Idris Elba: King of Speed (2013-…): Season 1, Episode 1 - Episode #1.1 - full transcript

Idris Elba travels from his childhood home in east London to 'Motor City' - Detroit - and then on to New Jersey where he delves into the history of the first boy racers and explores how the quest for high speed has shaped professional motorsport and popular culture.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -
- When I was six years
old, I used to sit

in the back on my dad's Cortina,
with a hanger, and drive.

Pretending that hanger
to be a steering wheel.

By the time I was 14 I realized

I had an obsession with speed.

I bought myself a
car, and that was it.

I haven't looked back.

Now I'm going to race and
rally across the world.

Meet legends.

You always liked speed.

- Could never get enough of it.

Professional drivers.

- It is like a drug,
and you want to do more.

- People obsessed with speed,

like me.

- Now I don't know what
your title is over here.

- King of speed,
bruv, king of speed.


the ejector button?

- I've wanted to eject
out of these things

every now and then.

- Achieving boyhood dreams.

I'm learning from ya.

Making lifelong friends.

, Idris.

Understanding how speed

shaped the cars we drive.

- The underground
scene, the drag racing.

The kids love it.

I'm going to
uncover how smugglers,

law breakers, and
underage drivers

created the world's most
popular motor sports.

Coming up, I'm
traveling to the U.S.A.,

where I'm going to
uncover how Americans

shaped the cars we drive.

I'm going to Detroit,

the spiritual home
of the motor car,

to meet modern
day street racers.

And see what's happened
to the great city.

- This is considered to
be one of the largest

abandoned factories
in the world.

going to experience

America's most popular motor
sport, NASCAR, first hand.

Mom, I'm okay.

Alright, don't worry about this.

I'm in East London,

where my relationship with
the car first started.

I'm here in Forest Gate,

which is sort of adjacent to
sort of adjacent to Manor Park,

and Stratford and
Hackney and Leytonstone.

And I used to literally
work down the street,

at a tire fitters.

Tire fitting was my
first proper job.

And I'm dropping in
to meet an old rival.


Tony Hunter manages this place.

Right, everyone's here?

He used to work here
when I was a tire fitter

in Forest Gate.

You know down the street,
just down the road,

Robin used to own the old...

- Yeah, with the Mini
stickin' outta the front?

- The Mini stickin'
outta the front, yeah.

- Yeah, yeah, yeah.

- Was that competition
for you lot?

No man! Nothing.

- We all used to just run around

with each other on a Saturday.

If I didn't have a tire,

or they didn't have a tire,

we'd call each other up,

"What you got? Can
I come get it?"

Boom, boom, boom, borrow it
off each other, and boom.

Ah, this old bad boy.

- And then what you'd
do is go in here,

- In here.

- Oh okay, right, I see it.

There you go.

We'd get busy, you
had a big shop,

you had a lotta
people coming in.

And you'd whip these on
and off in no time, man.


Yeah, I learned a lot.

I learned a lot
about motors, cars.

First time I was
allowed to drive

because sometimes a
customer would come in,

drop the car off, and be like,

I'll be back in minutes."

Then you'd do his car
and he wasn't back

so I used to zip it out.

I loved it, loved it.

As a job, it was a great place.

You made good money, good
tips, you met a lot of people,

and you got to
know the community.

You'd be walking out and be,
"Oh, Idris, we know you."

- We'll start 'em back on a
Saturday, it's not a problem.

- Sayin' that on old
time recommendation.

See this?

- Go ahead then.



- It's alright, innit?

- XR2! Wow.

That is in perfect nick as well.

Original interior.

How old is this? C reg.

- '86.
- Wow.

That's practically
the same thing I had.

I had the first Fiesta,
the box-shaped...

- Mark one.

- Mark one.

And then I stepped
up to one of these.

- It's a 16 CV8

XR2. Yeah.
- Wow.

This is like the boy racer's
dream at the time, innit?

Havin' one of these.
- Yeah.

Pretty well.

- Nothing's changed 'round here.

When I was 20,
I bought a Fiesta XR2,

just like this one.

This motor was my
first diesel ride,

and driving it now
brings it all back.

I tell you what,
man, this is me!

Riding around Forest Gate,
East London in this thing.

There's no better way
to start my journey

than in East London,

with this drop-dead gorgeous,
rude boy Fiesta XR2.

It was the boy racer's car,
but it was a status car

'cause if you had a Ford Fiesta,

that was a decent car
to have at that age.

It was a real boy's car.

I used to watch my uncles and
my dad drive all the time,

sittin' in the backseat
where the camera is,

watchin' the steering wheel.

I used to love watchin'
the steerin' wheel

and the dashboard and how
a steering wheel moved.

Then as soon as
I was old enough,

which was probably about
14, 15, I had a car.

I used to be along these
roads all the time.

I used to have a girlfriend,
they actually lived there,

look, Cherry Tree Road.

She used to live down there
in the flats 'round the back.

Older woman she was as well.

At age 19, I left Hackney
to go visit America.

I'd had enough of
working in the garages.

I worked at Ford in
Dagenham for a while,

but I wanted to be an actor,
so I explored the U.S.A.

And this is where the story
of speed really begins.

When you're flying
in an airplane,

and you look down, you see all
these cars whizzing around,

it's not too dissimilar
to lookin' at ants

as they travel on
their journeys.

But the difference
is that human beings,

we've created a mechanism
for getting around.

And these mechanisms are
beautiful on their own,

and they're complex
as they can get.

The idea behind that
is that we want to get

to where we wanna go faster,

so I think that's why I
wanted to explore this.

Why are we so
obsessed with that?

It's one thing to
build a motorcar,

but it's another thing
to race the thing,

you know what I mean?

One car builder who
revolutionized mass car production

wasn't initially
convinced that the public

really wanted fast cars.

- Young man makes
up his mind to work.

There's no limit
to what he can do.

- Henry Ford saw his Model T
as a simple, affordable way

~to get from A to B at a
respectable 45 miles per hour.

By 1919,
it seems as if everybody

is driving a Model T.

Ford sells nearly a
million of them a year.

Its low
price made owning a car

affordable for everyone,

and the Model T dominates
the market for many years.

Ford never dreamed people
would want anything faster

than his reliable Model T.

They continued to
manufacture the car

for nearly two decades.

Eventually, the
inevitable happened.

Sales dropped as
people began to plump

for the better
looking, faster cars

now being built by Chevrolet,
Chrysler, and General Motors.

I'm heading to Detroit,
the home of Ford,

to discover how the manufacturer

eventually brought
speed to the masses.

In the '30s, Ford was
forced into thinkin'

of something new to
beat off the competition

and keep his company alive.

Again the
great river plant

of the Ford Motor Company
is a beehive of activity,

as the new Ford V8
goes into production.

He developed and
mass-produced a new engine,

the V8, capable of
doin' 75 miles an hour.

And there,
ladies and gentlemen,

is a new Ford V8.

No wonder Henry and Edsel Ford

observe their handiwork
with approval.

Now anyone with
money could buy a fast car,

and anyone who needed to make
a quick getaway could, too.

agents smash illegal brewery,

but they cannot stem the
flow of bootleg liquor.

In the '20s,
Prohibition created

organized gangs of whiskey
smugglers all over the U.S.A.,

and the V8 was the
bootlegger's car of choice.

It left the cops standing.

The smugglers
retuned and modified

their cars to perfection,

and the drivers became infamous

for their encounters
with the police.

One legendary driver
was Junior Johnson.

He drove his first V8 at age 14,

and now I'm going to
meet the man they call,

"The Last American Hero."

You always like
speed, basically?

- Basically. Could
never get enough of it.

- These heads here
would be taken off

in the manifold.

He put three carburetors on 'em.

Johnson was so good
at gettin' away from the cops

that, in 1955, he became
a stock car racer.

Some say one of the greatest
in the history of NASCAR,

America's most
popular motor sport.

Johnson's 1959 Chevrolet

gets the checkered flag

to capture first place
at the Daytona 500.

- You used to do all the
modifications yourself, or...

- Yeah, yeah.
- Was you a mechanic?

- You about had to be a
mechanic to be a bootlegger.

if you weren't a good mechanic,

you couldn't survive 'cause
you had to have fast cars

to haul your whiskey
to the people.

You need 'em to get
away from the reveneurs

and A.B.C. officers and
the federal officers.

- Did you ever get caught?

- No.

- No. That's why you're here.

- Yeah.

It's nearly 60
years since Junior owned

a car like this.

She sounds nice, don't she?

- Yeah, she does.

- When the V8 came into the
picture, it changed everything.

It was one of the fastest
production engines, ever, right?

- Right. Everybody kept
making better parts

and better pieces for the motor.

- How many bottles
could you get into...

- You could get 22
cases of whiskey.

- 22 cases in there?

- Yeah. And put
five in the front,

two down in the floorboard,

and three standing on the edge,

and one of them'll sit
right against your side.

When you go around
a curb to the left,

it kept you from coming out

from underneath
the steering wheel.

- That must have made it
much more heavy to drive?

- Yeah, but you had the springs,

and big tires, big shocks,
wheels to hold it up.

- So at the transition
where you guys

started racing
these cars for fun,

what was that time like?

- You couldn't hardly
find a racetrack

if somebody didn't
have his fingers

in the whiskey business.
- In the whiskey business.

Right, right.

So really whiskey is behind
the beginnings of NASCAR.

- If it hadn't been for whiskey,
NASCAR wouldn't be formed.

That's a fact.

- Wow.

Johnson's NASCAR career was
put on hold for a year in '56

when he was jailed for running

an unlicensed
whiskey distillery.

He was granted an
official pardon in 1986

by the then-president
Ronald Reagan.

Just as well whiskey
is legal today.

You get the impression that
Junior misses the old days.

V8s in this condition are rare,

and it's great to experience

what it must have
felt like for Junior.

She's a beauty, man.

Beautiful little rider.

Feels like a cabriolet because
you've got the windscreen

that's got a gap in it.

Should wear some
goggles or something.

Sitting in this old V8, I've
got almost twice the power

of the cop behind me.


Get the alcohol to the people.

It's easy to see how
this little motor

left the cops standing.

This beauty helped
Ford realize that speed

could sell cars.

It wasn't long before
Detroit was booming.

By the '60s, the
city was churning out

11 million cars a year.

Today, I'm meeting up

with Detroit Police
Inspector Darryl Brown.

He's gonna show me the
historical heart of Motor City,

and introduce me to some

of the city's illegal
street racers.

- The underground
scene, the drag racing,

the nightlife, kids love it.

They got money in these cars,

they've got Forgiato
wheels, Asantis, 22s, 24s,

got all their money
invested in a car.

- It's a big scene.

Where we're going, the guys
are, for the most part,

responsible for
the illegal scene.

They work on a lot
of the guy's cars,

when we get over
here, you're gonna see

some amazing vehicles over here.

- How are they gonna
react to you coming today?

- Since I'm with
you, Imma be okay!

This is Tommy.

- How you doin'?
- These underground racers

go head to head on the
street and are willing

to break the law all
in the name of speed.

- I'll come in and
stand next to you, man.

This is where it
all happens, yeah?

- Yeah.

- Street racing is simple.

Two cars in a straight line.

The fastest over a
set distance wins.

if you're lucky
enough to win big,

you can spend the money
on a showpiece ride.

Tuned-up classic low-riders
are the trophy car of choice,

and many cost more
than a brand-new,

top-of-the-range F-type Jag.

This is Show & Go, a one-stop
shop for extreme rides.

If you want your car to
stand on end, you come here.

If you want to be the
fastest, you come here.

How much money do you think
you have on this lot right now?

Tommy runs this place,
which has been servin'

the local underground scene
for the last 20 years.

- Probaby about $800,000
sittin' out here.

- $800,000?

- Yeah. Those two right there,
those are $100,000 a piece.

- These?
- Yeah.

- The work done on 'em?

- The work done to them and
what it is with the low riders,

everything on 'em's custom,

everything's candy painted
and chrome plated, everything.

Everything's old, that's
where the style's at.

- What is the history of
doing up cars in Detroit?

- I think ever since
the second car was made.

- Really?

- I built this. This car
is ten years old now.

I saw one, probably
13 years ago,

a friend of mine had one.

It was a beautiful
car, candy painted.

And it's the first time
I'd ever seen a low rider.

I saw it, and I'm like,

"Oh my god, I have to
have one of those."

- The SS Impala.


- Where did this come from?

Where did this flippin'
the suspension come from?

- Just started with guys
wantin' to ride low,

but needed to lift
'em back up for bumps

and to get into driveways,
and they got the idea

of taking a hydraulic pump
off a lift gate, I believe.

Something like that
is how it started.

They put it on and made the
car be able to go up and down.

Here, want to sit in it?

We'll lift it up and
go on three-wheel.

C'mon, let's do it.

There ya go.

I need my seatbelt!

Inspector Brown, I'll be back.


I'm not sure this car
would work in Hackney,

it's a bit too flash.

These guys spend everything
they have on their cars,

and the one I'm in kinda works,

as long as you're not shy
and you like trampolinin'.

It's actually a
very smooth ride,

I mean, as crazy as it
looks, it rides beautifully.

I'll have one of these one day.

- There's no feeling like it.

You listen to some oldies,
cruisin' down the road.

- Yeah man!

Deos it have seatbelts?


- No seatbelts, so you
just need to hold on.

1964, the last year
seatbelts were an option.

- Really?


But it's this powerful Malibu

that is the car of
choice for street racing.

I got ten grand sayin'
I could beat anybody

right now in the streets.

- Bring it on.
- C'mon.

These guys right here,

these are real street
racers right here.

They're out here all the time.

- You know I'm from
London yet though, right?

- Huh?
- Know I'm from London?

London, bring it on.

Bring it on.

- This guy hasn't
lost a race yet.

- I'm takin' dollars.

If I brought my car out here,
you lot wouldn't have a clue.

- Right now I'm 15-0,
I ain't lost nothin'.

- 15-0?
- 15-0, I ain't lost nothin'.

- What are you drivin'?

- Malibu.

- 15-0.

We got guys comin' from
Ohio, from up north,

if they can't beat that person,

they'll call on another person,

and then he come down with
a pocket full of money,

then he go home broke.

- He's on the street
15-0, not the track.

- Chicago comes
here, once a year.

- If I bring a car
down here tonight,

I'll race you from
Kent to Harper.

- Well, if you want to
run from Kent to Harper,

I'm gonna whup you, sir.

Lemme tell you somethin',
'cause I don't waste no time,

Imma shake your hand,
but when we line up,

it's nothin' personal.
- Tell me your name.

- It's Big Dude, king of street.

Now I don't know what your
title is over there...

- King of speed,
bruv, king of speed.

- Oh, king of the speed?

- Yeah. Speed versus street.

- I tell you what,
get you five cars

and you can leave
whenever you want.

- You gotta 'splain that to 'em,

what that means.

- Five cars in front, and
you leave whenever you want.

I'll start the car,
but I'll come get you.

- Oh c'mon man, no way.

We do it all the time.

- Not to me you don't!

I'm not gonna come all
the way from London

and get beat like that, no way.

Luckily, I'm not gonna
take 'em on today,

but I thought I
sounded convincing.

The city of Detroit has
changed dramatically

in the last half a century.

Today, it's in deep trouble.

This is Motor City,

this is one of the industrial
capitals of America

at one stage, right?

You think because America
has been introduced

to foreign cars in
such a massive way,

do you think that
had anything to do

with the destruction of
the motor industry here?

- Oh yes, definitely.

I think that when Toyota and
other little car companies

started bringing in the
smaller, more efficient,

more reliable vehicles, I
think it did a lot of damage

to the big three
auto makers here.

GM, Ford, and Chrysler.

- I used to work for
Ford, back in the day.

My dad was a shop steward
for about 25 years.

And before I became an
actor, I worked at Ford.

My dad lived that life,
and I could just imagine

that when that Ford
plant in Dagenham died,

a lot of people
lost jobs in there.

It was just
cripplin' for people.

I kinda have a real close
affiliation to it in a weird way.

I kinda feel at home in
Detroit, in a weird way.

- This area here, this was
rich people everywhere.


- It's like a ghost
town now, innit?

- It's like a ghost town.

You actually haven't
seen ghost town yet.

This was a thriving business
area that was supported by

thousands of workers here
at the Packard plant.

- Wow.

- This is considered to be one

of the largest abandoned
factories in the world.

- In it's heyday,
this Packard factory

employed 30,000 people.

Its cars outsold Cadillac.

One of their adverts
of the time read,

"Built like a Packard
means built to last."

Wow, man.

- Look at it, it's
just abandoned fields.

The auto industry left
here, tore us out the frame.

- The demise of the motor
industry caused people

to abandon Detroit.

Since 1950, over
a million people

have moved out of the city.

My next destination is
a ten-hour drive away,

so I've got some time to kill.

For the last few years,
I've traveled continuously.

I'm not complainin', it's
just part of the job.

Looks a bit dreary, dinnit?

Reminds me of England.

This is Aronde.

Aronde's still
sleepin', God knows how.

Everyone needs something
other than work.

And in my spare time, I deejay.

Music, to me, is a
reset button for me.

I mean, runnin' around
actin' is great,

but you're oftentimes
outside of who you are

'cause you're
being other people.

It's what you do for a living.

With music, I love makin' it

and puttin' my playlist
togther to deejay

'cause that's more me.

There is a school of thought,

it waters down who
you are as an actor

if you're doin' music.

Again, I tend not to
overthink it like that.

It turns out I've been
doin' music longer

than I've been doin' acting,

but no one would
really know that.

At last, a chance
to fulfill a dream.

The holy grail of
American racing: NASCAR.

Founded by bootleggers
like Junior Johnson,

the National Association
of Stock Car Auto Racing

was formed in 1947 and the
American public loved it.

Here they
come, off the fourth corner,

Ernie Irvan leads them
down now. Is he gonna...

- Superstar drivers in
everyday looking vehicles

driving perilously fast.

in deep trouble.


Into the pack!

whoa. Oh no. Oh my gosh.

- No national motor sport
in America's history

has had more accidents or
drawn more sponsorship money

or viewing figures.

The track at Watkins Glen
is steeped in history,

and tomorrow, I'll
be drivin' 'round it

in a race-spec NASCAR.

But today I'm joining a top
NASCAR team in the pits.

Yeah, that's me!

That steering wheel's
right up on your neck.

Let me ask you something.

If this car goes over,
how do you get out?

- You either wait for
them to come getcha,

it's out the windows
no matter what.

- You'll get outta the windows?

It's just quick
release on the thing?

- Yeah.

- How's the helmet
come off quick,

'cause you can't even get out...

- They'll get out
with the helmet.

- Yeah, they usually
leave the helmet on.

If they're upside down, they'll
usually release the belts

and you'll fall.

- Havin' seen my
name on a quarter

of a million dollar's
worth of racing car,

I want to meet the man who's
going to be driving it.

Jamie McMurray is a former
world karting champion

and a seven-times NASCAR winner.

NASCAR requires endurance
as well as driving skill.

With 40 races across the season,

and hundreds of
laps in each race.


To Jamie McMurray.

yes! Little Jamie baby.

This is
strictly for the pros.

line, and sinker.

- What's the fastest
you've ever been in a car?

- In a car? Fastest?
Probably about 220.

But what I'll tell
you about speed is

that to go fast
is not a big deal.

The speed sensation is
not a big deal at all,

if you have control.

It's when you spin,
or you lose control,

a tire blows out, that's
when it becomes an issue.

And for me, some of
your hardest hits

weren't at tracks
that were the fastest.

Speed is not a big deal,

it's when you don't
have control at it.

- Crazy how many
checks they have to do.

This is one check,
and for an whole hour,

before they even start racing,

they have to through all
these different checkpoints,

check-ins, just
specifications of the car

before they can race.

Weigh it, everything.

What is extraordinary
is the access

the public seem to have here.

While all the cars are
checked for race worthiness,

the teams and drivers
mingle with their fans.

Unlike the elite
world of Formula 1,

NASCAR totally
embraces its followers.

- ♪ Were so gallantly
streaming. ♪

♪ And the rocket's red glare ♪

- And you have a good
reason to win today,

as he's got my name on
the side of that car.

Go for it, man, let's win.

- Alright. "Get some" on three.

One, two, three.

- Get some!

- As 43 200 mile an
hour machines line up

for the rolling start,

the noise is like thunder
vibrating through your body.

And as they pass, I'm hooked,
just the same as the fans.

- We're in sixth place.

- If I'd the skills enough
to drive, I would race this.

It's dangerous, of course it is,

but the thrill of
it would be amazing.

Tomorrow I'm gonna
be on that very track

doing 100 miles, 150.

I wouldn't wanna
be a race driver,

I love what I do,
but I would do this!

I used to be a tire
fitter, when I was 16.

I used to zip, zip, zip, zip.

Can I practice?

- Let me see if we
have a practice gun.

- You've got some nuts?

- That's harder than
it looks, I tell ya.

Jamie has slipped back to ninth,

and the team stand by to bring
him in for fuel and tires.

A frantic harmony
descends over the team.

Everyone's on autopilot,
but you get a sense

of the power and the danger.

Tomorrow, I'm going to be

in one of the cars
just like Jamie's.

If I'm honest, I can't wait.

15 seconds.

What was it?

- 15.5.

- It's shitty,
that's a crappy stop.

- The fuel guy in the
end, so he was stuck

with the thing still in...

- It was completely full,
so sometimes the vacuum seal

will start to go,

and if he doesn't pull it out
before the driver takes off,

it can get wedged in there.

He did a good job of just
getting it out of there.

- It suddenly dawned on me

why NASCAR generates
billions of dollars.

These cars resemble the ones

the fans drive
every day to work,

yet, under the bonnet,
they're monsters.

It's a fine balance
of speed and strategy.

It's something the team are
going to have to get right

if Jamie is to improve
on his current position.

Jamie's about in 25th right now.

They pitted early because
there's a whole stack of cars

that still have to
come in and pit.

The thinkin' is, if everyone's
coming in an pitting,

they've pitted early, they're
going to sit somewhere

in between five and one.

You see all the cars
coming in now, look.

All those cars have come in now,

which means my guy's
going to be on the road

and just...

30 more laps and finish.

These guys are like
modern day gladiators,

going toe-to-toe in
front of paying fans.

Times are still tough here,

but who cares when you
have a beer in one hand,

and NASCAR thunder in your ears.

I sound like I know what
I'm talkin' about, don't I?

Jaime crossed the
line in 11th place,

but he still netted
over $100,000.

Having experienced the
highs and lows of race day,

tomorrow is my turn to drive.

My guide will be NASCAR
legend Rusty Wallace.

As a member of the
NASCAR Hall of Fame,

Rusty knows only too well how
dangerous this sport can be.

In 1993, he walked
away from this crash.

And flips wildly

right at the start/finish line,

very reminiscent
of his accident...

- Today, Rusty is retired
and enjoys his first love

from the safety of
the commentary booth.

Rusty, we're going to
see you tomorrow, eh?

- Yeah, tomorrow, that's right.

- When I drive around
it a little bit.

- Yeah man, we'll
have fun, won't we.

- Yeah...
- He goes fast.

- I go fast too.

- Do ya, okay!
- Good deal, good deal.

- The fastest part of the track
is in the back straightaway,

you might reach about
170 back there, 160, 170.

- How many are we
gonna do tomorrow?

- Tomorrow we'll do
as much as that car...

- 75!

- We're gonna get as much as
that car'll give us tomorrow.

- Oh!

- No, no 75 miles an hour.

I'm gonna get it on, man.

- 65.

- Okay, 65.
- What?

- You know why?

'Cause we don't have drivers
uniforms and helmets tomorrow.

- I do. Oh man, I'm kittin' up!

- I don't have all that.

- Oh alright, okay.

- Well, I don't need that.

- If I catch on fire,
I'll just jump out.

- Today, I ride to
the track with Rusty.

- What do you think?

- Really?
- Yeah!

You'll like it.

That's how we're
gonna get there?

- Right there.

This thing's pretty fast, it's
not your normal street car,

that's for sure.

- No, are you allowed to
ride this on the road?

- This is NASCAR,
don't worry about it.

- Woohoo!

He's offered to give me
a quick driving lesson

along the route of the
original Watkins Glen circuit,

which went right through
the center of town.

- Whoo!


Not only is it illegal
to drive a modern NASCAR

on the streets,

you'd be arrested if
you drove at this speed.

Luckily, we've been
given special permission,

just for today.

You're a wild man,
Rusty, you're a wild man.

- I really think you'll
like it, I really do.

I don't think you're
gonna have a problem,

but I would tell ya,
just ease into it.

Don't go out there
and charge the corners

real hard, real fast.

The tires need to get
some temperature in 'em.

The more temperature you
get, the better grip you get.

But this car, man, it's fast.

It's a 200 mile an hour car.

It should stop good,

so my biggest advice to
you is just ease into it.

I really promise you'll be fine.

- So, on the brakes, how different
are they from car brakes?

- There's no power
assist whatsoever,

so you've gotta
push on 'em hard.

- Really hit 'em.

- You'll feel 'em.

People ask me that a lot,

and there's no power assist

because all that
power assist stuff

is too heavy, too much weight.

So this is what they
call the master cylinder

right to the brakes.

So when you press 'em,

you're gonna really
feel that car stop

and you'll be able to modulate
your feet to feel it so.

- Where's the ejector button?

The ejector button.

I've wanted'a eject out of
these things every now and then.

You get a car that doesn't
handle good in a race,

you wanna get out.

You're tired of it, you know?

You really are.

- Oh yeah. And the
crowd goes wild!

There comes a point in everyone's
life where you feel unsure

of what you're about to do,

and for me, getting into
a race-prepared NASCAR

is one a those moments.

Yep, I've come a long way
from riding around in my XR2.

I think he's
really nervous right now.

I think he's trying
to figure out

his breaking and downshifting.

That's what he's
thinking about right now.

When I
was nine years old,

my mom and dad bought me a BMX,

and it had all the
paddings and everything.

My mum used to say,
"I know what BMXes do.

"You don't use it for that."

Okay, mum.

What's the point of having a BMX

if I can't jump
over a few hills?

That was it for me.

That's part of my spirit.

You're not gonna
put me in that car

and tell me to drive slow.

That's just stupid.

I'm just gonna push
it as hard as I can.

Just because it's my
opportunity to do it.

- Sounds good right now.

Shift a little bit aggressive.

Hear the motor rev up real hard?

- That's a good downshift.
That sounded good.

He's gonna keep it in
third gear right there now,

acceleratin' out real smooth.

- There's no way I'm
looking at the speedometer,

but on the straights it
feels like I'm flying.

- I'll guarantee
he's gonna come in

with a big smile on his face.

I promise he will.

I know he'll come
in all happy, goin',

"Man, this is the
deal. I love this."

Whaddya think?

You looked
good out there.

- I can't even get outta
the car, I'm so excited.

That was great, that
was, woo! Oh man.

- That sounded good back there!

I heard a couple
shifts you missed,

but you got the rest
of them right, though.

You were sailing going
down through here.

- Dude, it was...

- You come down through here,

you're all over the rev limiter,

you were cranking through here.

- It was good.

- Did ya like it?

- That was amazing!
Honestly, it was amazing.

- I see you got a little
sweat on your face,

that means you've been digging.

- Me and her started
to bond a little bit

on this last round.

I was like, okay, just gettin'
those corners really good.

Just as you said,

come in and kiss the
corners a little bit,

and then get out of
there, accelerate.

As I was coming down here,
I didn't want to stop.

Honestly, I could have gone
around another five laps.

- The motor's got some
power, doesn't it?

- Dude, beautiful.

One day, when I die,
I wanna tell people,

"Yeah man, I rode around
Watkins Glen 200 miles an hour."

I'll push it up every year.

It'll be 150, then 160, and 200.

- That's addicting, isn't it?

- No doubt.

- And you get a car that's
really handling good

and driving good,
man, it's like...

- John Cooper put a little
Formula, Jr. engine in,

and that was the Mini Cooper.

I'm exploring
the mysterious world

of underground street racing.

- Cannonball was started to say,

"Speed limits? We don't need
no stinkin' speed limits."

It was a protest against the 55.

I'm going to
see how we race road cars

all over the world

from East London

to Japan.

- Nice!

And I'll
try to understand

why we're willing to break
the law to drive fast.

Do you like speed?

- I try to avoid it because
I've got eleven points

at the moment.

Eleven points?