THUNDER HILL: LONG SHOTS ON A SHORT TRACK

3.5 Stars
Year Released: 2006
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 56 minutes
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If you aren’t familiar with Thunder Hill, all you need to know is that it’s a race track near Austin, Texas. It’s not very famous, not like Bristol, Daytona or Eldora, but it is fairly ordinary, which is the whole point of this documentary. This is a short track like dozens of other short tracks around the country. Its drivers are just like hundreds of other drivers throughout the country, too, which is what makes them fascinating.

The movie features interviews with Thunder Hill officials and plenty of drivers who run there. You’ve got James Reeder (late models), Marvin Buck (street stock), Charlie Turner (a female late model driver), Anne and Charlie Freudiger (pure stock), and many others. They talk about the reasons they got into racing, family involvement in the sport, the purse versus the money it takes to actually be a contender, the public’s perception of racing and other related topics. In other words, it gives newcomers an excellent look into life behind the wheel for guys who don’t get television screen time. For fans of the sport, it’s more of what we already know, but it’s always fun listening to the drivers talk about these things.

As a racing fan, I’ve heard every insult and joke that gets directed at the sport. This movie is the answer to those who like to put it down with the same old barbs that have been thrown around for far too many years. It shows that these men and women have an unbridled passion and don’t care much about what the public thinks. They just want to win races, be with their family and friends, and spend Saturday evenings doing what they love regardless of the price or prestige. They aren’t interested in steroids, agents, or product endorsements, either. Running two wide on the last lap is what fuels their world.

If you’re on the fence when it comes to racing, this documentary may just sway you to our side. If you’re already a fan, you’ll want to see this because racing’s in your blood. If you aren’t a fan, there’s not much that can be done for you. You either get it or you don’t … and if you don’t, you probably never will.



Posted on February 21, 2007 in Reviews by
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