Stewart-Haas Racing announced Monday that two of its NASCAR drivers, Ryan Preece and Chase Briscoe, will run the paint schemes from two of the hero cars seen in the 2006 NASCAR opera Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. The cars will run with sponsorship from Wonder Bread and Old Spice, the original sponsors in the movie, during Sunday's race at Talladega.
In the original film, Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) and Cal Naughton Jr. (John C. Reilly) ran these cars while driving as teammates for Dennit Racing. At the peak of their fictional careers, Naughton was known for helping Bobby "slingshot" to the lead of races and collect wins. Stewart-Haas Racing has surely studied the tape to unveil the move in Sunday's race.
These are not the first Talladega Nights tribute cars to race in an actual NASCAR event at the film's namesake track. Kurt Busch ran Ricky Bobby's final car, the one with just a cougar and the text "Me" on the hood and quarter panels in lieu of a sponsor, during the spring 2012 race. In what may be a bad omen for the two SHR entries, Busch led on a few occasions before being wrecked late and finishing 20th.
Both Briscoe and Preece failed to make this season's NASCAR playoffs, so both are racing for the win on Sunday with no concern about their championship position. Given Bobby and Naughton's history of teamwork on drafting tracks in the film, one has to assume that Preece and Briscoe are going to be even faster with these liveries.
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