Earnhardt Jr. Gets Branded Candy Bar

CHICAGO On the eve of a Dallas press conference where Dale Earnhardt Jr. will disclose his chief sponsor and the number of the new car he will drive, Nascar’s most popular driver joined confectioner R.M. Palmer to launch the Big Mo candy bar.

Palmer, the fifth-largest chocolate manufacturer in the U.S. best known for its chocolate Easter bunnies, spent the better part of a year landing Earnhardt and developing a signature line of candy bars featuring flavors that the driver tested and picked himself—creamy caramel and peanut butter.

The product hits stores in January in a wrapper featuring Earnhardt. Radio spots and appearances on the Nascar circuit will support, but the lion’s share of Big Mo’s outreach will be the “Big Mo’ment” instant-win sweepstakes. The winner gets lunch with Dale, a tour of the JR Motorsports race team shops and a VIP suite for a race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Consumers enter the drawing by submitting a code inside the wrapper to BigMo-ment.com.

The bar is named after Earnhardt’s hometown of Mooresville, N.C., which he and his childhood buddies referred to as the Dirty Mo and themselves as the Dirty Mo posse. The dusty town has since grown and developed thanks partly to the auto racing economy.

“The town is as genuine as this brand is,” Earnhardt said Tuesday at the All Candy Expo in Chicago

He added during the Q&A that he never dreamed of having his own candy bar, and that his father would have been impressed. Hershey’s Foods, coincidently, is rolling out commemorative Hershey Chocolate bars in three wrappers featuring Dale Earnhardt Sr.

“He’d be pretty proud,” Dale Jr. said of his dad. “Remember he was a good businessman, so he’d be proud. But when things like this happen, you knew he was going to be more competitive with the next race.”

Despite prying questions about the coming Dallas announcement, Earnhardt fended off the inquiries and would only say that unlike the Budweiser No. 8 car he had been driving, he’s not staying with the color red.