Talladega: Can History Repeat with Ricky Bobby's 'ME' Car and Kurt Busch?

TALLADEGA, AL - MAY 04:  Crew members work on the #51 Phoenix Construction Services Chevrolet of Kurt Busch in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 4, 2012 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IMay 4, 2012

Phoenix Racing put their car in Victory Lane for the Aaron's 499 with Brad Keselowski as the pilot back in 2009. This year, they will have Kurt Busch as the wheelman for a replica of the Ricky Bobby "ME" car and how appropriate is that?

Ricky Bobby found himself without a sponsor in the 2006 comedy, Talladega Nights. In the movie he drove the No. 62 car which sported a decal that read "ME."

Busch finds himself very much in the same position at Phoenix Racing, where they are seeking sponsorship for the small single-car team.

The former Penske Racing driver vowed to have fun at the old-school Phoenix Racing operation and obviously they are.

The car will have the image of Karen, the cougar, featured on Ricky Bobby's car. In the movie, Bobby's father put a live cougar in the car to motivate him to drive fast.

Busch is working hard to bring attention to his team and garner corporate dollars to help pay the bills for the No. 51 team.

The car will also have the AFF on the decklid to bring attention to those who serve our country in the military and suffer from PTSD. There will be a message soliciting $5 donations for the cause.

Busch's girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, is the President and Executive Director of the Armed Forces Foundation.

The fiery personality of Busch often comes through on the radio communications with the team. For the Aaron's 499, you will hear entertaining exchanges reminiscent of scenes from the movie.

TALLADEGA, AL - MAY 04:  A stuffed cougar is seen in the #51 Phoenix Construction Services Chevrolet of Kurt Busch in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 4, 2012 in Talladega, Alab
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Busch is out to "shake and bake" his way to the lead, and he should not be counted out as a contender for the win.

The No. 51 Chevrolet is the chassis that was supposed to be used for the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, but was caught up in a practice crash.

The car has never been raced this season and was raced only a few times last season, including the fall Talladega race. Phoenix Racing prides themselves on their superspeedway cars.

The upcoming race at Talladega Superspeedway is Busch's 410th NASCAR Sprint Cup series start and 23rd start in the Cup series at this track.

The 2.66-mile high-banked tri-oval track is known for its strange happenings, accidental deaths and the possible Indian curse and burial ground that jinxed the track.

In the movie, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, the underdog won it all with his low-budget team. 

The irony of Busch pulling his No. 51 into Victory Lane with his "ME" replicar, against the odds that favor the premier teams in NASCAR, would indeed be quite the topic of discussion.

Love him or hate him, give Busch, his girlfriend, James Finch and all the people who worked to pull this project together a lot of credit for a clever, attention-grabbing paint scheme.

It is all just clever enough to bring attention to the team and if Busch can perform well, perhaps lure potential sponsors. History may well repeat itself with another win for Phoenix Racing at Talladega.

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