The continuing saga of Smoke Is The Bandit — check out Episode 3: The Interview

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Okay, the first two episodes of Tony Stewart’s new online series “Smoke Is The Bandit” were admittedly cheesy … but funny.

But Thursday’s release of Episode 3: The Interview is downright hokey. And that’s being kind.

Still channeling the Burt Reynolds/The Bandit persona, Stewart “picks up” ESPN broadcaster Nicole Briscoe – dressed in a white wedding dress ala “Frog” (Sally Field) from the original movie “Smokey and the Bandit.”

Briscoe goes along with the gag, thinking she’ll get an exclusive interview with Stewart in return.

But Tony sinks further into his Bandit alter ego and Briscoe essentially tells him to take the interview and, well, you can figure out the rest.

Let’s just hope Episode 4, due to be released next week, is better. That, or maybe it’s time to bring in a new crew of scriptwriters.

Check out Episode 3: The Interview below:

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F1 2017 driver review: Carlos Sainz Jr.

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Carlos Sainz Jr.

Teams: Scuderia Toro Rosso (1-16), Renault (17-20)
Car No.: 33
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P4 (Singapore)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 54
Championship Position: 9th

Carlos Sainz Jr. has always been compared to Max Verstappen given their relative rise and stint together at Toro Rosso, but the Spaniard began to forge his own impressive path through 2017, securing himself a works drive with Renault in the process.

Alongside the struggling Daniil Kvyat for much of the season, Sainz led Toro Rosso’s charge, scoring 48 of its 53 points with a string of impressive drives. His headline moment came in Singapore when he matched Verstappen’s best result in Toro Rosso colors by finishing fourth, capitalizing on the start-line crash and the wet weather with a strong display.

Sainz’s displays led to a call from Renault, who announced just two days before his star display in Singapore he would be joining up for 2018 on loan from Red Bull. However, the deal was accelerated after a deal was brokered to secure Jolyon Palmer’s departure, allowing Sainz to join up from the United States GP onwards.

Sainz made an immediate impression, completing a perfect race en route to seventh on debut for Renault to secure six points that would prove crucial in the final constructors’ championship standings as the French team beat Toro Rosso to P6 in the standings at the last race of the year.

Red Bull retains an option on Sainz’s future beyond 2018, making him a candidate for a seat with its senior team should Daniel Ricciardo opt to leave. Failing that, Renault could offer Sainz the platform he needs to continue his rapid rise in F1 and establish himself at the front of the pack for many years to come.

Season High: Finishing fourth in Singapore after dodging the start-line drama.

Season Low: Crashing out in his final Toro Rosso appearance on the first lap at Suzuka.