Tony Stewart’s ‘Smoke IS the Bandit’ comes to an end with ‘The Big Finish’; see entire series (VIDEOS)

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“Smoke IS the Bandit,” the faux remake series of “Smokey and the Bandit” starring NASCAR star Tony Stewart, has come to an end.

The aptly-named “The Big Finish” was released Thursday, ending the six-episode series (including the prequel promotion episode).

The final edition concludes with Stewart (aka The Bandit) and his sidekick The Snowman (Darrell Waltrip), delivering a truckload of Mobil 1 oil 10 minutes before the deadline of a bet they had with Big and Little Enos (Ricky Craven and Hermie Sadler).

The final episode is followed by a few humorous outtakes, just like the original movie itself.

The original Smokey and the Bandit had two fairly forgettable sequels, but it’s unclear if Stewart will reprise his role in another series for Mobil 1.

However, he left the door open by agreeing to yet another bet with Big and Little Enos to pick up a truck of Mobil 1 transmission fluid in Boston.

We’ll kind of miss not seeing more episodes, but we have to wonder one thing: how is it that everyone in the series is billed with their regular names, but Kenny Wallace gets special billing of “Special Guest Appearance by Mr. Kenny Wallace”?

Just sayin’.

If you missed any of the episodes, they follow below in order, as well as a special “Behind the Scenes” version:

Series Introduction:

Episode 1: The Challenge

Episode 2: The Pickup

Episode 3: The Interview

Episode 4: The Sheriff

Episode 5: The Big Finish

Special episode: Behind the Scenes

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

April 9 in Motorsports History: Al Unser Jr. gets sixth Long Beach win

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The list of winners in the Grand Prix of Long Beach is a ‘who’s who’ of open-wheel racing.

Mario Andretti won at the famed street course four times. His son Michael won there twice.

Paul Tracy is also a four-time winner at the beach. Alex Zanardi, Juan Pablo Montoya, Sebastien Bourdais, and Alexander Rossi also have won at the famed course multiple times.

But there is only one “King of the Beach”: Al Unser Jr.

The winningest driver in the race’s history, Unser won at Long Beach four consecutive times from 1988-91. He won again in 1994 and entered the 1995 edition as the race’s defending champion and the defending CART champion as well.

Starting fourth, Unser made slight contact with Gil de Ferran when he passed the Brazilian on Lap 3. He then continued to move up to the front, taking the race lead from Teo Fabi on Lap 30.

Once he had the lead, Unser ran away from the field, winning by more than 23 seconds over Scott Pruett.

Unser’s victory was such a familiar scene that after the race, CART news manager John Procida began the winner’s news conference with the following statement: “Well, we have a very familiar face on the top rung of the podium. As we listed on the prerace press release, this seems to be the Al Unser Invitational.”

Indeed it was. Unser’s victory was his sixth at Long Beach, and the 28th of his career. overall. While it would be his last win there, Unser continued to race at Long Beach through 1998 before missing 1999 with a broken leg and moving to the Indy Racing Leauge in 2000.

In 2009, Unser was inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame, which honors significant contributors to the race and California motorsports community.

“It truly is just an honor to be mentioned with the names and the legends that have already been put into the sidewalk,” Unser said during the induction ceremony. “To have Brian (Redman, the inaugural winner of the race) and Parnelli (Jones) is really an honor and just to be in their company is very, very special.”

Also on this date:

1971: Jacques Villeneuve was born in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada. The second-generation driver was one of the best in open-wheel racing during the 1990s, winning the Indianapolis 500 and CART championship in ’95 and becoming a Formula One champion two years later.

1989: Rick Mears dominated CART’s Checker Autoworks 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, leading every lap from the pole and lapping the field.

2011: Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas won the Porsche 250 at Barber Motorsports Park, their sixth consecutive victory in Grand Am competition. Their lengthy win streak, which started on Aug. 7, 2010 at Watkins Glen, prompted Grand Am to offer a $25,000 bounty for any Daytona Prototype team that could beat the dominant duo. The Action Express trio of Joao Barbosa, J.C. France, and Terry Borcheller finally unseated Pruett and Rojas in the series’ next round at Virginia International Raceway.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter @michaele1994