September 13, 2006. This was back when the NASCAR Cup Series was sponsored by Nextel. Back when a 20-year-old Kyle Busch was just coming off his rookie season. Back when Jimmie Johnson had yet to win a championship.
On this date, the worlds of late night television and NASCAR collided, when Busch, Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, and the six other drivers in the Chase for the Nextel Cup Championship appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman on CBS for a special Top 10 list.
Clearly, these guys are more in their element behind the wheel of a stock car than in front of a live, New York City studio audience. But, hey, at least they were good sports about it!
Which driver do you think had the funniest line? Here’s a quick cheat sheet.
10. Kasey Kahne: Anyone know how to drive stick?
9. Jeff Gordon: Does this gas taste funny to you?
8. Jeff Burton: I don’t care much for country music or beer.
7. Mark Martin: Switch the “R” and the “C” in “Racing” and you get “Caring.”
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Wow, Letterman looks so young in person.
5. Denny Hamlin: You’re looking at a guy who can drive 500 miles without taking a leak.
4. Kyle Busch: A truly great driver doesn’t mind asking for directions, am I right, ladies?Advertisement
3. Kevin Harvick: It would be nice if the guys in the pits occasionally surprised me with a piece of carrot cake or something.
2. Jimmie Johnson: The Nextel Cup is great, but what I’m really excited for is the Late Show ventriloquist week.
1. Matt Kenseth: If you think I’m fast in my car, you should see me in the bedroom.
It looks like Dave cracked up the most over Jimmie’s line, though probably because he had a little bit of trouble pronouncing the word “ventriloquist.”
Though, the now 44-year-old Johnson would go on to win his first of seven Cup Series championships just a couple months later, so it’s safe to say he got the last laugh.
This post was originally published on March 10, 2020.