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Days of Thunder (1990) Poster

Goofs

Anachronisms 

At Cole's first race at Daytona, the announcer called it the Firecracker 400. The Firecracker 400 was the name of this race from 1963 to 1984. It should have been called the Pepsi 400, as it was renamed for the third time in 1989.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

Cole says "the accelerator is stuck" and other things without moving his lips.
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During the race in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, Russ Wheeler slams Coles car into the trackside wall and he spins off, Cole can clearly be heard saying, "Son-of-a-bitch!" and yet his lips don't move.
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Continuity 

Near the end of the movie, just after the crew fixes "Cole"'s transmission and sends him back on the track, he pulls in front of the pace car as he exits pit road. Harry tells him to be at max speed at the drop of the green flag. Then you see the pace car pull off the track and the green flag drop. The exit to pit road at Daytona is between the Start/Finish line and Turn 1. Cole would be traveling at about 185mph, while the pace car and field are traveling at 65mph. He would've caught up to the back of the back of the pack before the pace car even made it to Turn 3 and Cole would've been at the tail end of the lead lap.
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When Harry is at the track watching Rowdy practice right before he meets Cole, the sky and surrounding atmosphere is VERY cloudy and foggy. When Cole enters the track and approaches the race car, the weather is now clear and sunny.
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In the final Daytona 500, when Cole tells Harry, "I'm gonna make a hole to get through here" the car alongside Russ Wheeler changes from the #33 Skoal car to the #26 Quaker State car and back twice.
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In the clip from the race at Rockingham, N.C., you can see the beginning of the sign that says "Daytona USA" on the wall.
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In the final Daytona race, Russ Wheeler pushes Cole into Harry Gant and spins him. During the spin, a car switches from Gant (#33) to Brett Bodine (#26).
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While talking to Cole, Hogge's hat switches between advertising the University of Georgia and the University of Florida.
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The red ring around Trickle's eye swaps eyes.
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At the end of the Daytona 500, Cole's face is heavily blackened with oil, yet the windshield and interior of the care are spotless.
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In the opening Daytona 500, just after the green flag drops, you can see Cole's City Cheverolet on the right hand side of the screen, even though it does not exist yet.
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Both the rental cars apparently sustain damage when Cole and Rowdey are racing them to the restaurant, but in many shots they appear untouched.
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When Harry is telling Cole what happened to Buddy, Harry and Cole are standing at opposite ends of the car, when Cole walks away, they've switched positions.
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At the Dover, Delaware race, Cole enters pit road when another car pulls out in front of him. Cole has to slam on his brakes and then looses control. He is then seen wearing a white with red and blue trim fire suit as he says, "Oh, this gonna hurt." When he strikes the wall, it shows him in a fire suit with his team colors (green and black).
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At the very end of the film, when Cole and Harry are sitting on the pit wall talking, the wall is clearly draped with the Mello Yello and Hardee's colours. When the camera switches to them running down pit lane, the team colours are nowhere to be seen!
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In the shop scene where Cole Trickle is talking to the doctor you can clearly see what is Derrike Cope's purolator car through the window.
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At the very beginning of the movie, when Rowdy Burns is introduced, he does up his fire suit twice.
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At the Daytona race before the big wreck, Cole Trickle is spun out by Rowdy Burns. Cole recovers and catches up to Rowdy. The camera pans out to show a long distance shot of Rowdy leading Cole, but the lead car is clearly the number 3 Goodwrench Chevy of Dale Earnhardt, not the 51 of Rowdy Burns. In fact the whole shot is from the 1990 Daytona 500 and the cars on second and third are Derrike Cope's Purolator Chevy and Terry Labonte's Skoal Oldsmobile.
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After Cole pulls in front of the pace car, the next shot of the crew jogging back to their pit stall shows the Mello Yello car just leaving pit road.
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When the cars are lined up to begin the final Daytona race, Wheeler's car is correctly in the pole position, toward the inside of the track, while Cole's car is a few rows back, on the outside. Just before the race begins, Wheeler and Cole glance at each other as though they are next to each other. In reality, they were not lined up close enough to see each other as directly as the camera angle presumes.
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When Harry is teaching Cole about the car and tire wear, in the first scene discussing the tires, Harry's wearing a Georgia hat. When they switch to Harry's method of tire use, Harry's wearing a Florida hat.
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Numerous problems with the juxtaposition, cleanliness, and markings of cars.
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Cole's collar in the dressing room before the Daytona 500.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When Cole is battling Russ Wheeler for the lead at Daytona you can see the camera rig attached to the camera car as they go into the turn.
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Errors in geography 

While racing at Phoenix (a flat track), footage is shown of a high banked track.
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Many shots of the first race that Cole wins at a non-Daytona race clearly show the word Daytona on the walls of the track and the flagman's booth has it emblazoned on its side.
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Factual errors 

There are several shots of Cole Trickle's car missing the bright yellow rookie stripe on the rear bumper. The only time the stripe is present is when Cole is at Darlington.
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When Rowdy gets mad that Cole is going to pass him and Rowdy says, "I'm going to put him in the wall," which would have summarily resulted in Rowdy being black flagged for the race (and probably more than one race after that), cars that are traveling at 200 miles per hour do not bounce off each other and keep going straight ahead. Cole's car, or Rowdy's car, would have hit the wall, spun off the track, flipped or rolled multiple times, smashing into a thousand pieces and taking several other cars out with them.
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During the opening sequence of the movie, if you watch carefully, you will see a Busch Grand National series official inspecting a car. The Daytona 500 is a Winston Cup event.
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After the caution in the final race when Cole beats the pace car out of pit road, the race restarts with Wheeler, the leader, starting on the inside line. In reality, Wheeler's car should have been on the outside line, as lead-lap cars start on the outside and cars a lap down or more start on the inside.
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Revealing mistakes 

In the scene where Cole and Rowdy line up at the stop light in opposite vehicles, Rowdy is in a Ford Taurus. When the light turns green, they both gun it and you see smoke coming form the tires of the Taurus. The smoke is coming from the rear tires. The Ford Taurus never came with a RWD option, they were all front wheel drive, thus the rear tires should not have smoked up.
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After Cole sabotages Russ Wheeler's victory lap by wrecking his car, you can clearly see that the checkered flag hanging out Wheeler's window is secured in place rather than being held. It is clear from the in car camera of "Russ Wheeler" that the flag is somehow secured in place, and the window netting is still up.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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