From Talladega Nights to Cars: NASCAR Drivers in Entertainment
Do you remember Ricky Bobby flipping off Jamie McMurray in Talladega Nights?
How about Richard Petty voicing “The King” car in Cars?
To most people, NASCAR drivers just show up on Sundays, drive a car, shoot a commercial every now and then, and earn their paycheck.
But in reality, some of our favorite drivers have been all over the big (and small) screen.
Once known more for the label on his suit instead of the position he placed, on the small screen he is mostly known for his co-hosting duties on Live with Regis and Kelly, having hosted 10 times between 2004 and 2008.
On the big screen, he made an appearance in the Queen Latifah/Jimmy Fallon movie Taxi, Lindsay Lohan's Herby Fully Loaded (along with several other high profile drivers), Brendan Fraser's Looney Tunes: Back in Action, guest-starred on Spin City, and hosted Saturday Night Live.
“The King” of NASCAR shows up pretty much everywhere. He really did voice the animated car version of himself in the movie Cars.
He also was in the Kevin Costner movie Swing Vote, Days of Thunder, a 1972 movie titled Corky, and the 1968 movie Speedway with Elvis Presley and Nancy Sinatra.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
NASCAR's most popular driver for the last seven years in a row has been on the big screen a few times, voicing a version of himself in Cars following a previous voice over in Scarface: The World Is Yours.
Besides these, Junior has an impressive list of presenting on award shows—most recently the Country Music Awards.
He played himself on an episode of the short-lived FOX series Fastlane and is often seen on the Country Music Channel.
He can also be seen in Dale, the story of his father's life.
The four-time champ apparently sticks to what he knows.
Other than the normal NASCAR appearances, he joined Jeff Gordon in Herby Fully Loaded and made a guest appearance on the TV show Las Vegas.
Besides that, his resume is filled with interviews, races, daytime talk shows, and NASCAR archival movies.
The new driver of the No. 1 Bass Pro Shop Chevrolet either enjoys acting or is preparing for another job if NASCAR doesn't work out.
Besides being in Talladega Nights, he guest starred on an episode of the daytime soap opera Passions and an episode of West Wing.
He isn't interviewed often and doesn't appear on many shows, so these appearances stand out more so than other drivers'.
What About Everyone Else?
Other drivers and announcers have made an appearance here or there but these are the most notable.
Although it is nice to hear Darrell Waltrip's “Boogity Boogity Boogity” in Cars and Talladega Nights when the broadcast isn't on FOX.
Athletes in other sports appear in movies and television shows, but it seems NASCAR drivers top the list. True, no one can forget Brett Favre in There's Something About Mary, but do we even need to discuss Shaq's Kazaam?
But what's the best thing about our favorite drivers dabbling in acting, even if it's as themselves?
It gives us something to watch during the offseason—besides repeats of our favorite races, of course.