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Is that Tom Cruise – or Cole Trickle – on ESPN2′s ‘NASCAR Now’ set?

Posted by Annie on Thursday February 5th, 2009

The Friday, Feb. 6, edition of ESPN2′s “NASCAR Now” will include an interview with actor Tom Cruise, the sports network says.

Scheduled to run at 5 p.m. Eastern time, Cruise discusses his interest in stock car racing and recalls driving at Daytona during filming of the 1990 movie “Days of Thunder.” Cruise played Cole Trickle, a rookie looking for success in NASCAR’s premiere division. Robert Duval was the Trickle team’s crew chief in the film and Randy Quaid played the car owner. Nicole Kidman portrayed a doctor who was Trickle’s love interest.

The plot was loosely based – some fans and critics might say several rounds too loose – on some key NASCAR figures of the time: Cruise as Tim Richmond, Duval as Harry Hyde and Quaid as Rick Hendrick.

Then-NASCAR drivers Greg Sacks, Tommy Ellis, Bobby Hamilton and Hut Stricklin, among others, assisted in filming race scenes, while a number of other drivers, media and racing personalities of the time made appearances.

Cruise lays claim to a lifelong passion for racing and speaks with ESPN2 about racing and movies as the season-opening Daytona 500 nears. Some excerpts:

“You just see our history through time, our love affair with the automobile.

“Having that opportunity to drive those cars on the track, meet those drivers that I got to meet. Making movies, I love it because I get to enter into a world and you meet these people. And the generosity that I’ve been extended by these people – whether it’s NASCAR or “Jerry McGuire” – it’s a great life because I’m interested in life and in engaging in life, and to have those experiences I feel very privileged.”

(Source: ThatsRacin.com, Feb. 05, 2009)

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