NASCAR fans know the Daytona 500 results in a ton of promotional stunts, many of them random. Here are the 3 weirdest things out of this year’s Daytona Day.
On Friday, NASCAR star Kyle Busch surprised fans ahead of the Daytona 500 by hiding behind a cardboard cutout of himself. It was mildly funny and utterly random – typical for the promotion leading up to Daytona Day.
The weeks ahead of NASCAR’s biggest race are filled with a ton of stunts, commercials, and hype like no other in motorsports. Sponsors, TV networks and everyone in between come up with as many ways to draw attention to Daytona International Speedway as possible.
And some of them can be pretty weird. In honor of Kyle Busch’s M&M’s stunt we’ve compiled a list of the strangest things we’ve seen come out of promotion for this year’s race. Enjoy the giggles, head-scratching and occasional awkwardness.
In no particular order, here are the three weirdest things to come out of the Daytona 500:
1) Kyle Busch hides behind a cardboard Kyle Busch
Athletes surprising unsuspecting fans has become the new “in thing” for the last few years. Especially if your name is Kyle Busch. We know that Kyle Busch surprises unsuspecting fans even when he doesn’t have to. It’s like when he’s not winning races he’s just looking for somewhere to hide, jump out of and yell “Surprise!”
But when Busch snuck into an M&M’s promotional display on Friday, he did it hiding behind a cardboard cutout of himself. That’s some weird meta stuff right there. And it’s even weirder that the fans still needed a second to get the joke. At least it was less awkward than the time Busch called a random fan and the fan hung up on Dale Jarrett.
2) Gordon Ramsay’s official Daytona Day menu
A lot of promotional weirdness comes out of the fact that FOX broadcasts the Daytona 500 and so stuffs many of its TV personalities into the Daytona Day hype. Case in point: they somehow got Chef Gordon Ramsay to create an “official Daytona Day menu.” First of all, most people probably aren’t worried about their Daytona Day menu.
They’re turning on the grill (or maybe ordering a pizza), opening some cold beverages, and they’re done. Chef Ramsay’s sliders look amazing but NASCAR parties aren’t really the scene for elevated cuisine. And why is he even here? Doesn’t he have a billion TV shows to shoot or something? If you really want to learn from him, just go take his cooking MasterClass.
3) Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets beaten by Maggie Simpson
Cross-promotion reared its head again when FOX once again used The Simpsons for an animated Daytona Day spot that aired during the Super Bowl and like a hundred times since. This was mildly funny when they did it last year. This year it’s pretty much the same jokes, except for that they asked Dale Earnhardt Jr. to drive. Okay, fair enough, celebrity cameos draw interest and there’s no one in NASCAR bigger than Dale Jr.
But they couldn’t come up with an ad that had something other than the Simpsons driving to Daytona again? Couldn’t find any fresh jokes? And then at the end of it all Dale Jr. gets edged out at the finish line by Maggie Simpson on a trike? This could’ve been so much funnier. At least let Dale Jr. drive a Canyonero.
There are all kinds of weird and random things that happen as anticipation builds for the Daytona 500, but they’re all in good fun (even if some of them are more fun than others). At least they give us something to talk about.
What weird things will happen in the actual race? You’ll have to watch Sunday to find out. See which NASCAR tracks are hosting a Daytona 500 watch party here, and for more events in the Orlando area, visit the Orlando section of Local POV here.