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Stewart stars in popular TV ad

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Tony Stewart can recite nearly every line in ''Smokey and the Bandit'' and high on his bucket list is meeting star Burt Reynolds to discuss the popular 1977 movie.

He may never get that chance, but sponsor Mobil 1 gave Stewart the opportunity to pretend he was Reynolds in the role of Bandit.

The three-time NASCAR champion stars in a series of video advertisements called ''Smoke is the Bandit with Mobil 1'' that plays off the movie with Reynolds as Bandit, Jerry Reed as sidekick Snowman and Jackie Gleason as Sheriff Buford T. Justice.

The six Mobil 1 ads also feature Darrell Waltrip as Snowman and Jeff Hammond as Justice. Ricky Craven plays Big Enos, Hermie Sadler is Lil' Enos and Nicole Briscoe is Frog.

It's the latest perk for Stewart from Mobil 1, which previously set up a seat swap with him and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, allowed him to drive a tank in the infield at Charlotte Motor Speedway and learn how to drift.

''I've gotten to do some cool things,'' Stewart said Thursday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as the first episode was released. ''They always want to do something fun, something we are going to enjoy. They asked me what my favorite movie was just in casual conversation one day. I said `Smokey and the Bandit.' Didn't hear anything else about it, and then they came back to me with this.''

The series will be released over three weeks this month on Mobil 1's Facebook page and YouTube channel, and additional behind-the-scenes photos and content are included. It will be available for viewing in a single-play episode on March 25.

Stewart, who owns a Trans-Am similar to the car used in the movie, said as a tradition he watches the movie with three friends the night before they go on vacation together.

''That's how our trip starts every time,'' he said. ''We recite the movie the whole time it's going on. We're just all kind of passionate about it.

''There's a lot of things in that movie that nowadays, our culture, that people would throw a fit. Every year that we watch it over and over again, you're like, `Man, they could never remake that movie.' It just was good the way it was.''

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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