Michael Drives the Pace Car at NASCAR
Director Michael Bay was at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Saturday and wheeled a pace car as part of the campaign to promote the DVD release of his latest movie, “Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen.”
Bay, who has directed both of the immensely popular Transformer movies said he was working on a third installment in the series. It will not be about NASCAR, though it will include some serious machines.
Two race cars – Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 and Ryan Newman’s No. 39 – had special paint schemes promoting the movie Saturday night. It’s not as if the movie needed much promotion, having earned more than $830 million – more than even Jimmie Johnson – this year.
Bay said it was his first direct exposure to NASCAR since he was a youngster.
“They asked me to drive the pace car,” Bay said. “It’s a long way to go to drive a pace car 45 miles an hour, but it is pretty exciting when you have 43 drivers behind you.
“A lot of my movies have dealt with fast cars so I’ve been around them. It’s interesting to come see it and spend a full day here.”
Bay got some track time early Saturday, getting comfortable in the pace car. He said he hit approximately 100 mph in one lap, but NASCAR required him to keep it at 45 during the pace laps.
Bay said he will have devoted five years of his life to the Transformer movies when he completes the third installment.
Asked if he has a racing movie in his future, Bay was non-committal.
“Racing movies are tough to do,” he said. “Sports movies are tough to do. It’s like the team has to lose and then it has to win.”