Stewart-Haas Racing will blur the line between fiction and reality this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, as two of their cars will pay tribute to the 2006 NASCAR-themed comedy "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby." Ryan Preece's No. 41 Ford will feature the Wonder Bread paint scheme driven by Ricky Bobby (played by Will Ferrell), while Chase Briscoe's No. 14 Ford will sport the Old Spice paint scheme driven by Cal Naughton Jr. (played by John C. Reilly).
As part of the promotion, Preece and Briscoe are both acting out some of the movie's memorable scenes, starting with the "Shake 'n Bake" press conference. Stewart-Haas has also changed their logos to resemble those of Dennit Racing, the fictional team Bobby and Naughton drove for.
"Talladega Nights is one movie that most people have seen and laughed with, and these really cool paint schemes will bring back those memories," Preece said in a team press release. "Getting to have my teammate, 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 teammates. We're going to have a lot of fun this weekend and I hope we get the No. 41 Wonder Bread Ford Mustang in victory lane."
"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," said Briscoe, whose No. 14 car was once sponsored by Old Spice when it was driven by NASCAR Hall of Famer and team co-owner Tony Stewart. "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."
Part of the promotion has seen Preece and Briscoe quote and play out some "Talladega Nights" scenes on their social media accounts, namely "I think your house is haunted," "I had a whole mess of crepes this morning," and the placement of a (stuffed) cougar inside of Preece's car.
Given the influence "Talladega Nights" has had since its release, this isn't the first time a car inspired by the film has been raced at Talladega. In the spring of 2012, Kurt Busch drove the "ME" paint scheme that was run by Ricky Bobby in the film's climactic race at Talladega where Bobby staged a comeback after losing his ride at Dennit Racing. Busch led four laps but finished 20th after a late-race spin.
Even after he roleplays as Ricky Bobby, Ryan Preece will remain a main character at Stewart-Haas Racing for quite some time. On Tuesday, Preece confirmed he would be returning as the driver of the No. 41 in 2024.