Like most of us who grew up in the 1980s, Rangers left-hander Cesar Ramos was fed a steady diet of Tom Cruise films.
Cruise showed us how to fly F-14 Tomcats, how to mix drinks, how to throw house parties, and how to return from Vietnam and become a peace activist.
For Ramos, who was born in Los Angeles in 1984, the most indelible memory Cruise left was in Days of Thunder.
The 1990 film follows Cruise’s character Cole Trickle, a young stock-car racer with dreams of winning the Indy 500.
“I’m not a NASCAR guy but I started liking it just because of the movie and the driving and the bumping, the trash-talking and competitiveness,” Ramos said. It also stars a 23-year-old Nicole Kidman as a neurosurgeon who aids Trickle after a nasty wreck. Let’s just say nobody is turning down her brain surgery.
The fastest car Ramos has owned is a Mercedes CLS-Class. He wouldn’t divulge his top speed, but the car has been clocked at 194 mph.
So is the speed exhilarating or frightening?
“A little bit of both. The rush would be nice but not being a professional, that’s the scary part,” he said. “So maybe 10 miles over the speed limit is comforting for myself.”
“You really have to respect what they do and respect the vehicle, also, and what it can and can’t do,” he said. “It’s pretty amazing what those guys do at that speed and just the way they’re able to maneuver.”