The sport of car racing is huge around the world. It’s more than a game to the drivers and a thrill for those watching a race on tracks in cities like Darlington, Charlotte, Daytona, and other notable locations across America. The fans that go to see these daredevils are in most cases car fanatics, thrill seekers, and even future drivers. It’s about how fast you can go on a circular track and where you end up at the end of a predetermined distance.
Getting to the finish line first, like in all sports is the goal that will bring fame and fortune at the big NASCAR events. Trying to accomplish the feat of first across the line at breakneck speeds has its rewards and failures. It takes a special kind of person to get into a car and travel at speeds reaching 200 miles an hour and especially keeping that pace for several hours. This is a documentary on how two families met the challenge and became legends. This is also the story on how legends will live on in infamy in one Blink of an Eye.
Most avid race car fans know where they were on February 18, 2001and it runs deep in those that were at the Daytona International Speedway on that date. This documentary isn’t just about winning a race, but how the two men who are most honored and revered on that day.
The film follows the racing families of Waltrip and Earnhardt, both of which received fame in the sport. In real time through actual footage, family photos, news broadcasts, interviews and more we see how Michael Waltrip, youngest of the racing brothers Darrel and Bobby, grew up in the sport and finally came into his own as a NASCAR driver. Most of the film is devoted to Michael and it blends with his relationship with the Earnhardt family with a solemn finale for the two.
Directed by Paul Taublieb with style, patience, integrity and pathos, he does an excellent job of bringing the two racing greats to the screen. Through interviews with key family members of the racing families and the sport we get an inside look. Mostly told by Michael Waltrip himself, the film has great depth, meaning and reverence for the central drivers and the sport itself. Others that contribute to the film include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Richard Childress, Mike Helton, Larry McReynolds, Ken Schrader, Ty Norris, Buffy Hawthorne (Waltrip), Brooke Hondros Dale Earnhardt’s Lead Publicist, Pit Crew Members, Ken Martin of the NASCAR Media Group, NASCAR Cup Drivers, and more.
The documentary does a fine job of melding the two stories and bringing closure to their lives. The handling of the final race with the two is frank, but also with sincere respect for all involved. Handling it with dignity, the showing of the actual footage of the race on February 18, 2001 by far exceeds any reports I have seen in the past.
Blink of an Eye has not been rated by the MPAA, but contains shocking scenes of car crashes.
FINAL ANALYSIS: Another incisive documentary this year involving the sport of car racing. (5 out of 5 Stars)
Additional Film Information:
Cast: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Michael Waltrip
Directed and written by: Paul Taublieb
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 1 hr. 28 min.
Opening Date: September 12, 2019
Distributed by: 1091 Media
Released in: Standard, Color