Friday night at the annual NASCAR awards banquet, Jimmie Johnson will deliver a really boring speech. He'll thank his team, his family, his myriad sponsors, Rick Hendrick and Jeff Gordon. Ten seconds after it's over, people will forget that he gave a speech in the first place and the legend of the Vanilla Racer will live on. Want to punch up your image, Jimmie? Here's the speech you should give:
[Standing ovation as he takes the stage to receive the championship trophy]
Wow. What can I say? Four championships in a row. No one has ever done that. No one. There are so many people I need to thank: my team, my family, my fans and my sponsors, but I won't. I've won four straight championships, I can say anything I want... and I will.
First off, thanks to Frank Caliendo for hosting tonight's event. Frank, your material is timeless... and the less time I hear it, the better! Frank is so bad at impressions, when he sets foot on the beach, he doesn't leave a mark in the sand.
I see the Roush guys aren't here yet. I heard they had some car trouble. Did you see Carl Edwards' shirtless photos in ESPN The Magazine? Carl is a very handsome man. He's got six-pack abs, sexy five-o-clock shadow... and four empty spots on his mantle (cause he hasn't won any championships)! I can't joke about Carl, though. When I crashed at Watkins Glen, the rescue team didn't bring the Jaws of Life... they used Carl's chin to pry me out.
Please give a hand for that great tenth-place speech by Kasey Kahne. I've always thought of Kasey as the best worst driver in NASCAR. I tease Kasey cause I love him. He's a lot like his sponsor Budweiser. They're both your last option at a party.
Thanks to NASCAR chairman Brian France for organizing this event. I won't be making any jokes about Mr. France's legal troubles because the case is closed to the public. Although, he wouldn't be in this mess if his zipper was closed as tight as his legal case.
NASCAR sure knows how to market the sport to the mainstream. They choose late Friday night on the SPEED Channel rather than ESPN at a more favorable time this weekend. Who runs publicity department for NASCAR, Tony Eury Jr.? Last year, our awards banquet was at the Waldorf-Astoria's grand ballroom. This year we're in a hotel conference room in Vegas that's been double-booked for a seniors keno tournament.
You guys have been great. I'm off to enjoy an evening in Vegas with my model/wife. Enjoy the veal, make sure to tip your waitresses and I'll see all of you in my rearview mirror next year!
Real diary of a NASCAR driver