5 More Celebrities Who Enjoy Driving Racecars
Getting behind the wheel of a racecar can be absolutely thrilling. For some, the feeling of going speeds of 120mph or even higher while turning sharp corners can create a feeling that acting just can’t achieve. We’ve already discussed some celebrities who enjoy driving racecars, but here are five more celebs who just can’t get enough of burnt rubber and roaring engines.
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While he may not be the most famous Hulk you know, Eric Bana is still a reputable actor with a slew of impressive credits to his name. However, before becoming a big-name star in Hollywood, the Australian had a strong interest for motorsports at a young age. At just 14 years old, Bana wanted to leave school to focus full-time on becoming a mechanic, but his father convinced him to finish his education. He purchased his first car at 15 and made his motorsport debut in 1996 when he was 28. Since then, he’s continued racing in small events and appeared on an episode of Top Gear.
Craig T. Nelson
Depending on your age, you probably know Craig T. Nelson as Hayden Fox from the ‘90s show Coach or as the voice of Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) in Pixar’s The Incredibles. Either way, when he hasn’t been on your television or movie screens, Nelson is likely enjoying motorsports, either watching or driving. The actor first got a taste for driving a racecar in 1991 when he participated in a pro/celebrity race in Long Beach, California, where he finished in 9th place. Immediately after, he founded Screaming Eagles Racing and entered the 24 Hours of Daytona three times, but he unfortunately never made it to the finish line.
As an inspiration to many of the celebrities on these lists, Paul Newman had quite the illustrious racing career when he wasn’t starring in Oscar-winning films. The Cool Hand Luke actor developed an interest in racing while training for the 1969 film Winning. Not long after, Newman starred in a television special covering the history of auto racing and then entered his first professional racing event in 1972 as “P. L. Newman” to try and keep a low profile. However, once Newman entered more and more races, his career became something of a spectacle. Never wanting to really quit racing, his last race occurred in 2008 when he was 83 years old and not long before his death.
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This one might not be a surprise for Top Gear fans, but before Matt LeBlanc was testing out every car imaginable on the hit show, he was a massive gearhead. While his character Joey on Friends might not have showcased his passion (outside of an episode where he pretends he owns an expensive car to impress girls), LeBlanc has amassed an impressive car collection over the years. With a father who was a mechanic, he learned everything there was to know about cars at a young age and quickly became obsessed with how they worked. Although he’s no longer a Top Gear host, we’re sure LeBlanc is still in awe of all the crazy cool cars he sees near his California home.
No mission is impossible for Tom Cruise, even when it comes to racing cars. The actor and Scientologist might have caught the racing bug after he starred in Days of Thunder in 1990, in which a young racer quickly becomes well-known and develops an intense rivalry along the way. Long after his Cole Trickle days, Cruise appeared on the “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” segment on Top Gear, where he crossed the finish line with just two wheels remaining on the vehicle. After finishing up Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, the Red Bull F1 team asked Cruise to visit, where he went for a ride in their winning car.