Unfortunately, the offseason is upon us. However, last night was the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series awards ceremony and there were some very memorable moments. (P.S. My apologies for not previewing the banquet! I had a bad case of the offseason blues!)
How many season highlight clips did they show? … From the beginning of the “pre-banquet” show to the end of the awards ceremony, clip after clip after clip was shown highlighting different storylines of the 2009 NASCAR season. Though the NASCAR Media Group does a fantastic job with each of these, how many of them did we actually need to see? Not to mention the fact that leading up to the banquet coverage, SPEED aired four 30-minute television shows highlighting different aspects of 2009. Many of the clips aired during the banquet seemed like duplicates showed during the shows. By the time the banquet was over, fans were burned out.
Is there a “Jimmie Johnson Retirement Fund”? … Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, and Greg Biffle seem to think so! Then again, maybe that was just wishful thinking. Who knows? It started when Newman was giving his speech and nonchalantly congratulated Jimmie and his team on their 4th consecutive championship … and then went on to say, “I hope you enjoy your retirement.” Biffle and Stewart both rebutted that they would also like to see Johnson take a NASCAR break. Nice try, boys!
How apparent was the fan presence? … Every driver thanked the fans in their speech, and every time the fans offered up a “you’re welcome” with cheers and applause. At times, drivers were mentioned and introduced and cheers were heard from the seats up above where the fans were placed. Approximately 300 NASCAR fans were in attendance for the banquet, and it showed!
Were the political jokes a bit awkward? … Don’t get me wrong, they were hilarious! Most of them were in good taste and nothing was said that would get bleeped or edited out on regular programming (unless there was something we didn’t see). However, it seemed as though Frank Caliendo got a bit deeper into politics than NASCAR usually ever does. It was a bit amusing to see the faces on some of the audience members.
How fitting was the name of the hotel? … The NASCAR banquet at the “Wynn Las Vegas” hotel … was that on accident? I don’t know, but it works! All of our drivers are “Wynn-ers” (couldn’t resist!) and got to celebrate their season at the hotel that bears the name!
Bonus questions: Did Chad Knaus videotape the banquet? … Who knew Jeff Hammond was so knowledgeable in the world of fashion?! … Who all was more interested in the dates than the drivers themselves?