Like everything in Las Vegas, the NASCAR Champion's Week verges on overkill. But amid all the pomp, circumstance and silliness, sometimes you get some actual, unscripted humor.
After Thursday's cruise down the Vegas Strip, the drivers settled in for a Q&A/roast session that let pretty much everyone relax and enjoy themselves without having to worry about sponsors or NASCAR guidelines. Held at the Hard Rock Hotel, the event featured the stylings of "comedian" Carrot Top, with sample jokes as follows:• Clint Bowyer disclosed that Kyle Busch wears green underwear. When asked how he could possess such terrifying information, Bowyer noted that all the drivers had to change out of their firesuits in one room. Later, Carl Edwards offered to show his six-pack abs if Kyle would show his green underwear. (No sale.)
"All I know," Tony Stewart added, "is there were way too many of you staring at each other's junk in there."
• Speaking of soon-to-be-married Kyle, Jeff Gordon offered his thoughts. "I don't know much about marriage," he said, "but I'm an expert on divorce." Stewart again added a tag-up on Gordon's first wife: "She didn't drive a race car one lap, and she does not deserve his money."
• Edwards, unsurprisingly, is not allowed to duck hunt. And Tony Stewart considers Jersey Shore "the dumbest show I've seen in my life."
• Has Denny Hamlin cried since losing the Cup? "No," he said, then paused and added, "not in public."
• How did Johnson win so many titles? "Good fuel mileage," Hamlin chimed in, smiling.
• Bowyer asked Gordon, "What's it going to be like being a poster child for AARP?" "Best part is," Jimmie Johnson chimed in, "he can't hear a damn thing we say."
• Gordon laughed off shots that he finally took off his helmet for the Jeff Burton fight after not doing so during a confrontation with Matt Kenseth a few years back. "I've gotten so much grief over having my helmet on when I went after Matt, I made sure my helmet was off when I walked up." Bowyer added, "Next time someone goes at it like that, they need to throw a red. I almost crashed into the back of the car in front of me watching you two."
• Tony Stewart told a tale of getting drunk with Kevin Harvick and crank-calling Chip Ganassi, of all people.
Overall, a fine and hysterical evening, and one that should be a fixture of NASCAR events for years to come.
- Tony Stewart