCAR drivers like Bennie Parsons, Harry Gant, and Cale Yarborough all make appearances. See Reynolds drive in a chicken costume as he is considered “the fastest chicken in the south” by his car owner and sponsors. Not great, but it’s not that bad either.

7. Pleasing a Lady (1950)

This classic 1950 racing film stars Clark Gable as racing driver Mike Brannan. Brannan is looking to move up from the midget ranks to the biggest racing rig, The Indianapolis 500. Barbara Stanwyk plays journalist / sweetheart Regina Forbes. This film shows what dwarf racing looked like in the late 1940s. The racing footage shows how dangerous that era of racing was and how brave the drivers really were. The film uses stock footage from the 1950 Indianapolis 500 and shows Barbara Stanwyk on Victory Lane with this year’s winner, Johnnie Parsons. Is this a great movie? Not really, but the archive footage is excellent. Hollywood was in love with the Indy 500 around this time as Clark Gable spent several months of May in Indianapolis.

6. Six Pack (1982)

It was 1982 and Kenny Rogers couldn’t do anything wrong. He couldn’t hurt with this movie either. Brewster Baker, a broken-down race car driver, meets six orphaned children who eventually become his supply team. He ends up getting a NASCAR drive at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Terry Kiser (Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s) plays Terk, his nemesis. Erin Gray plays love interest. A young Diane Lane and Anthony Michael Hall are part of the Six Pack team. It’s a good movie that’s pretty family-friendly and has some decent racing action. I saw this when I was a kid and have always loved this movie. Not only was Rogers successful with this film, but he also landed a hit single for his theme song. Love Will Turn You Around reached # 1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts.


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