|Mr. Excitement Jimmy Spencer celebrates in Victory Circle after winning the 1998 NASCAR Busch Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. His celebration irritated one of the show girls although it wasn't the one he is pictured with here in the shot taken by Tom Donoghue.
By Mike Henle
The one thing I love about auto racing is that every day is a surprise. Never was that more evident following the 1998 NASCAR Busch Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway won by colorful Jimmy Spencer.
Known as Mr. Excitement, Spencer made history by winning the NASCAR Busch Series race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. However, the problem was that he absolutely infuriated one of the trophy girls while posing for pictures on the victory stand.
I know because I transported the trophy girl via golf cart from near the victory stand all the way to her limousine outside the race track. She had arrived at the track donned in a beautiful gown and her hair was typically prepared for that evening’s edition of Enter the Night at the Stardust Hotel and Casino.
The plan was for her to pose for pictures before hitching a quick ride to her limo. From there, she was scheduled to get married before heading on to appear again at the Stardust later that evening where she was set to appear in the long-running floor show that had appeared for years on the Las Vegas Strip.
But while Mr. Excitement probably never knew what had transpired after she left the victory stand, I think I heard him called every possible cussword in the book for pouring Busch beer all over the trophy girl, her hair and her gown. It was so bad that I think I heard her say she would never get the beer out of her shoes.
You see, booze tends to go everywhere in Victory Circle celebrations, but I’ll bet you the trophy girl had never been to a race before and you can rest assured that nobody warned her what could happen especially if someone like Mr. Excitement happened to win the race.
For sure, this isn’t like taking communion at your local Catholic church.
When Jimmy Spencer wins, he roars in the press room telling everyone how proud he is of his accomplishments. He’s not shy no matter who’s in the general vicinity and good-looking trophy girls with gowns worth thousands are mere targets during his celebrations.
After all, Busch Beer or any other sponsor in auto racing loves celebration ceremonies after a race is concluded. The only problem is that most celebrations don’t include a dancer who had planned to go from Victory Circle to the church and finally on to the showroom without as much as a hair out of place.
Believe me, it was one of those stories that easily could have made what is known as “Pit Notes” in the media center, although the story has remained silent for more than 11 years. In auto racing, stories like these are invaluable and commonly become highlights of shop talk for years to come.
The only problem was that Mr. Excitement’s celebration never got past me and I spent the time headed to the limousine remaining quiet because the trophy girl spewed language that would have made a drunken’ sailor blush. I was so embarrassed by her outburst that I actually considered seeking therapy and billing Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the expense.
I mean, I’m no prude, but this young lady called poor Jimmy Spencer things that made me blush and that’s not easy to do. I kind of thought the attacks would subside after the first F bomb, but this woman went off for a half mile with a tirade that could have rivaled Archie Bunker.
I kept thinking of the floor shows that I had seen and how beautiful the women were. They were so perfect that I could not imagine the words “hell” or “damn” coming out of their mouths and this particular woman shattered my belief all because some race car driver doused her in a little beer.
Those of you who know auto racing realize that Jimmy Spencer is pretty quick to tell it like it is both in the television booth and while driving a race car. He once punched Kurt Busch in the mouth after the two collided and he’s not a bit afraid to rip drivers when he’s in the booth.
People like him and they appreciate his homespun humor. But I guarantee you he has at least one enemy on earth in a leggy showgirl whose language had my ears burning for about 20 minutes as I quickly tried to get her back to her limousine.
If only I had my tape recorder with me as Mr. Excitement was criticized for everything for pouring beer on this gorgeous showgirl to ruining the gown and the hair do. And to be honest, I have wondered for the past 11 years what happened once she stormed into the dressing room at the Stardust.
I could just imagine the conversations as the showgirl walked in the door and her fellow dancers heard about stock car racer Jimmy Spencer the guy who won the race but lost the popularity contest.
It had to be hilarious and I can just hear Mr. Excitement being called everything from a hick to a horse’s patute in the dressing room as the showgirl scrambled to get ready for the evening’s dinner show.
And I still wonder if that particular show girl ever returned to watch another stock car race. God only knows what would have happened had she ever met up with Mr. Excitement again.