He didn’t come back alone, either

Ricky Bobby is back, folks. Sort of. The star of Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby now has his own Dodge commercial. Ok, so it’s not really Will Ferrell reprising his role as the GOAT of all NASCAR drivers, but the commercial does star Bobby during his childhood in 1981 where, apparently, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat also exists.

His childhood friend, Cal Naughton Jr., is also in the commercial, even though it’s also the childhood version of the character played by John C. Reilly. The “Shake” to Bobby’s “Bake” can be seen driving a Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock. Bobby’s father, Reese Bobby (played by Gary Cole), is also in the commercial — he’s the only one reprising role — driving a Dodge Durango Hellcat.

El Diablo has returned!

Ricky Bobby Returns to Our Lives in New Dodge Commercial
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To those who don’t remember, Ricky Bobby is the fictional NASCAR race driver played by Will Ferrell in the movie Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

It’s arguably one of Ferrell’s most memorable roles among his long list of sports comedies. The movie was released in theaters in 2006, and to this day, it’s still a must-watch movie if you’re after a good laugh. There’s no word on a sequel so this commercial from Dodge is about as good as it’s going to get.

The commercial stars a young Ricky Bobby, who, in keeping with the movie’s plot, is already driving a 2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat Redeye in 1981.

Yes, it’s confusing, but that’s the point. Young Ricky is joined by his father, Reese Bobby, with Gary Cole reprising his role in the movie. A younger version of Cal Naughton Jr. — the older version was played by John C. Reilly in the movie — also joins in on the fun with a 2021 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock and together, Ricky and Cal recreate the famous “Shake ’n Bake” move that the two made famous in the movie. Ricky spins his Charger Hellcat Redeye and passes both his dad and Cal while driving in reverse.

Ricky Bobby Returns to Our Lives in New Dodge Commercial
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The scene then cuts to young Ricky addressing the camera, saying that lawyers have requested that he puts out a disclaimer that kids weren’t actually driving these muscle cars. From there, a burly old man that we assume to be Cal’s stunt driver gets some screen time.

What’s the point of the commercial?

Ricky Bobby Returns to Our Lives in New Dodge Commercial
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First, it’s about showcasing Dodge’s trio of high-performance models.

The Charger Hellcat Redeye and the Challenger SRT Super Stock received a lot of the camera time, but Reese Bobby’s Dodge Durango Hellcat also got some love.

Second, it’s about Dodge’s recent awards. The automaker recently topped J.D. Power’s APEAL Study and Initial Quality Study, making it the first time an American automaker achieved this feat in the same calendar year. Naturally, Dodge wanted to celebrate this achievement, and there’s no better endorser for the job than the man who made the quote “if you ain’t first, you’re last” famous.

As Ricky Bobby (also) used to say, “Hi, I’m Ricky Bobby. If you don’t buy (insert product here), then (expletive) you.”

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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