Stewart plays 'Smokey and the Bandit' in Mobil 1 ad
March 06, 2014, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
LAS VEGAS -- Tony Stewart was six years old when the movie, "Smokey and the Bandit" was released in 1977.
Thirty-seven years later, Stewart, a three-time Cup champion, is reprising the role of the movie’s star character.
Stewart stars in a series of video advertisements for sponsor Mobil 1, playing off the popular movie that starred Burt Reynolds as the Bandit, Jerry Reed as his sidekick Snowman and Jackie Gleason as Sheriff Buford T. Justice.
In addition to Stewart, the Mobil 1 ads feature former three-time Cup champ Darrell Waltrip as Reed’s character and championship winning crew chief Jeff Hammond as Justice.
"With Mobil 1, I’ve gotten to do some cool things," said Stewart, co-owner of Stewart Haas Racing and driver of the No. 14 Chevrolet in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. "We got to do the seat swap with Lewis Hamilton at Watkins Glen in the Formula One car. I got to drive a tank the next year. They taught me how to drift, which was fun. … They always want to do something fun, something we are going to enjoy.
"They asked me what my favorite movie was just in casual conversation one day. … I said 'Smokey and the Bandit.' I have always loved that movie, loved the Trans-Am."
The six-part video series officially launched Thursday, and two segments will be released bi-weekly. Segments can be viewed at www.Facebook.com/Mobil1 as well as the company’s YouTube channel (www.YouTube.com/Mobil1). The complete series will be available for viewing in a single-play episode March 25.
Mobil 1 is the official motor oil of NASCAR and an official partner of Stewart-Haas Racing.
Stewart, who owns a Trans-Am similar to the car used in the movie, said the film is a staple among friends and it’s screened each year before the group goes on vacation.
"That’s how the vacation actually starts," he said. "Three of us actually get together first and we watch the movie the night before we go on vacation. That’s how our trip starts every time. … We recite the movie the whole time it’s going on. … We’re just all kind of passionate about it."
Waltrip said he was pleased to get the opportunity to recreate the role of The Snowman, played by Reed on the big screen.
"Jerry Reed was a really good friend of mine back home," Waltrip, now lead analyst for NASCAR on FOX.
"I knew Jerry really well, I loved his music. 'East Bound and Down,' we all know that song. I think all of us have a little bit of Jerry Reed in us. We all kind of like to have fun. I love basset hounds."
Reed’s character traveled with his pet basset hound, Fred.
"It was perfect for me; I got to have fun, act silly and have my dog along with me," Waltrip said.