Happy Hour : The Official Columnist of NASCAR · Kurt Smith · Friday September 12, 2008
Greetings race fans and welcome once again to NASCAR’s Fifth Annual Big Points Giveaway, where we find 11 NASCAR drivers without the points lead and furnish them with a brand new point total and wipe away those lesser performances!
(Playing of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Give It Away”)
You heard right everyone! Every year before the fall race at Loudon, NASCAR celebrates its ongoing Nextel/Sprint sponsorship with our super smash Annual Big Points Giveaway, and 11 lucky drivers are going to be our winners and walk away with hundreds of absolutely, positively free, no-effort-required points, all courtesy of NASCAR! That’s right race fans, your favorite driver might just be a winner after all!
As they say, all of the teams know the rules going in…overall performance doesn’t matter in the first 26, as long as you are good enough to be a recipient of free and unearned Big Points! Remember drivers, you can have your crew bang a mashed fender in and replace a brake duct to get that car back out for a couple of positions and maybe nine extra points…you can spend 18-hour days in the shop building an engine that is a 10th of a second faster than your opponent’s…you can battle for a position for 20 laps with the very best and win five points…but why go through all of that when you can place 12th in the standings after Richmond, and win as many as four races’ worth of points in NASCAR’s Big Points Giveaway!
NASCAR knows how tough it is out there, and that’s why we’re giving a lift to those drivers and teams that just haven’t been finding the speed. Who among us wants to see a Kyle Busch or Jeff Gordon dominate the series? Certainly not NASCAR, and that’s why we’re giving away our annual Big Points!
So are you ready race fans? Let’s get started finding our lucky drivers and see who the winners are:
- Carl Edwards, after a remarkable 26 races with six wins, unfortunately you are the driver receiving the smallest amount of points in the Big Points Giveaway. But we do have 207 Big Points, and a chance to be almost as even with leader Kyle Busch as you were in the beginning of the season. Thanks for playing Carl! Can you do a backflip for us?
- Jimmie Johnson…too bad you haven’t been racking up Top 15s instead of wins…but we still have 302 Big Points just for you! And good luck with those 302 points in your quest for a third straight title!
- Now it’s time for everyone’s favorite everyman to step up and claim his Big Points! Dale Earnhardt, Jr., you’re racing out of here with 390 Big Points, and stay tuned, because you may just be the recipient of a “last name bonus”, if we can find a way to swing it. Congratulations Junior!
And now in the true spirit of NASCAR…we’re going to take a commercial break and then we’ll be back. Stay with us!
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Welcome back to NASCAR’s Big Points Giveaway! And now for our next winner…
- Jeff Burton…congratulations to you on winning an eighth as many races as our current points leader this year…that performance entitles you to 494 Big Points! Think how long it would take to make up THAT many positions!
- Next up is Tony Stewart, who much to our great relief is a contestant once again in NASCAR’s Big Points Giveaway! Well done, Tony, racking up several second place finishes this season…that certainly equals the performance of your teammate in the No. 18 car! (What? It doesn’t? Shhhh!!!) Here you are Smoke: 593 Big Points!
- Our next big winner is Kevin Harvick, who nailed down a whopping 11 Top 10 finishes in 26 races…who says this team isn’t championship caliber this year?! Kevin Harvick, you have won 595 Big Points!
Getting excited folks? After all, excitement is what the Big Points Giveaway is all about! We’re getting into those big numbers now…numbers that equal as many as four whole races’ worth of positions!
- Our next winner is Greg Biffle, who wins big in part because of not one, but two last place finishes! That makes Greg Biffle a winner…of 598 Big Points!
- Who is next? It’s Denny Hamlin, who put up as many Top 5s as his teammate in the No. 18 put up wins…and that’s good enough for us! Denny Hamlin takes away 643 Big Points!
- Coming up next is that popular four-time pre-Giveaway NASCAR champion, Jeff Gordon! Gordon is receiving Big Points for just the second time in five years of the Big Points Giveaway…so let’s hear it for Jeff Gordon as he takes away 657 Big Points—657 more than he did last season! Remember, the fewer races you win, the more you benefit with Big Points!
- Our runner-up in this year’s Giveaway is Matt Kenseth, who gains big thanks to an early exit at Richmond…well done Matt, and we’re giving you these points in your name! Here it is…746 Big Points!
- And now, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the biggest winner of all…
It’s (drumroll) CLINT BOWYER! Our current 12th place Elvis fan driver who defied the conventional wisdom of auto racing and made it here with just four Top 5s! Congratulations, Clint, you are the big winner in NASCAR’s Annual Big Points Giveaway! And here is your Big Prize—762 Big Points!!!
- And of course, we close out the Big Points Giveaway with a special consolation Big Points prize to the current points leader…uh, wait a minute, no we don’t. Sorry Kyle Busch, better luck next year in our Big Points Giveaway!
Thanks for watching NASCAR’s Big Points Giveaway! Tune in next year…you never know, your favorite driver just may be the lucky recipient of as many as 762 Big Points! That’s more than four whole races folks!
And now, back to the racing. We hope you enjoyed today’s broadcast, and NASCAR would like to thank its remaining loyal fan.
NASCAR’s Annual Big Points Giveaway is sponsored by Nextel/Sprint and ESPN/ABC (remember, hot sex every night on ABC), and is a Brian France Production. Remember the France motto: it’s the show that matters. Hot sex on ABC.
- An interesting statistic, for clarification of an earlier point: if the Chase were in the garbage where it belongs, and for the next four races Clint Bowyer won four times and led the most laps and Kyle Busch finished dead last, Clint would still be farther behind Kyle in points than he is now.
- Sometimes writers at ESPN and NASCAR make the case against the Ultimate Phony Debris Caution better than I ever could when they defend it. David Newton this week cites quotes from NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter and several drivers (you know, those guys who were told earlier this year to stop complaining) as proof the Chase is working as intended. Only NASCAR could pronounce their innovations as smashing successes in the face of plummeting ratings and attendance. There are no limits to how dumb NASCAR and ESPN think this sport’s fans are.
- Now that every remaining race is just a 10th of the championship fight, what will NASCAR do if we have another Indianapolis? It’s hardly improbable…Charlotte and its tricky surface is one of the remaining races, as is Atlanta, where Tony Stewart made it clear in no uncertain terms that Goodyear had not mastered the tire compound. And we haven’t gone to Miami with the winged snowplow yet.
- And I officially close Happy Hour this week with an apology to you, the fine folks who read the Frontstretch, for my grumpy tone this week. I get this way every so often, especially around this time, when I think about how NASCAR’s leadership has been actively and utterly ruining a sport I once loved.
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