Jeff Gordon would love to return to Saturday Night Live — and wants to bring Ricky Funck with him (video)

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It’s been over a decade since Jeff Gordon hosted Saturday Night Live for the first and only time.

But with NBC Sports slated to televise more than half of next season’s Sprint Cup schedule – the first of a 10-year contract agreement – might Gordon be back to host SNL sometime soon?

(Hint, hint: Like maybe right after he wins his fifth Sprint Cup championship a little over three weeks from now, perhaps?)

Gordon, who reportedly was a finalist to replace the retiring Regis Philbin on “Live with Regis & Kelly” – the role eventually went to former NFL player Michael Strahan – a couple years ago, would gladly welcome a SNL reprise.

“It was an opportunity of a lifetime and I had a blast,” Gordon said during his weekly media availability Friday morning at Martinsville Speedway. “I was also scared to death to do it. But I’m glad that I did it.”

Gordon, who surprised us a few years ago when we learned he was a former breakdancing whiz, is all ready to do SNL again.

But he has a “request:”

“Just let me go through a Ricky Funck skit,” Gordon said of the hilarious “super cool” mustachioed and mulleted role he played in that 2003 appearance. “That was my favorite thing that I did on the show and I thought it was pretty funny.

“I would love to get the opportunity to do that again.”

Gordon is friends with SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels. If the driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet answers the phone one day and it’s Michaels on the other end asking if the former would be interested in returning to SNL, there’s no doubt what Gordon’s answer will be.

“It’s one of those things where you can’t turn it down,” Gordon said. “If you’re asked, you have to do it. It’s just too much of an honor and an opportunity that you can’t say no.”

Hey, maybe a reprised Ricky Funck skit with Gordon doing a breakdancing routine?

As Ricky would say, “Awesome, dude.”

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IndyCar’s season finale at St. Pete approved to have 20,000 fans

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The NTT IndyCar Series’ season finale will be permitted up to 20,000 fans, making the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg possibly the circuit’s most well-attended race of 2020. The race originally was scheduled as the season opener before being moved to Oct. 25 because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

IndyCar has enjoyed limited crowds at Road America, Iowa Speedway, Gateway, Mid-Ohio and this weekend’s doubleheader races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, which could have up to 10,000 fans in attendance. That had been the largest maximum grandstand crowd for an IndyCar race this season.

At a St. Petersburg city council meeting Thursday, Mayor Rick Kriseman approved plans by race organizers Green Savoree Racing Promotions to hold the Oct. 23-25 weekend for the IndyCar Grand Prix of St. Pete with 20,000 fans who would follow health and safety protocols that include mandatory temperature checks and masks.

 “My thanks to Green Savoree Racing Promotions and IndyCar for their flexibility and resilience during this challenging time,” Kriseman said in a release. “I know that everyone is excited to get back on the track in St. Pete. I can’t wait for Oct. 23rd. I know everyone will embrace this race the St. Pete way, adhering to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Let’s have some great racing in the Sunshine City.”

Paddock and the pit lane will remain closed to spectators, and social distancing of at least 6 feet will be observed on site.

“Our entire team greatly appreciates the patience and understanding of our ticket holders as we worked through this process with Mayor Kriseman, City Council and local health officials,” Kim Green, co-owner, chairman and CEO of Green Savoree Promotions. “It’s important for everyone who attends to read and follow all the COVID-19 protocols to contribute to a fun, safe and successful event for us all.”

“The ongoing guidance and support of Mayor Kriseman, City Council, and the City of St. Petersburg’s event team have been phenomenal,” said Kevin Savoree, co-owner, president and COO of Green Savoree Promotions. “We also would not be in this position to move this spring tradition to fall without Firestone’s unwavering commitment and dedication. It’s going to be a terrific weekend again in downtown St. Pete in three weeks featuring world-class racing from INDYCAR.”