|Keselowski shot away from Kyle Busch off the 4th corner as if he had a hidden nitrous oxide bottle. Does the post-race inspection check the driver's pockets for small NOx bottles and plastic tubing…..or was it the shake and bake move that did it?
No matter what your opinion of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' race at Talladega was, at least it had an exciting finish. The move made by race winner Brad Keselowski on runner up Kyle Busch caught us all a little off guard but, make no mistake about it, it was effective.
During the final lap of a NASCAR restrictor plate race, at Talladega and Daytona, it's preferable to actually be running in second place in order to set up a sling shot run to the checkers coming out of the speedway's tri oval. That's exactly what we observed during the Talladega NASCAR Nationwide Series race when Joey Logano stole a last moment win over Kyle Busch.
On the final lap of the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup race, Keselowski was racing down the backstretch with Busch glued to his rear bumper. Going into turn three, Keselowski purposely steered his Dodge towards the high side of the turn and then slid back down in front of Busch's Toyota. Effectively what happened here was Keselowski broke the two car tandem, and gained a lead of a few feet which was just enough to allow him to drive to the checkers without having to deal with the anticipated challenge we were all expecting. Busch was completely surprised by the move and even seemed a little confused by it after the race.
In victory lane Keselowski said the move was planned in case a two car tandem situation presented itself on the final lap. He also said that he put a lot of thought into it and even claimed that he dreamed about it. NASCAR observers immediately dubbed Keselowski's surprise move as "the shake and bake."
The term was very appropriate. It was used in the movie "Talladega Nights: The Ballard Of Ricky Bobby" as a catch phrase for leaving the competition behind. With the #51 James Finch owned Chevrolet, driven by Kurt Busch, painted like the Ricky Bobby car, there were quite a bit of "Talladega Nights" quotes during the broadcast of this race.
To us old school fans, that would be at least 50 plus years old, the term Shake and Bake has a completely different meaning. It's in reference to a brand of a flavored bread crumb style coating for chicken and pork. The product is applied by placing raw meat pieces in a plastic bag containing the coating then shaking the bag so the particles adhere to the meat which is then baked in an oven. Shake and Bake was first introduced in 1965 by General Foods and is currently marketed under the Kraft Foods brand.
In the 1970's the product had a popular television commercial featuring a mom and a child shaking the plastic bag. The mom says "it's Shake and Bake" while the child screams "and I helped."
One can't help but wonder if this isn't a great time for Kraft Foods to join NASCAR's marketing program. This is especially true in light of the fact that there are two restrictor plate races remaining on the 2012 schedule: July 7th at Daytona and October 7th at Talladega. With every team in the Sprint Cup garage witnessing the Shake and Bake move, we're bound to see it again at both of these races.
Imagine, if you will, this possible scenario for a new Kraft Foods television commercial:
The scene opens with Brad Keselowski standing in victory lane, with a big smile on his face, while holding a chicken leg covered with Shake and Bake bread crumbs.
The confetti cannons, normally loaded with small pieces of brightly covered paper, are filled with Shake and Bake. Keselowski and his Penske Racing team are standing in victory lane completely covered in Miller Beer, Gatorade and Shake and Bake crumbs.
With a great deal of enthusiasm, Keselowski waves the chicken leg in the air and says "Shake and Bake put me in victory lane." All of a sudden Kyle Busch steps in front of the camera and yells "and I helped."
It could be the making of a classic television ad.
So, what would it take for Shake and Bake to become the official flavored bread crumbs of NASCAR? First off, Kraft Foods would need to purchase a brand new ball point pen because it's going to take a lot of ink to write a check that big.
However, with the strong possibility that we may see the Shake and Bake move in at least two more, nationally televised, races this year it could turn out to be money well spent.