10 Best Drag Racing Movies

Monday, March 14 by Dan MacIntosh

The 10 best drag racing movies feature various drag racing scenes. Some are exclusively about the sport, while others merely incorporate racing into their plots.

  1. "Rebel Without a Cause" — This famous James Dean movie has a noteworthy drag racing scene. It's a deadly chicken-run, and once you've seen it, you can't forget it. Just as you'll never forget James Dean
  2. "American Graffiti" — This '50s nostalgia-inspiring film includes a race on Paradise Road. There's even a big explosion at the end of the scene. It doesn't get any more exciting than that.
  3. "The Fast and the Furious" — This movie's plot involves an undercover cop that tries to infiltrate the underground street racing scene in Los Angeles. He's also out to bring down a hijacking ring. And yes, there's also plenty of great drag racing to watch.
  4. "Hot Rod" — When you're finished watching this one, you may wonder if it was a movie or an after school special. When a drag-racer competes in a local championship, he must also contend with a corrupt town boss and a nasty sheriff that tries to ensure that his own son wins the drag race.
  5. "Heart Like a Wheel" – Women can drive fast, too. And not just on the street. Shirley Muldowney is the name of the character trying to make it in the drag racing world. Watch and see if she makes her dream come true.
  6. "Fast Company" — William Smith (no, not that Will Smith) stars in this good vs. evil story. The backdrop is drag racing. Think of it as rooting for the white horse, only that white horse gives out a ton of exhaust.
  7.  “Death Racer” — This movie's a youth-centered film. It's all about a youngster's wish to become a star dragster. It may not be everybody's dream, but it's a fun and compelling story.
  8. "The Big Wheel" — This film stars Mickey Rooney. It came out in 1949. It was filmed at the Carrell speedway, likely the only time Rooney ever spent in Gardena, California.
  9. "Hot Rod Girl" — Chuck Conners stars in this one,  so you know it's old. When a hot young kid comes to a town, it serves to draw an old-timer drag racer back into the sport. It's not quite as compelling as sucking Mafia guys back into a life of crime, but close.
  10. "Two-Lane Blacktop" — Folk singer James Taylor stars in this cross country drag racing jaunt. Who knew Taylor could act? More pressing, who would have thought he'd star in a drag racing movie?
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COMMENTS

  1. March 14, 2011 10:43 pm

    Bill

    You missed the best drag racing movie ever made, “American Nitro”.


  2. March 14, 2011 10:43 pm

    Geoff Stunkard

    I believe the movie stated as ‘Death Racer’ was supposed to be ‘Drag Racer’ from 1971, filmed at various SoCal drag strips, with Mark Slade, Jeremy Slate, and Deborah Walley. If you like front motored top fuel cars, this one is tops; best scene is a push start at Irwindale filmed head on when the driver hits the start switch and the magneto fires that Hemi up…