Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dual Career No Stunt for NASCAR's Barrett; Appearing in Movies Helps Him Raise Money as a Driver and Owner

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Dual Career No Stunt for NASCAR's Barrett; Appearing in Movies Helps Him Raise Money as a Driver and Owner

Article excerpt

Byline: DON COBLE

The top stars in NASCAR rarely venture into public, especially during a race weekend. They generally are hounded for autographs and pictures and rarely have a moment of privacy.

Stanton Barrett doesn't have that problem. He can sit in the middle of a busy restaurant filled with race fans and few, if any, seem to notice him.

It's difficult to imagine that a man who's appeared in more than 80 movies and television shows and is a full-time driver on the NASCAR Nationwide Series could go unnoticed. But that's the nature of Barrett's jobs - both of them.

When he's at work on a Hollywood film set, he's either working behind a mask or in a crashing car. When he's at the racetrack, he's generally a driver who faces difficult odds just to finish on the lead lap.

Leading roles in either profession would be nice, but Barrett is content with the challenges of two professions, even if they often keep him in the shadows.

Whether Barrett is a racer who acts or an actor who races isn't clear. One thing is clear: He's committed to both.

"I'm a racer, but I've been in the movie business for 20 years, and I'm proud of that, too," Barrett said. "I get to do things a lot of people would like to do. I couldn't get exposure for my race sponsors if I didn't do movies, and I couldn't pay the bills if it wasn't for the movies."

In a typical week, Barrett is one of Hollywood's top stunt men. On weekends, he drives his own Chevrolet. He races all the time in the Nationwide Series and makes selected starts in Sprint Cup. Among his racing credits are seven top-10 finishes in 162 Nationwide starts and roles in Spider-Man (all three installments), Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Jurassic Park III, Dukes of Hazzard, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Mars Attacks and The Patriot.

His movie schedule is built around the racing schedule. If there's a race, he generally reschedules the shoot. If Hollywood isn't as accommodating, he turns down work.

Barrett's father, Stan, also was a stunt man and racer. He's best known for doing most of the stunts in all of the Smokey and the Bandit movies. He also owned the world land-speed record at 739 mph in a rocket car. …

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