Some Adrenalists aren’t ever going to be on the covers of Wheaties boxes; they live life on the edge, but do so behind the scenes. Chances are you’ve seen these people at work, hundreds of times, without even knowing it. How could that be? Well, if you’ve ever watched a big budget action film or gone to a rally car race or drifting competition, you’ve probably appreciated jaw-dropping tricks conducted by stunt drivers — helmeted, face-masked unsung heroes. We’ve featured their fine work in our pages many times and we figure it’s about time they get some personal recognition for the feats that earned them their place at the top of the industry totem pole.
Here are four of the best stunt drivers in the business.
Die hard readers of The Adrenalist will remember our September piece on the Hot Wheels corkscrew jump record (it’s pretty hard to forget.) What those readers may not remember is the name of the man driving that accomplishment, a consummate pro with over 25 years of stunt driving experience. That man is none other than Brent Fletcher. According to Drivers, Inc., Fletcher’s expertise as a performance driver and stunt coordinator have earned him accolades across numerous facets of the entertainment industry (from TV to film to music videos) and have equipped him with skills necessary to compete in varied driving challenges from road racing to drifting to rally and off-road. He’s made his name by being one of a small group of drivers willing to put his life on the line for dangerous jump and crash stunts. His Hot Wheels performance certainly speaks volumes about his trademark fearlessness.
Most people can’t say they’re one of the best stunt drivers in the world and co-founder of an industry-leading extreme sports brand. Ken Block is not most people. Breaking into the pro rally racing game in 2005, Block won Rookie of the Year in the Rally America Championship and quickly went on to amass ten subsequent series wins and a smattering of other awards, including two X Games medals (Block competed at the first ever X-Games rally event in 2006). But before any of his athletic accomplishments, he co-founded DC Shoes in 1993, at just 26 years old. Block is the Bruce Wayne of stunt driving. Oh, and he also competes in skateboard, snowboard and motocross events in his free time. Enjoy his Gymkhana 2 DC infomercial, the #4 most viewed viral video of 2009. It doesn’t get much better than awesomely driving an awesome car that’s promoting your awesome company.
Another Hot Wheels stunt driving guinea pig, Tanner Foust was one of two drivers who offered up his skills for the first ever, world record-setting Hot Wheels double upside down loop at this year’s X-Games. It might be hard to believe such a monumental event could be in good company on someone’s resume but, once we took a look at Foust’s, we realized that’s the reality. In addition to being a pro rally and sports car driver with three X-Games gold medals and two Formula Drift titles, Foust is host of hit TV shows Top Gear USA and Battle of the Supercars and has performed stunt driving services in blockbuster action films like Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, Dukes of Hazzard, The Bourne Ultimatum and Iron Man 2.
The other half of the Hot Wheels record-setting double loop, Greg Tracy is a driver for Hot Wheels Team Green and Guinness World Record holder for his part in pulling off the mind-boggling upside-down loop. Like with Foust’s, this Hot Wheels performance was by no means Tracy’s first encounter with greatness. He’ll go down in the history books for winning the grueling Pikes Peak race a staggering six times and for performing in a host of commercials and films including The Italian Job, The Bourne Ultimatum (another time he and Tanner Foust crossed paths), and Spiderman 3. And good news for our readers: Tracy writes a very compelling blog where you can follow along as he lives one of the most fast-paced (no pun intended) lives we’ve ever read about. Try not to get too jealous.