Motorsport fans will get a closer look at the success and private life of American racing driver Hurley Haywood in a new documentary later this month.
The idea for the documentary, simply titled Hurley, began in 2014 when Haywood’s autobiography was in the works. Directed by Derek Dodge, with Patrick Dempsey as the executive producer, the film weaves an important message for Haywood after the racing legend came out as gay in 2018. Juggling success and his sexuality became a fixture of his life for decades.
Haywood excited fans on the racetrack, but gave little insight to his life off the track.
The film tackles the struggles of how Haywood coped with his secret to maintain his celebrity status and career at a time when his sexuality was far less accepted. “It was time to be vocal about it and I didn’t want to lie about it anymore,” Hurley says at one point in the documentary trailer.
Through his challenges, Hurley managed to become a star driver across numerous motorsports. He won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1977, 1983, and 1994. He remains tied for the most successful driver at the 24 Hours of Daytona with five wins in 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, and 1991. If those aren’t enough to pad a resume, he also won the 12 Hours of Sebring twice in 1973 and 1981 and represented IMSA in the International Race of Champions four times.
Aside from his racing career, Haywood is a Vietnam War veteran who was called to duty in 1970. He returned after one tour to secure his first IMSA title in 1971.