Factual error: In numerous race scenes, the Pontiac Grand Prix, Ford Taurus, Ford Thunderbird and Dodge Intrepid are shown as race cars. The Ford Thunderbird has been used since 1995, Grand Prix hasn't been used it NASCAR since 2003, the Taurus since 2005, and the Intrepid since 2005, furthermore throughout the movie they use multiple variations of Chevy Monte Carlo's in the same shots. There are small changes to the Monte Carlo from year to year. Also in the final race (the Talladga 500 also non-existent), Ricky Bobby starts dead last but later on the announcers say he has moved from 26th to 18th.
Factual error: At the end of the movie after the last race is over and the sun is going down, the last shot shows the car leaving Talledega Superspeedway and riding off into the sunset. There are two correlated problems here. The first is that there is dew rising off the grass in the distance which only happens in the morning. The second is that when you turn right at the main Talledega Superspeedway sign when leaving, you are facing east. The scene was shot in the morning and they are riding off into the sunrise. There are campers in the background that were actually there for a race, but this is the only time of day when the director could get a shot of the car leaving by itself without traffic.
Factual error: When Jean and Ricky get ready for their one-on-one showdown at the Talladega 500 (which is completely unrealistic in and of itself), they are side-by-side at the restart. In NASCAR, all lead lap cars start single file in the outside line on restarts, with lapped cars to the inside. Since they were both on the lead lap, Ricky would have started behind Jean, not next to him.
Factual error: When Ricky goes to race Talladega the last time and they lift the hood of his (now) Ford race car, the engine is obviously a street engine and not a race one. A chrome GM alternator with standard drive pulley, chrome air filter with K&N element and a host of other items on the engine simply aren't used. The motor pictured is a 302 with alum. heads.Ian Hunt
Factual error: Neither Ricky nor Jean would have been DQ'd for their footrace to the checkers. Carl Edwards did the exact same thing at Talladega in 2009 and wasn't punished in any way for it. It wouldn't count (no one won the final race, it was incomplete and would remain so until one of the 43 teams fixed their car enough that it could limp around the track one more time), but they would still be scored as the front two for the time being.
Factual error: The movie is set in 2002 (based on the license issued mid-film) yet in the bar, the bar-goers are drinking from the red aluminium Budweiser bottle, which was not yet distributed in 2002.
Factual error: In the first scene at the Lowe's Motor Speedway at the Nextel Cup Qualifier the time is shown as 11:39 a.m. but the shadows cast by the car and people are too long. At noon during Nascar season the sun is directly overhead. It is impossible on a flat surface for a shadow to be that long at that time of day.