Friday, July 1, 2022

Tyler Ankrum Channeling Ricky Bobby For Darlington Throwback Weekend


Tyler Ankrum’s No. 26 LiUNA! / Talladega Nights Throwback For Darlington (Renders : GMS)

It has been nearly 15 years since the smash box-office hit of “Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby” raced into theaters, capturing the laughs and hearts of race fans across the United States.

Now, one of the most iconic paint schemes from the film will make its on-track return thanks to GMS Racing’s Tyler Ankrum, and sponsor LiUNA!

The 20-year-old driver will pilot a special No. 26 Silverado for NASCAR Throwback Weekend, replicating the Wonder Bread Monte Carlo driven by NASCAR legend Ricky Bobby.

The scheme is inspired by the 2006 box-office hit “Talladega Nights : The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby”, that follows superstar Ricky Bobby (played by Will Ferrell) through a tumultuous point of his NASCAR career after Formula One driver Jean Girard (played by Sacha Baron Cohen) begins turning his thanks to his driving. The film left a permanent mark with many, both race fans and non-fans alike, from the film’s catchphrase, to moments in the film that are even meme-worthy.

Tyler Ankrum’s No. 26 LiUNA! / Talladega Nights Throwback For Darlington (Renders : GMS)

The original scheme was designed by the late Sam Bass, who was responsible for producing the paint schemes for main cast of characters in the film. He is best known for the No. 26 Wonder bread Monte Carlo of Bobby, as well as the iconic No. 62 “ME” Chevrolet that featured a cougar on the hood.

“I may have only been five years old when Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby hit theaters, but I’ve grown to love the movie,” said Ankrum.” I think the movie, in a way, parallels our story of redeeming ourselves this season. Our No. 26 Ricky Bobby throwback is a really fun way to speak to our early season struggles and how we’ve been able to pull ourselves back up by our bootstraps and persevere. In the words of racing cinema legend, Ricky Bobby, ‘I wanna go fast!”

As a nod to NASCAR’s first officially licensed artist, GMS Designer Dick Claveloux recreated the original render scene that Bass utilized for presenting the final artwork for the iconic design.

“Ankrum’s No. 26 LIUNA / Ricky Bobby throwback is hands down my favorite,” Claveloux said. “It’s not only from a fun piece of NASCAR cinema, but the scheme also pays tribute to the first officially licensed NASCAR artist, Sam Bass.”

The California driver is coming off his first top-five finish of 2021 at Richmond, and jumped a whopping eight positions in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points to 19th. Heading into Darlington, he only has one start at the iconic racetrack – an eleventh place finish in 2020.

Fans can see the No. 26 LiUNA! / Talladega Nights Throwback hit the track on Friday, May 7th at 7:30 PM EST on FOX Sports 1 and the FOX Sports App.

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