Generic Race Column

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While it’s still officially almost two weeks off, the Memorial Day weekend marks the traditional kick off to the summer season. With summer comes a multitude of temptations ranging from cold beer to hot cars, from old motorcycles to young women, from napping on the beach to quadding in the mountains. And as the stock car season progresses it sometimes gets hard to tell one race from another anyway. Every writer needs to have an emergency column template hidden away in his briefcase (or in my case, an old Adam 12 lunchbox) for those occasions where daydreaming about Monday keeps you from having a clue what to write about on Sunday. In the interest of helping newer writers and the temporary fill-ins working at some papers as vacation season begins I’ll provide a glance of my template.

Today’s race at (fill in the name) proves…..

A) Even with 36 races on the schedule you’re only going to have a handful of good ones a year.
B) There is no limit to how shameless NASCAR has become in manipulating the finish of races in search of ever greater TV ratings.
C) The best races are held on the circuit’s oldest tracks.
D) Races are won in the pits not on the track.

150,000 rabid fans showed up…….

A) because there’s nowhere else you can drink beer in public at nine o’clock Sunday morning without getting busted.
B) They were told Britney Spears was shooting a topless scene for her new racing movie.
C) Because you don’t have to listen to Darrell Waltrip if you attend a race live.
D) Because they were seeking higher ground as flood waters continued to rise during the weekend.

The first caution flag flew when….

A) Ryan Newman rolled his car.
B) The Pontiac pace car puked a transmission and oiled down pit road.
C) FOX had gone nearly seven minutes without a commercial break.
D) Dale Earnhardt Jr. was in danger of going a lap down.

The race was marred somewhat when…..

A) A delayed shipment of headlight decals left everyone hopelessly confused as to which brand of car was which.
B) Another plate wreck wiped out 41 cars on the first lap.
C) The ISC unexpectedly charged fans in the grandstands $50 a head for “breathing rights.”
D) Derrike Cope qualified.

Dale Earnhardt Jr……….

A) finished 40th but still got more press coverage than the winner.
B) Conducted an interview with Rolling Stone over the radio during the race.
C) Had his chances at a win spoiled by a three minute pit stop
D) Won his 9th consecutive plate race.

Matt Kenseth……….

A) won the event and padded his points lead.
B) Asked his spotter repeatedly to “tone it down a little”
C) Sat naked in the grandstands during the Busch race but nobody noticed him.
D) Qualified poorly.

Jeff Gordon………

A) won the race.
B) Ran a special one race paint scheme intended to sell diecast.
C) Won both races here in 1998.
D) Refused to comment on Brooke’s latest legal filing she was entitled to more than 50% of their marital assets because he constantly left the toilet seat up.

Dale Jarrett…..

A) fired another crew chief.
B) Needed a provisional to make the race.
C) Accused Elliott Sadler of cheating since the 38 is running better than the 88
D) Filmed another hopelessly lame Big Brown Truck ad.

Jimmie Johnson……

A) had no comment on the latest fine his team got for cheating
B) had a Hell of a time outrunning Richard Simmons in that red, white and blue Captain American drivers’ suit
C) was leading until the final lap when he spun out and eventually finished 21st.
D) Used a complex DNA chart to prove he wasn’t cloned from Jeff Gordon

Tony Stewart……

A) Left the track without comment after the race.
B) Punched out a nun.
C) Told a Make-A-Wish kid “bite me.”
D) Appears not to have showered or shaved in a month.

Rusty Wallace…..

A) Expressed confidence he’ll win again eventually.
B) Is older than dirt.
C) Used to dominate here during the 80s.
D) Accused Jeff Gordon of costing him the win.

The Dodges……

A) once again seemed hopelessly outclassed
B) were locked out of the top ten.
C) Finally had a Mercedes Benz three point star added to the grille in an admission of the obvious.
D) Were all run into by Jeff Gordon who is apparently miffed Ray Evernham didn’t show up at his birthday party.

NASCAR officials defended a controversial decision to call the race due to weather despite the face it was sunny out by saying…..

A) Weather radar showed electrical storms were nearby.
B) Younger fans needed to get home in time for their naps for safety reasons.
C) The track belonged to Speedway Motorsports.
D) Mike Helton’s last pan of nachos were apparently eaten by a beagle.

While the new SAFER barriers were not in place, NASCAR said they had made an important stride in safety this weekend in that…..

A) Rejects from American Idol were not allowed to sing the National Anthem.
B) Saint Christopher medals were tie wrapped to the roll cages of all cars.
C) Drivers were told they’d be fined $50,000 if they said anything negative about safety.
D) Fans were allowed to bring scuba gear and inflatable life rafts.

For the tenth consecutive week…..

A) there were no green flag passes for the lead.
B) Steve Park spun out early in the race.
C) The FOX broadcast showed more minutes of Budweiser commercials than actual live racing.
D) Jimmy Spencer tied a string to Kurt Busch’s big toe, flew him like a kite and screamed, “Fly, Dumbo, fly!” during driver introductions.

Rumors flew all weekend that NASCAR…..

A) was adopting a rule change that allowed cars sponsored by “The Official Something of NASCAR” to pass below the yellow line at Daytona and Talladega.
B) Gave Michael Waltrip’s Daytona 500 winning car to Toyota engineers.
C) Asked President Busch to change the picture in the middle of a $100 bill from Ben Franklin to Bill France Jr.
A) Officials were drinking grain alcohol in the control tower again.

Next year this race……

A) Is probably going to be conducted in front of empty grandstands.
B) Won’t be held for the first time in fifty years so an ISC owned cookie cutter can get another race date.
C) Will be moved to prime time at the request of the networks.
D) Couldn’t possibly suck as bad as today’s race did.

The circuit now moves on …..

A) to another bland cookie cutter track in a big TV market
B) for no apparent reason.
C) To New Hampshire. Actual racing resumes in two weeks.
D) To another drought stricken area that’s about to become Monsoon County.



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