From LA to L.A. – IndyCar featured in Will Smith film, ‘Focus’

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Focus. It’s something we are required to have when we find our passion and want to turn it into something bigger… something more tangible and accessible than a simple admiration or desire. Focus is what allows us to move forward, what assists us in turning dreams into reality. Focus also happens to be the title of the newest Will Smith film hitting the U.S. market this week.

Will Smith is one of the biggest celebrities on the planet. His films have broken records, become classics, and inspired millions.

IndyCar is the premiere North American auto racing series and in the opinion of this writer, the best open-wheel racing on the globe. In similar fashion to Smith, IndyCar is no stranger to breaking records. Countless numbers of the series drivers & tracks as well as its traditions are considered classic & timeless. Not to mention the undeniable fact that sport has inspired millions as well – from fans and engineers to professional drivers and those in the arts.

Pippa Mann, Conor Daly, Gabby Chaves & James Hinchcliffe at the AMC Castleton Indianapolis preview of Focus - photo c/o IndyCar
Pippa Mann, Conor Daly, Gabby Chaves & James Hinchcliffe at the AMC Castleton Indianapolis preview of Focus – photo c/o IndyCar

The combination of Will Smith & IndyCar not only makes perfect sense… but it seemed inevitable. Two powerhouses coming together to form what is sure to be a blockbuster film and whose teaming is advantageous to all parties involved. Multiple Verizon IndyCar Series drivers appeared at the advance screening premieres this week throughout the country, with Ed Carpenter in Detroit and Gabby Chaves, Conor Daly, James Hinchcliffe and Pippa Mann in Indianapolis. Graham Rahal & fiancé, Courtney Force were planning to walk the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere, but unfortunately were unable to attend due to illness. I wouldn’t be surprised however, to see Will Smith walking the red carpet at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this May on the morning of the Indianapolis 500… makes perfect sense to me! Smith was quoted at the L.A. premiere as saying, “The IndyCars were fantastic!” Can’t argue with him there… so why not check out the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, in person?

The racing scenes in ‘Focus’ were filmed at the NOLA Motorsports Park back in 2013. The series will host it’s inaugural event at the track this April. Andretti Autosport driver, Carlos Munoz piloted the cars in the film as well as former IndyCar driver & current BHA team owner, Bryan Herta. Munoz was eager to tweet out a photo from the set with Will Smith as soon as all the news about the collaboration was made public.

I’ve been a huge fan of Will Smith’s work for decades, and I’m sure many of you feel the same way. I’m also a huge film nerd and as you may or may not have gathered… I like the Verizon IndyCar Series. That said, it’s obvious what my plans are this weekend! Check out this behind the scenes video, which shows how racing and film-making came together so fluidly in Focus.

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