TALKING WITH JOE AND ANDREW AQUILANTE OF SUBARU PARTNER PHOENIX PERFORMANCE ABOUT SUBARU ROAD RACING TEAM’S (SRRT’S) NEW #35 WRX STI SEDAN, YOU GET THAT SAME FEELING AS WHEN WATCHING ROBERT DUVALL PLAYING HARRY HOGGE IN THE MOVIE DAYS OF THUNDER. HE’S ALONE WITH THE BARE FRAME OF A RACE CAR IN A BARN, AND HE TALKS TO IT ABOUT HOW HE’S GOING TO BUILD IT WITH ALL THE TRICKS HE’S LEARNED TO MAKE IT PERFECT.
That was one of the two most enjoyable parts of Days of Thunder. The other was the entire opening sequence, showing preparation of Daytona International Speedway for the Daytona 500. The sun rises; fans start coming into the speedway; the pit crews set up their spaces; and the cars line up for the start. Tension mounts throughout the entire sequence.
These two parts of the film are about preparation. Duvall shows viewers the concept, the dream, and the love of racing that yield what spectators eventually see on the track. The opening sequence is race day. It waits for no one; you have to be ready. It’s where Duvall’s dream takes flight.
The story of SRRT’s preparation of #35 takes place between concept (prior to the WRX STI Sedan reaching America’s shores) and track. Most of it involved intense, hard work that can be driven only by a love for motorsports. But that’s the singular path to perfection.