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New Zealand native Shane van Gisbergen recently moved to the U.S. to compete full-time in NASCAR. It’s been a complete lifestyle adjustment for the V8 Supercars champion. He’s noted just how shockingly cold North Carolina winters can be, and portion sizes here require “discipline.” He’s also apparently learned that the 2006 comedy, “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” is a surprisingly accurate portrayal of life as a NASCAR driver. SVG noted the movie starring Will Ferrell is more “documentary” than comedy.

SVG, when asked on Corey Lajoie’s Stacking Pennies podcast, what has blown his mind about adjusting to NASCAR life is the seeming accuracy of the film’s portrayal of the lifstyle.

“Man, there’s so many things,” he said. “But I guess ‘Talladega Nights’ is not a comedy, it’s a documentary. It’s crazy, like, around this area, everybody’s got the massive house, and the way it all is, it’s so crazy.”

Corey Lajoie, a full-time Cup Series driver with Spire Motorsports said the ridiculous comedy originally “offended” him when it was released. LaJoie said he idolized drivers of the time like Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. He said, “Of course they don’t live in this barbaric way.”

Shane van Gisbergen wins the 2023 NASCAR Chicago Street Race
Shane van Gisbergen | Chris Graythen via Getty Images

“I’ve been doing it for seven years now, and it couldn’t be more of an accurate portrayal,” LaJoie said. “And then Kevin Harvick buys the house that was Ricky Bobby’s!”

The Charlotte Observer reported last year the NASCAR champion bought the mansion portrayed as Ricky Bobby’s home in the film. Harvick reportedly paid $6.75 million for the property on Lake Norman north of Charlotte, North Carolina.

“That’s exactly how it is with the houses and just like, how bizarre it is,” LaJoie said. “The mystic mountain blueberry on the dinner table, it’s what it’s like.”

Lajoie dinner table comment refers to the “grace” scene in the film, popularized by Ricky Bobby’s prayers to “baby Jesus.”

“Also due to a binding endorsement contract that stipulates I mention Powerade at each grace, I just wanna say that Powerade is delicious, and it cools you off on a hot summer day, and we look forward to Powerade’s release of ‘mystic mountain blueberry,’” Ferrell’s character says in the scene.

Though some NASCAR fans complain the movie leans into the “redneck” stereotype of the sport, many appreciate its ridiculousness. It’s still a part of NASCAR pop culture nearly 20 years later. Stewart Haas Racing partnered with Wonder Bread and Old Spice for the 2023 fall Talladega race. The team’s cars paid homage to the paint schemes of Ricky Bobby and Cal Naughton Jr. in the film.