While NASCAR enjoyed some time off, my family and I steeled away to Disney World in Florida.
On the way home we, as a family, continued to bond over our love of NASCAR and Disney by assigning a driver (or owner) to a Disney character.
This was a Team 187-created article; it took all five of us to compile this list. We hope you all enjoy and take our offerings as they were intended – in good fun with no ill will intended at all.
In addition, all copyrights, trademarks, and legal names belong to NASCAR and The Walt Disney Company.
Now, without further ado, here is the NASCAR/Disney connection according to Team 187.
We begin with the ringleader and most iconic figure, Mickey Mouse. Jeff Gordon fits the bill in size, stature, popularity, and… high voice! Who’s the leader of the club? It’s Gordon!
Mickey Mouse’s loyal and lovable dog is Pluto, his best friend. So, being they are teammates, Kasey Kahne, who is cute, lovable, and adorable and plays second fiddle to Gordon, gets the nod as Pluto.
The current “super hero” in NASCAR boasting six Sprint Cups is Jimmie Johnson. Who better to connect Johnson to than Mr. Incredible from the movie The Incredibles?
Rounding out the Hendrick Motorsports stable, Dale Earnhardt Jr. needs to be a very important role. He takes top honors as Prince Charming. He is the one who captures the collective heart of Junior Nation and keeps them coming back for more. He inspires romance, happy endings, and the desire for conquering evil!
Moving on to Stewart-Haas Racing, we begin with its namesake and number one driver, Tony Stewart. Notorious for thinking highly of himself the logical connection to a Disney character is the over-the-top Gaston from Beauty and the Beast.
Kevin Harvick is the suffering Donald Duck. He’s played second fiddle to many in his career in NASCAR – from Dale Earnhardt to the Dillon Brothers, and now to his teammates at SHR. This is an ideal role for Harvick who is trying like mad to break out of his downstage role.
Kurt (and brother Kyle) Busch were going to be the Stabbington Brothers from Tangled. But, I know they are not bad guys at heart so I dug deeper and came up with…
The tramp from Lady and the Tramp for the elder Busch. He’s scrappy, uncouth, yet lovable and redeemable. His love for his girlfriend (and her son) is palpable and seems to have tamed the scoundrel inside.
The beautiful Danica Patrick was an easy choice as Snow White. Lovely, surrounded by little (race car driving) men, and not doing much, Patrick fit the role swimmingly.
As a counterpart, Richard Petty perfectly fits the role of Snow White’s evil step mother after his comments about Patrick earlier this season.
“Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the best race car driver of them all?!”
Penske drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are cute, playful, annoying, and, well, perfectly cast as the irascible rascals Chip and Dale, the chipmunks who get into trouble but always seem to end the day okay.
In the Roush garage – once referred to as the Roushkateers – it was similarly easy to cast the drivers.
Carl Edwards is ideal as the Beast from Beauty and the Beast. He can be a charming prince of a man – witty, funny, insightful, and genuinely kind to his fans – but he has an inner beast that has reared its ugly head on the race track more than once!
Greg Biffle gets relegated to Prince Eric, the kind and goofy prince in The Little Mermaid. He’s not a main character, more of a supporting role. People love him but many forget about him.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., until he proves otherwise in Cup, is like one of the 101 Dalmatians! He’s cute but many like him have come before and since…
Picture team owner Richard Childress as The Lion King’s Mufasa if you will. The sun will set on him one day and… guess who can’t wait to be king?
Austin Dillon as Simba! He’s bratty (according to some though not me) and entitled, but he is royalty and he will one day ascend to the throne if he learns how to rule the kingdom wisely.
Ryan Newman becomes Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story franchise. And, of course, Paul Menard becomes the character of Woody from the same.
What about Kyle Larson, the other young one in the line up? He is definitely Lightning McQueen from Pixar’s Cars Movie! He’s tearing up the series with impressive finishes and unbelievable skill.
McQueen has a best friend in Mater so Jamie McMurray gets that role. Larson has already said McMurray has given great advice and been a good friend.
In the Joe Gibbs Racing garage Matt Kenseth gets the role of Christophe from Disney’s latest blockbuster, Frozen. He’s a bit socially inept, has a dry sense of humor, and has “unmanly blondness”… not really, but you get the drift. Really, Kenseth defies categorization but Christophe gets his dream girl in the end, is a winner, and an all-around good guy. I think the Kenseth fans can get behind that description for their driver.
Kyle Busch was released from being a Stabbington Brother with his own brother Kurt. Instead, remembering the flourish with which he bows upon winning I’ve bestowed the character of [Mad] Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. If you can come up with something better, please be my guest!
Denny Hamlin earns the role of Flynn Rider or Eugene Fitzherbert from Tangled. Part scalawag, part hero, part rogue, and part comedian, this character fits Hamlin.
This little connections article wouldn’t be complete without a nod to Michael Waltrip Racing.
Mikey Waltrip wins the role of Goofy hands down. If you didn’t think so before, simply watch some of his grid walks and you’ll be certain!
Clint Bowyer is the lovable and hilarious Olaf from the film Frozen. It works, really!
And finally, Brian Vickers is the lovable Peter Pan.
Well, really, aren’t they all?!
I hope you enjoyed Team 187’s collaboration of NASCAR drivers and their Disney character connections.
If you agree with our assessment, that’s terrific! If you feel some of the drivers were miscast, please leave your suggestions below!
As always, I love to hear from you all.
Fortunately for us all NASCAR racing resumes this week from Richmond!