Stock-car racing turned into demolition derby, or at least a form of high-speed bumper cars. From the filmmakers of "Top Gun," this sports drama follows the same formula, transplanted to auto racing. These are professional racecar drivers who are portrayed as speed and competition junkies, constantly racing and crashing into each other with minimal strategy, both on the track and off. As a spectacle, auto racing is inherently not compelling visually, so the imagery becomes repetitious and the soundtrack is noisy. Tom Cruise is a novice driver hired by an owner (Randy Quaid) with the aid of a hardened crew chief (Robert Duvall) to win the Daytona 500. Nicole Kidman is Cruise's doctor and love interest; Michael Rooker and Carey Elwes are rival drivers. As Cruise's mentor and racing guru, Duvall is exceptional. He brings a quiet authority and sincerity to a conventional role. The rest of the cast is marginal. Screenplay by Robert Towne with story by Towne and Cruise; produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer; directed by Tony Scott. With Fred Dalton Thompson and John C. Reilly.