Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Stewart-Haas Racing to run Talladega Nights liveries at Talladega

Chase Briscoe and Ryan Preece hope to “Shake and Bake” their way to victory when the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday. Their Stewart-Haas Racing team revealed new liveries for their #14 and #41 Ford Mustangs on Monday, designed to respectively resemble the #26 Wonder Bread and #47 Old Spice cars that Cal Noughton Jr. and Ricky Bobby drove in the 2006 film Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Wonder Bread and Old Spice have even signed one-off sponsorship deals for the race.

“Talladega Nights is one movie that most people have seen and laughed with, and these really cool paint schemes will bring back those memories,” said Preece. “Getting to have my team-mate Chase Briscoe in the Old Spice car makes it all come together. The movie remains relevant after all these years, and there’s no better track than Talladega to work with your team-mates.”

Talladega Nights, starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as Ricky and Cal, has been regarded as one of the most iconic NASCAR films. While its comedic nature has drawn a rather mixed reception from the fan base, it has remained a nexus between NASCAR and pop culture in the sixteen years since its premiere.

For the 2012 Talladega spring race, Kurt Busch‘s #51 car was painted to resemble Ricky’s #62 “ME” scheme that he used in the film’s climactic race. The opportunity arose as his Phoenix Racing team did not have sponsorship at the time, while Busch had a reputation similar to Ricky’s at that stage in the movie of being a lone wolf with stacked odds against them. The following year, having moved to Furniture Row Racing, Busch once again boasted a Talladega Nights livery for the fall event, this time with Wonder Bread branding on the #78.

Truck Series driver Tyler Ankrum also had a livery from the film at the 2021 Darlington throwback race. While his #26 was based on the Wonder Bread car, Ankrum’s usual sponsor LIUNA was onboard.

While the #78 was Wonder Bread’s only other NASCAR sponsorship, Old Spice returns to the sport and SHR after last appearing on Corey LaJoie’s #32 Go FAS Racing machine for two races in 2019. Old Spice was also one of SHR’s primary backers on the #14 driven by co-owner Tony Stewart from 2009 to 2010.

“Talladega Nights is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I’m really glad that Old Spice was on board to come back to Stewart-Haas Racing,” Briscoe added. “We couldn’t do this Talladega Nights deal without them, and as a Tony Stewart fan who has gone on to drive his car, it’s really special to be the one to bring it back for all the fans.”

Both drivers missed the Cup Series playoffs, with Preece sitting twenty-fifth in points while Briscoe is thirtieth. Briscoe finished fourth at the first Talladega race in April.