David Ragan will bring a familiar face to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' season-opening Daytona 500. The iconic image of Colonel Harlan Sanders will return to the No. 34 Ford Fusion as KFC and Front Row Motorsports team up for one of racing's biggest events on Feb. 22 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
As NASCAR celebrates the 57th annual running of the "Great American Race," KFC and Ragan will celebrate 75 years of Original Recipe chicken, made from the world-famous recipe created by the Colonel and still used by KFC cooks across its 4,300 U.S.-based restaurants.
The Daytona 500 partnership follows a successful pairing last season when Ragan and KFC caused fans to do double-takes as an in-car camera showed a KFC Go Cup of chicken inside the No. 34 Ford as Ragan raced at nearly 200 miles an hour around Talladega Superspeedway.
"It's great to have KFC back on our No. 34 for another superspeedway race," Ragan said. "We had fun with the partnership last year, we got them lots of attention running up front, and we look forward to doing that again in Daytona. It is a great feeling to be backed by such an iconic American brand like KFC, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary of cooking the world's best-tasting chicken."
Ragan returns to the No. 34 Ford for his fourth year with Front Row Motorsports and his ninth full-time season in the Sprint Cup Series. The 29-year-old driver has two wins in the series, including one at Daytona.
"KFC is proud to partner with David Ragan again this year and support his team in the Daytona 500," said Kevin Hochman, Chief Marketing Officer for KFC U.S. "Many NASCAR fans know that there's nothing better than a bucket of our Original Recipe Kentucky Fried Chicken to enjoy watching the race, and this is our way of saluting them."
Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins, who is also a KFC franchisee, is proud of the platform his team can offer to companies wishing to showcase their products to NASCAR fans.
"I'm always very proud when a partner wants to come back to the racetrack with us," Jenkins said. "It proves that we were successful and we can build on that success. Last year, we had people talking for days about how David was racing with a Go Cup in his car. This time we'll plan on people talking about us eating KFC Original Recipe chicken in Victory Lane."