When you think of Talladega Super Speedway, your mind automatically goes to the big wrecks and carnage. Even the popular movie (hence the title reference) ends with the top drivers wrecking and the racing on foot to the finish line. Unfortunately, it doesn't count. Carl Edwards tried that in 2009...at Talladega nonetheless! (Jump to 2:00!)
The final plate race of the season was run at Talladega and the only reference to the movie found during the race weekend was Kurt Busch's Wonder Bread sponsored car. For the eldest Busch Brother, this really isn't anything uncommon. He ran his ME paint scheme in 2012 when he drove the No.51. With no sponsor for the car, Busch put the famous paint scheme from the movie on his car, complete with the cougar in the back seat. With plenty of movie references over his in-car radio, Busch became Ricky Bobby and portrayed the character perfectly. Even driving backwards down pit road after spinning out! Check out his car and some of his in-car audio below!
Busch wasn't the first NASCAR driver to race with an animal in his car. Tim Flock had a friend in his car when he raced back in the 40s and 50s. Jocko Flocko became the first monkey to ever win a NASCAR race when he accompanied Flock in his May 16, 1953 win. Just a few weeks later, the monkey cost him a win...long story...read about it on Wikipedia :)
Now, back to Kurt Busch! Busch helped Wonder Bread get back into the spotlight this last weekend when he ran the iconic paint scheme from the movie...well, it was close anyway. The paint scheme wasn't exactly meant to reference the movie, Busch had to convince his owner to let someone else sponsor the car, but having the Wonder Bread paint scheme on the car at Talladega was a way to bring in more media buzz. And that it did!
Although the characters in the movie weren't references to actual drivers, many NASCAR drivers made cameo appearances in the movie! The most popular? Dale Earnhardt Jr! In rare fashion, NASCAR's most popular driver was the one asking for the autograph! Check out the clip below! Also, I've included a deleted scene in the garage with Junior as well!
With plenty of references within the industry since Talladega Nights was released in 2006, it's easy to see that drivers and fans are still getting a kick out of the worst racing movie ever made. Don't look for the references to end any time soon and, if you are like me, you now expect a "Nights" themed car from Kurt Busch for at least one of the Talladega races each season for the rest of his career. So, now that you have had your fair share of clips from the movie, GO WATCH IT, because I already have. Twice!
Now, pardon me, I am about to get kicked out of Applebee's.
Shake and Bake!