Tide and Joe Gibbs Racing announced today they will bring back one of the most iconic brands in the history of NASCAR for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, September 4. Tide’s unforgettable orange and yellow paint scheme has been reborn as a more powerful Tide PODS Toyota Camry, and will be driven by Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth.
This potent combination of the new Tide PODS entry and Kenseth will pay homage to the rich history of Tide while exemplifying the strength and evolution of the brand. For 20 years, an entire generation of racing fans cheered for the iconic “Tide Ride.”
Driven by some of the sport’s legendary figures, including Darrell Waltrip, Ricky Rudd and Ricky Craven, the car amassed 20 total wins from 1987 to 2006. Each driver contributed a fabled chapter to the Tide Ride story—Waltrip’s famous victory lane dance following his Daytona 500 win in 1989; Rudd gutting out a win at the 1997 Brickyard 400; and Craven capturing the closest win in the sport’s history (.002 seconds) at Darlington in 2003.
“With Tide celebrating its 70th anniversary as a brand, there’s no better time to return to our roots in NASCAR for the Southern 500, and introduce a new generation of fans to the powerful new Tide PODS car,” said Amy Krehbiel, Brand Manager for Tide. “Matt Kenseth’s track record has proven him to be the type of commanding talent that we’re proud to align with the Tide PODS brand.” As the newest driver to compete for Tide, Matt Kenseth brings nearly 20 years of experience in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including 38 wins and the 2003 series championship.
Tide will also serve as an associate sponsor on the remaining three Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas of Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards for the Labor Day weekend event. Additionally, the Nos. 18, 19 and 20 entries will carry Tide as an associate for the following two events at Chicagoland Speedway and Richmond International Raceway. Both Tide and Joe Gibbs Racing are also celebrating substantial company anniversaries this year, further strengthening the significance of the partnership and return of the iconic brand to NASCAR for these select events.
“This is a thrill for us,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “Not only is this a throwback paint scheme that we know the fans will be excited for, but it is with a sponsor that has a tremendous history in our sport. This is our 25th Anniversary season at Joe Gibbs Racing and I know it is the 70th Anniversary of Tide. They really are a historic brand in our country and their new partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing for Darlington is a real honor.”
The Tide Ride
An entire generation of NASCAR fans fell in love with the iconic orange and yellow “Tide Ride,” and became lifelong fans of its legendary drivers during Tide’s storied history in the sport. On September 4, 2016, those fans will be able to relive those memories as the new Tide PODS car will hit the track at the Bojangles’ Southern 500, signaling the return of one of NASCAR’s most recognizable partners.
When Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth takes the wheel of the new, more powerful Tide PODS car, he’ll reignite a legacy that’s spanned three decades, paying homage to the rich history of Tide while exemplifying the strength and evolution of the brand. Tide’s involvement in the sport began in 1987 with a full-time sponsorship of Darrell Waltrip and his No. 17 team.
The brand continued as a highly-recognizable and universally loved sponsor of the sport through the 2006 season, with a front row seat to some truly triumphant NASCAR moments: 1989: Darrell Waltrip finally captures the Daytona 500 title, and dances the Icky Shuffle in victory lane. 1997: Ricky Rudd powers through the field for the Brickyard 400 win at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2003: The Tide Ride enters the record books with the closest finish in NASCAR Sprint Cup history when Ricky Craven edges out Kurt Busch for the win at Darlington Raceway by 0.002 seconds.
In all, as a primary sponsor Tide amassed 20 total wins and powered 203 top-ten finishes (out of 628 total starts) throughout its 20-year involvement in the sport. While not a prominent partner in the sport at the time, in February 2012 Tide was part of a memorable piece of NASCAR and pop culture history. Near the finish of the Daytona 500, the No. 42 car lost control under caution and collided with the back of a jet dryer.
Nearly 200 gallons of jet fuel from the dryer dumped onto the surface of the track, almost immediately igniting a large fire, with heat from the burning fuel severely damaging the asphalt. After putting out the flames, track safety workers poured numerous, large boxes of Tide detergent all over the track, using brooms to scrub it into the surface.
Known for its cleaning power since its inception, Tide’s unique formula saved the race from ending prematurely, allowing teams to get back on track and race to the finish. The remarkable clean-up efforts made national headlines and once again proved Tide’s powerful clean can handle any job, no matter the size.
Fans can follow @JoeGibbsRacing and @MattKenseth on Twitter for exclusive content featuring Matt Kenseth and much more, as well as live updates during the Bojangles’ Southern 500. Kenseth and the No. 20 Tide PODS Toyota Camry will hit the Darlington Raceway track surface on Sunday, September 4, with live coverage on NBC beginning at 6:00 pm ET.