Race Wars — Episode 102
NASCAR second-year driver Dickie Gillette is angling to take the throne of racing legend Hank King, by any means necessary.
Episode 102 – The Cloud
(Kenny Gillette’s pickup is hauling a trailer through the the murky swamplands of central Florida. The Gillette Brothers and Earl Salisbury — chief mechanic on the Dickie Gillette racing team — pull off on a long stretch of dirt road and unload the trailer. Dickie jumps in the driver’s seat of his #47 car — sponsored by Prince Toilet Paper — and Earl pops the hood, a green glow shining against his face…)
Dickie: Nothin’ like the smell of swamplands in the mornin’.
Kenny: (scrunches face) Smells like dookie. (guffaws) Good thing you’re sponsored by a toilet paper company.
Dickie: (frowns) I hate my sponsor. Why couldn’t they just put ‘Prince Paper Products’ on there? Why’s it gotta specifically say ‘toilet paper’. They gotta make other stuff. Paper towels? Napkins?
Kenny: Nope. Just toilet paper. Real scratchy toilet paper, too; I tried it. Ripped my butthole up.
Dickie: Gross, Kenny. How’s that nuclear engine lookin’, Earl?
Earl: Hummin’ like a kitty cat, Dickie. What say we give this puppy a whirl?
Dickie: I got the need for nuclear speed.
Kenny: Are you guys sure this is safe?
Earl: Kenny, it’s just a small stockpile of illegal black market North Korean nuclear plutonium modified into a boot-lidded fuel-injected V12 stock car engine. It’s safe as apple pie.
Kenny: Well, pie is pretty safe. ‘Cept when you burn the roof of your mouth. I always burn the roof of my mouth.
Dickie: Well, the only thing I’m gonna be burnin’ is rubber. Clear the road, boys. I got a hankerin’ for some gas pedal spankerin’.
(Earl and Kenny dive into the ditch and peek out as Dickie revs the engine, dust billowing in a cloud behind him. The #7 car takes off in a flash and is soon a distant speck on the horizon before coming to a squealing halt…)
Earl: (climbing out of the ditch) Why’d he stop? He had another half-mile on that straight-away, easy.
Kenny: (dusting himself off) Maybe he saw a toad. Dickie’s always had a soft spot for animals. Except crocodiles. He hates crocodiles. Maybe he saw a crocodile.
(A light flashes back near the stock car, as Earl and Kenny faintly make out Dickie sprinting towards them waving his arms wildly…)
Earl: The heck’s he runnin’ for?
Kenny: I told you. He musta seen a crocodile. Or a really big toad.
(The two pit crew members strain to hear Dickie faintly shouting…)
Dickie: Get down! Get down!
Earl: What’s he sayin’?
Kenny: (cups hand to ear) Sounds like, ‘Big toad, big toad’.
(Dickie makes it all the way back to where the truck is parked and tackles Earl and Kenny behind it…)
Earl: (looking up at Dickie laying on top of him) Dickie, what in the hell has gotten into you?
Dickie: There may be a slight problem with the engine.
(Hank King is in the skybox office of his boss and team owner Cliff Lord at the Daytona International Speedway. The two men stare out the window at a towering mushroom cloud coming from the marshes a couple counties over…)
Hank: What in the hell is that?
Cliff: (turns back to desk) Probably just a twister. Now what is all this hullabaloo I’m hearing about you retiring?
Hank: (shrugs) I’m retiring.
Cliff: Well, that explains the hullabaloo. But just who exactly told you you could retire?
Hank: I did.
Cliff: And what gives you the idea that you have the ability to make such decisions without consulting me?
Cliff: Hank, you got into racing so you wouldn’t have to use your brain. You leave all the brain-usin’ to old Uncle Cliffy here.
Hank: Cliff, I’m old. I’m tired. It’s time for me to move on. And since when has anyone been callin’ you ‘Uncle Cliffy’?
Cliff: People call me all sorts of things. And you’re over when I say you’re over, King.
Hank: I’m retiring, Cliff. I’m giving you one last season and the courtesy of telling you now. But after this season, I’m finished.
Cliff: Hank, I don’t have time for this right now. We’ve got a twister headed straight for us. I’ve gotta get home and make sure my family’s alright.
Hank: You hate your family.
Cliff: I love my family. And you’re my family. The Lord Racing family. And my family ain’t a buncha quitters.
Hank: You’re not gonna change my mind on this, Cliff.
(A shockwave shatters the skybox windows and knocks both men to the floor, as car alarms echo outside…)
Cliff: (from under desk) You see what you’ve done, Hank? You’ve angered the gods with this whole retiring hullabaloo!
Hank: (picking self up) Stop saying ‘hullabaloo’.
Cliff: But I like it.
(Dickie, Kenny and Earl are driving Kenny’s pickup truck back to Daytona Beach in silence. Kenny’s eyebrows and Earl’s mustache have been singed off and the men’s faces and clothes are blackened from the blast…)
Dickie: Good thing Kenny put that extra coat of lead paint on the truck. Hehe.
Dickie: ‘Cause we all coulda been…you know…dead. Heh.
Dickie: (reaches into back) Anybody want an ice cold bee–oh, nope. The cooler melted.
Dickie: There’s plenty of North Korean plutonium left, if that’s what you guys are worried abou–
Kenny: (smacks Dickie in the face)
(Margie King is on the balcony of the King’s beachfront estate, on the phone with Cliff Lord…)
Cliff: Marge, we’ve gotta nip this in the bud. Hank’s retirement will cost me millions; and with the Speedway in the state it’s in; buyers circling like vultures, I just–
Margie: Cliff, I’ve got it handled. I’ve got Hank’s agent wrapped around my finger.
Cliff: I’ve heard that’s not the only thing that scumbag Bill Pole’s wrapped around.
Margie: I’ll have you watch your tongue.
Cliff: I dunno, Midge. Hank seems hellbent on this retirement thing.
Margie: Bill knows how to push Hank’s buttons. What’s the one thing Hank hasn’t had in the past decade?
Cliff: A bath?
Margie: Competition. He just needs some young driver to get his juices flowin’ again.
Cliff: (taps chin) I might know just the kid.
Dickie: (juicy belch)
Radio: The Daytona 500 will be postponed until the end of the season after this morning’s mysterious blast — which authorities are attributing to swamp gasses — blew out every window in the tri-county area. The NASCAR season will now officially begin next weeken–
(Dickie clicks off the radio and hands Akeem another can of Gator Beer. The two friends are sitting in the wooden bleachers overlooking a quiet old dirt race track in East Daytona Beach…)
Dickie: You know, this track is where I first fell in love with racing.
Akeem: And from these auspicious beginnings came the man who nearly blew up Florida.
Dickie: C’mon, Akeem. That was an accident. I remember I was a kid, no more than four or five, and Mama took me here to watch Hank King’s last race before he went pro. That’s when I knew I wanted to race cars for a living.
Akeem: And now you’ve gone and blown up your race car…along with half the wetlands.
Dickie: (throws empty can onto dirt track, pops open another) A minor setback.
Akeem: Tell that to the dozens of animal species you’ve certainly driven to extinction.
Dickie: (chuckles) You’re such a drama queen, Akeem. There’s no way they can pin that on me.
(At the site of the explosion, a HAZMAT team and DBPD are scouring the reeds for evidence…)
Officer: Sheriff Knotts, you oughta see this.
(Sheriff George Knotts waddles over in his HAZMAT suit and an officer hands him a large #7 sticker from the hood of a stock car…)
Sheriff: (eyes narrow) Dickie.
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