MARTINSVILLE, Virginia. NASCAR officials have informed representatives of Pope Benedict XVI that he will not be allowed to compete in the Kroger 250 here next weekend because his vehicle, popularly known as “The Popemobile,” violates a number of mandatory specifications.
“NASCAR Camping World Trucks must have four-speed manual transmissions and minimum 650 horsepower engines,” said NASCAR Rules Chairman Wade Bennett. “The Popemobile is a two-door Mercedes ML 430 with an automatic tranny, a 272 horsepower engine and an illegal air scoop–end of story.”
Pope Benedict expressed disappointment with the ruling, and indicated he would appeal. “Eesa notta fair they no letta me ride witha 2007 Rookie of the Year Willie Allen and thee other bad-ass Camping World Truck Drivers,” the German pontiff said in the bad Italian accent that all popes are required to use under Roman Catholic canon law. “Letta me tella you, I was ready to whup Ron Hornaday like an ugly stepchild.”
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a season-long competition in which modified production pickup trucks race for points that may be credited against time in Purgatory, a place of temporary punishment where those who die with venial, but not mortal sins on their souls are made ready for heaven. Craftsman Tools terminated its sponsorship of the race series after the 2008 season, fueling speculation that the Roman Catholic Church would step into the breach, but Camping World outbid the world’s largest religion.
“We view the Camping World Truck Series as a great tool to reach a demographic where we have trouble drawing parishioners,” said Vatican Director of Membership Services Antonio d’Allessandro. “It is hard to recruit from socio-economic groups such as NASCAR fans who believe, wrongly I might add, that we are the Anti-Christ.”
“How come he don’t turn that goofy-looking rig around and git the hell out of here?”
The truck series is the only NASCAR division that does not permit “pit stops,” instead using a ten-minute “halftime” break during which teams can make any changes to their trucks they want. “It eesa mucha better for an old man like me,” Benedict said. “I like to take a giant grape Slurpee with me, and there’s no way I could make it through the Goody’s Cool Orange 500 without a bathroom break.”
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection "Here's to His Holiness: Fake Stories About Real Popes."