Although The Cleveland Show is set in fictional Stoolbend, Va., the show has never really reached out to a NASCAR audience. Series creator Seth MacFarlane is more well known for his magnum opus Family Guy, which takes an approach on topics that are usually contrary to a typical NASCAR fan's views.
Yet The Cleveland Show gave NASCAR a nod in its episode "The Hangover: Part Tubbs," when main character Cleveland Brown and his family and friends take a trip to Richmond International Raceway for a NASCAR Sprint Cup event.
During the event, Cleveland's wife Donna Tubbs, who is running for school board, realizes she has a debate in an hour. Cleveland does the only thing he can think of and throws a "caution" that wipes out the entire field with the exception of Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Junior and Stewart race to take Cleveland and Donna back to Stoolbend, leaving Kahne at the track. Kahne, who plays a dimwitted version of himself, realizes he can win the race by driving sensibly. The wheels literally fall off that plan not a few feet afterward.
This was a terrific episode and an affirmation of sorts for NASCAR, and not just from the cross-promotion standpoint. MacFarlane's shows are popular among the college-age demographic, and this was a way to put NASCAR out there where prospective fans could be reached.
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