NASCAR Commercials: The 20 Best Driver Ads of All Time

Ryan PapasergeCorrespondent IAugust 18, 2011

NASCAR Commercials: The 20 Best Driver Ads of All Time

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    We're used to seeing them in three-minute spans multiple times during each NASCAR race, whether we like it or not.

    Commercial breaks are always a drag, but a great commercial can soften the blow and even bring a smile to the faces of millions of viewers.

    Without further ado, here are 20 great commercials throughout NASCAR history that include many, many drivers.

Dale Earnhardt Jr./Michael Waltrip, Domino's Pizza, Mid-2000s

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    Domino's Pizza was one of many companies that took on "official sponsor" status during the NASCAR's boom period in the mid-2000s, latching onto Dale Earnhardt Inc. and becoming an associate sponsor on Michael Waltrip's No. 15 Chevy.

    It also led to this great commercial with Waltrip and Junior arguing over who deserves the title of "Mr. NASCAR."

Dale Earnhardt Sr./Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 2000

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    The setup here is pretty solid—the Tasmanian Devil drives, Junior in the back seat and the "Intimidator" teaching Taz how to drive his No. 3 Chevrolet.

Richard Petty/Kyle Petty, ESPN, 1998

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    The "NASCAR Ride-Along Program" ad campaign from ESPN in the late 1990s was tremendous, including this strangely prophetic commercial with "The King" and his son, Kyle.

    Most NASCAR fans wondered what gear he was driving in towards the end of his career too, Richard.

Jeff Gordon, ESPN, 1998

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    "Listen, Chachi. I drove a cab through the Bronx—at night."

    Another outstanding spot from ESPN, with creativity the current "Nothing Beats First Place" campaign is sorely lacking.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Budweiser, 2004

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    Fun fact, verified by no one: Budweiser made many more commercials with Dale Jr. than they did with Kasey Kahne or Kevin Harvick.

    In fact, he appeared in this fun commercial that aired during the Super Bowl.

Dale Earnhardt Jr./Steve Park/Michael Waltrip, NAPA, 2003

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    It's rare when a company mocks itself in an ad campaign, so major kudos to NAPA for allowing Dale Jr. and Steve Park to mock the faux-sappy, yet hilarious commercials featuring Michael Waltrip in this 2003 spot.

Michael Waltrip, NAPA, 2007

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    Another brilliant commercial from NAPA, made in the midst of a 2007 season in which Michael Waltrip struggled to even qualify for most races, while his three-car team was in the midst of his first season as the flagship Toyota operation.

Jeff Gordon, Coca-Cola, 1996

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    The reason this is included on the list: the narrator. He sounds awfully familiar.

Tony Stewart, Home Depot, 2001

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    Unverified fun fact: If Tony Stewart actually drove a car that had home improvement materials in the trunk, he would likely still win the race.

Joey Logano, Home Depot, 2009

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    This commercial is unique in that it is 60 seconds long, a departure from the usual 15 or 30-second spot.

    Either way, it's a pretty cute commercial with Logano turning to his sponsor in hopes of finding success as a rookie on the Sprint Cup circuit. "Winning Races 1-2-3" would be a great book to own.

Bowyer/Edwards/Newman/Kahne/Hamlin/Kurt Busch, Gillette, 2009

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    Anyone remember "Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race"?

    Didn't think so, but that didn't stop Gillette from referencing in this commercial starring WWE wrestler John Cena. 

    Ryan Newman's face is priceless at the end of this ad.

Montoya/Kahne/Stremme/Sorenson, Wrigley's, 2007

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    Straight from the depths of NASCAR on ESPN's Dark Ages, here's a commercial featuring four drivers sponsored by Wrigley's Gum at the time.

    Look, there's even NASCAR Now with Doug Banks on the television!

Juan Pablo Montoya, Wrigley's, 2008

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    "Juan Pablo Montoya was put on this earth to drive race cars, not be some corporate puppet."

    Another effective, great commercial with Montoya and Wrigley's. 

Jeremy Mayfield, Dodge, 2002

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    This could be the best commercial on this list.

    Yes, the way to a NASCAR driver's heart is to wear Octane 49 instead of some smelly perfume. (Insert Mayfield/crystal meth joke here.)

Various Drivers, Sprint, 2010

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    Last year's Sprint ad campaign was great, depicting the cars as monsters and the drivers as taming them.

    This isn't a funny commercial, but it is quite enjoyable.

Tony Stewart, Indianapolis Zoo, 2010

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    Here's the premise of this commercial: Tony Stewart uses his No. 14 Chevrolet to navigate the streets of Indianapolis and drop off a cheetah at the zoo.

    Absurd? Yes. Awesome? That, too.

Martin Truex Jr./Michael Waltrip, NAPA, 2011

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    After a pair of lackluster commercials last season with Martin Truex Jr. as the focus (as he should have been, being the driver of the No. 56 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing), the spotlight is back on Waltrip in this year's campaign. As always, he manages to deliver. 

Joey Logano, Toyota, 2011

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    Another great commercial from this season, this time from Toyota's Sponsifier program.

    Best part of this one: Joe Gibbs in a janitor's uniform.

Dale Jarrett, UPS, 2001

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    "We want to race the truck. People love the truck."

    -The slogan UPS used for its NASCAR campaign while Dale Jarrett drove under the delivery company's livery. It also produced many outstanding commercials.

Dale Jarrett, UPS, 2003

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    This is outstanding, if only for the completely random addition of Jackie Stewart—Formula One legend—into a NASCAR campaign.

    The dramatization of the "Big Brown Truck" beating and banging with another car is pretty hilarious as well.

    Thoughts? Comment below.