Much like in the majority of his football career, Peyton Manning’s visit to Bristol Motor Speedway resulted in his ruining everything, from an errant throw to a bad start by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“I was shocked to see Peyton Manning drop the football I handed him”, said broadcaster and former driver Michael Waltrip. “I mean, it’s the easiest thing in the world, just holding a football, and he couldn’t do it. I guess all those things they say about him being a choker are true?”
Upon recovering from his pit road gaffe, Dale Earnhardt Jr.—of whom Manning was his official guest—strangely was unable to get his car going at the green flag, causing stack-up damage behind him in the field.
“Dammit, I knew I shouldn’t have let him touch my car!” Earnhardt Jr. was overheard saying shortly after the race started and his car did not. “I tried to send him over to Danica (Patrick) but he was afraid she’d have a vulgar mouth—that big-headed schmuck ruined our race!”
Dale Jr. was not the only driver angered by Peyton’s apparently contagious poor performance.
“It’s another of those damn legacy kids!”, and enraged Aric Almirola shouted over his radio after being stacked-up behind Earnhardt Jr.’s 88 car. “No, not Junior, I meant Manning—his daddy was a quarterback too, you know. And I’m NOT throwing another driver under the bus…well, again.”
Despite a pair of Super Bowl wins, Manning has frequently been criticized for a perceived tendency to “choke” in clutch situations.
“It’s that idiot Manning again!”, said Dale Jr. fan Jerry Alexander. “This is just like when he couldn’t beat Florida at Tennessee. Heck, let’s get Tee Martin out there—Junior will lap the field!”
Manning was unavailable for comment, but it is expected that he’ll put all the blame on Jim Mora again in a later radio interview.