Driver, team owner and now actor: Tony Stewart’s first edition of ‘Smoke is The Bandit’ is released (video)

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After teasing us a few days ago with a brief video of what was to come, the first episode of Smokey Is The Bandit, featuring NASCAR star Tony Stewart, is out.

And while it may seem a bit hokey seeing Stewart mimicking Burt Reynolds in Smokey and The Bandit – especially Smoke’s fake mustache (we’ve already found him with two different color types) and the bushy Elvis-like sideburns – the new video is full of fun and frivolity.

Featuring Ricky Craven and Hermie Sadler as Big Enos and Little Enos, the goal is for Stewart to go to Texarkana, Texas, to pick up 400 bottles of Mobil 1 Oil. NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip plays The Snowman (the late Jerry Reed did so in the original Smokey and The Bandit).

Two episodes in the series will be released each week, according to producers. The first episode, “The Challenge,” is below.

“Smokey and the Bandit is still my all-time favorite movie,” said Stewart. “Bringing this legendary movie back to the screen – with the Bandit’s black Trans Am and all – has been an absolute blast and I hope the fans have just as much fun watching the videos.”

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NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
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Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

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