Rewind: Tom Cruise is Crazy on the Racetrack
By ROBERT PACE
June 15, 2012
Tom Cruise is known for doing his own stunts, and this Pop Culture Rewind shows you that he has done so for the majority of his career, even when it came to driving a racecar at 140 miles per hour on a track for Days of Thunder.
The featured flashback takes you back to this day in 1990 when Cruise had just taken the interviewer out for a spin on the track, which she reveals to have made her a bit queasy due to his crazy driving.
"I told you not get into the car with him," says Rick Hendrick, a good friend of Cruise whose company, Hendrick Motorsports, supplied the racecars for the film.
In the film, Cruise plays a young racecar driver who is attempting to make a name for himself in the sport of NASCAR, which he agrees is a noble sport and an American treasure.
"There's something very heroic about the drivers—almost like modern-day gladiators, modern-day Ben-Hur," then then-27-year-old Cruise says. "There's something about it that I, personally, just identify with...It's almost like the last-America-hero-type sport."
Just like the gladiators that Cruise compares them to, racecar drivers assume plenty of risk when they head out onto the track; however, Cruise deflects the inherent risk of injury when asked about the dangers of driving at high speeds.
"I don't look at it like, 'This is dangerous,'" he says, then turning to Hendrick for some assistance in answering the commonly asked question. "I think you accept the danger," Hendrick says. "We're not stunt drivers. We don't go out to take a chance but you know there is danger."
Check out the full flashback above to hear Cruise recount an instance when he crashed a car.
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