Days of Thunder

1990 film by Tony Scott

Days of Thunder is a 1990 film which revolved around a talented, hot-shot auto racing rookie who, after trying his hand in the American open wheel ranks, seeks to win on the NASCAR circuit. His mechanic mentor acts as his crew chief and a young brain surgeon tries to tame Cole.

Directed by Tony Scott. Written by Robert Towne.
You can't stop the thunder. (taglines)

Cole Trickle

  • I'm droppin the hammer.
  • Let me drive I won't make a fool out of you.
  • Claire, I'm more afraid of being nothing than I am of being hurt.
  • [After rubbin' Rowdy] Remember me?

Harry Hogge

  • [talking to a race-car chassis] I'm gonna give you an engine, low to the ground... extra thick oil pan that'll cut the wind from underneath ya, see. It'll give you thirty or forty more horsepower. I'm gonna give you a fuel line that'll hold an extra gallon of gas. I'm gonna shave half an inch off you and shape you like a bullet. I'll get you primed, painted and weighed, and you'll be ready to go out on that racetrack. You hear me? You're gonna be perfect.
  • [talking to "his" race-car] I'm settin' you up for cool weather... but if that sun breaks, after you're out on the track, you're liable to run real loose real quick. Now I don't wanna worry you or nothin, but, Cole's not ready for that... he's changed, see, he's changed. You cannot get out of control and expect him to bring you right back. He's liable to hurt you, you're liable to hurt him, and... I couldn't handle that, so, ah, you've gotta take care of him... see... you gotta take care of him.
  • No, no, he didn't slam you, he didn't bump you, he didn't nudge you... he rubbed you. And rubbin, son, is racin'.
  • His way... [slaps a ruined tire] my way... [slaps a lightly worn tire] I was six seconds faster.
  • Tim, take a look at that hound. That's the best coon-dog I ever seen or heard about and I didn't teach him a damn thing.
  • Drivers can't stand to be reminded of what can happen to 'em in a racecar. They, they don't go to hospitals, they don't go to funerals. You get a driver to a funeral before he's actually dead, you've made history, darlin'.
  • Now, Cole, when you shift the gear and that little needle on the tach goes into the red and reads 9000 RPMs, that's bad.

Tim Daland

  • [calmly] We messed up big time on Sunday. I had sponsors in the stands and I'm huggin' and holdin' hands and kissin' em in the ears and prayin' for a good showin'. And what do we do? [shouting] We end up lookin' like a monkey fuckin' a football out there!
  • If you're from California, you're not a Yankee. You're not really anything.
  • And Harry, I know you're great, you know you're great, but if the guy in the car doesn't trust you, we're never gonna win a damn race.

Rowdy Burns

  • Ok, I'm going to pull this rookie's chain.
  • I'm gonna take this rookie, once and for all.
  • The boy don't have the balls to pass me on the outside.

Claire Lewicki

  • You and Rowdy have the same sickness, it's called denial and it's probably going to kill you both.
  • Control is an illusion, you infantile egomaniac. Nobody knows what's gonna happen next: not on a freeway, not in an airplane, not inside our own bodies and certainly not on a racetrack with 40 other infantile egomaniacs.


Harry Hogge: What do you know about stock car racing?
Cole Trickle: Well... watched it on television, of course.
Harry Hogge: You've seen it on television?
Cole Trickle: ESPN. The coverage is excellent, you'd be surprised at how much you can pick up.
Harry Hogge: I'm sure I would.

[Cole gets tapped from behind by Rowdy and slides down the track]

Harry Hogge: Cole, you're wandering all over the track!
Cole Trickle: Well, this son of a bitch just slammed into me!
Harry Hogge: No, no, he didn't bump you, he didn't nudge you, he didn't slam into you, he RUBBED you. And rubbin', son, is racin'. [Cole slams into the wall side-ways] Oh, there goes a fender. [Cole slams into another car] There goes a quarter-panel. [Cole slams into other cars and causes a multi-car crash; Harry just shakes his head in disbelief and face-palms]

[Cole has just caused a multi-car crash and is coming to pit road]

Harry Hogge: All right. While we're still under a caution, I want you to go back out on that track and hit the pace car.
Cole Trickle: Hit the pace car?
Harry Hogge: Hit the pace car!
Cole Trickle: What for?
Harry Hogge: Because you've hit every other goddamned thing out there, I want you to be perfect!

Tim Daland: [Walks to tractor] See you're enjoying the good life, Harry?
Harry Hogge: Yeah. Well I don't mind spreadin' a little fertilizer round now and then. There's worse things.
Tim Daland: How's the truck runnin'?
Harry Hogge: Runs good.
Tim Daland: [pause] I... uh... I want you to build me a car.
Harry Hogge: [stops tractor] Now, Tim, everyone knows some downtown car dealer can't afford a race team. And no driver worth a damn is gonna sign with you. Cause they wreck one car, you can't afford to build them another, and their out of the deal, you know. And no car's gonna win without a driver, not even mine.
Tim Daland: [points to Harry] If you built the car, I'd get a damn driver.
Harry Hogge: [starts driving tractor] What kinda driver you gonna find after the season's started? Some ole' boy that's washed up, and wasn't worth a shit to begin with.
Tim Daland: You can work with him. You can build a driver like you build a car, Harry.
Harry Hogge: [points to dog] Tim, take a look at that hound. Now that's the best coon dog I ever seen or heard about, and I didn't teach him a damn thing.
Tim Daland: Well I got somebody.
Harry Hogge: Who?
Tim Daland: Take a look at him.
Harry Hogge: Anybody I gotta take a look at ain't somebody.
Tim Daland: Then take a look at nobody.
Harry Hogge: [stops tractor] Tim, I give up racin', you gotta know that.
Tim Daland: Ah, you didn't give up racin', Harry. You quit to avoid investigation into Buddy's crash at Daytona.
Harry Hogge: Hey, I didn't avoid any God-damn investigation.
Tim Daland: [rolls eyes] Well, anyway, I... uh... I talked to NASCAR and if you come back in there won't be any investigation.
Harry Hogge: How they hell you sell 'em on that deal?
Tim Daland: I'm a helluva salesman.
Tim Daland: What's wrong with him?
Harry Hogge: I'll tell you what wrong with this deal is you, Tim. You're a victim of your own god-damn creation! Two race teams? That's one too many roosters in the henhouse.
Tim Daland: It doesn't seem to bother Russ Wheeler.
Harry Hogge: Oh, no, no, ever since that Daytona crash Cole's been called a troublemaker. Wheeler figures he can bump and bam Cole all he wants.
Tim Daland: I don't see Russ doing anything like that. NASCAR doesn't see Russ doing anything like that.
Harry Hogge: Oh I guess it ain't happening then under the watchful eyes of experts like you and NASCAR!

Tim Daland: I'll tell you what is happening—Cole's not running good, he's not looking good and now he's got sponsor trouble!

Harry Hogge: But you don't, is that it?
Tim Daland: As far is that goes, no, I don't, but I want to keep the sponsor and Cole, he's the one that made this happen and I haven't forgotten that, Harry.
Harry Hogge: Right, right.

Harry Gant: Daytona is a tough racetrack. And I'm sure, myself and everyone, are going to keep an eye on Cole to see if he's there, you know, all his reflexes and everything.
Neil Bonnett: He's plenty capable of running that racecar good and I don't think he has any kind of effects from the accident that would be a factor in the way he performs.
Aldo Bennedetti : I'm glad he's well enough to come back and I hope to beat him at the same time.
Rusty Wallace: You know a lot of guys don't like him. And it's just a situation where the guy's got a lot of talant. He's wide open, he doesn't think about anything else, he just wants to win. I like that.
Russ Wheeler: Since the crash, he's been a danger to himself and the other drivers. But if he comes near me, I'm going to put him in the wall. Simple as that. I don't expect I'll see too much of him. Except in my rearview mirror.


  • You can't stop the thunder.
  • You can't outrun the thunder.
  • Cruise like Thunder.


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