Wonder and NASCAR: The return of ‘Talladega Nights’

by Josh Sosland
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THOMASVILLE, GA. — Two days after Wonder bread was back on supermarket store shelves for the first time in nearly a year, Flowers Foods, Inc. announced a partnership for the brand with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race driver Kurt Busch. The “Wonder” car will make its first appearance Oct. 20 at the Talladega Superspeedway.

Flowers said the partnership is “reminiscent of Wonder bread’s memorable appearance in the 2006 movie “Talladega Nights.” The movie, subtitled “The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” is a comic portrayal of a NASCAR driver and the sport. It starred Will Ferrell whose car and fire-retardant suits featured the Wonder bread balloons.

Mr. Busch currently ranks seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. Over his career, the 35-year-old driver has earned 24 victories and 88 top-five finishes. He drives the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet SS.

While Flowers Foods has deep roots in the South, the company in the past has not been a significant NASCAR sponsor.

“There is nothing more American than Wonder bread and NASCAR,” said Keith Aldredge, vice-president of marketing at Flowers. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Kurt Busch and the Furniture Row Racing team to debut the Wonder car at the Talladega Superspeedway. Having such an incredible driver wear the bright colors of Wonder will make for a truly memorable all-American race experience.”

As part of the launch at Talladega, a Wonder hot air balloon will be showcased, Flowers said.

“This motorsports partnership definitely carries a special feeling with two American icons coming together — Wonder bread and NASCAR — at one of America’s legendary racetracks,” Mr. Busch said. “And the sponsorship also has a nostalgic feel for me since Wonder bread was a household staple while growing up in Las Vegas.”

He spelled out a strategy for drawing even greater attention to the new sponsorship.

“Talladega is a track that we can win at and a celebration with the Wonder car in Victory Lane will make this partnership even more special,” Mr. Busch said.
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