Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The real Harry Hyde

I had just watched the end of "Days of Thunder" on TV, and it took me back to the real Harry Hyde. Robert Duvall played Harry Hogge in 1990, but I met the real Harry Hyde the same year. He was the crew chief for Bobby Hillin, and the youthful Bobby was struggling while driving for the crusty Harry.

Bobby had told me that he probably was going to leave the team, and I needed to ask Harry about the situation (I was doing a story for Winston Cup Scene). Harry said he didn't have time to talk; he had to be at the drivers' meeting in a half hour. I kept after him and got a nice 15-minute interview.
And I made darn sure he made the meeting on time.

It's funny, but I think that Hyde admired my persistence.

Duvall did a nice job in the part, but he didn't match the crusty factor of the real Mr. Hyde.

Oh, if you're wondering, Randy Quaid was Rick Hendrick; Tom Cruise was a sort of Tim Richmond character, and the Rowdy Burns (Michael Rooker) character was a cross between Dale Earnhardt and Buddy Baker. I've never met the others, but I've talked to Earnhardt, Baker and Hendrick often enough.


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