NASCAR: April Fools’ Day jokes of years past

Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images) /

While the world is in no place for tricks and gags for obvious reasons, take a look back at some NASCAR tricks of April Fools’ Days past on April 1, 2020.

The coronavirus pandemic has left the world in a state of uncertainty, and while Beyond the Flag has been known for some of its wacky April Fools’ Day articles in recent years, the staff within the FanSided Network justifiably came to the conclusion this is still not the appropriate time to play misleading gags.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t try to help lighten the mood during an otherwise dark time. So instead of trying to trick anybody, let’s take a look at some of our NASCAR jokes from April Fools’ Days past.

2014 – Danica marries Ricky

In 2014, NASCAR drivers Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. were still dating. That led to the joke that they had gotten married…and switched Cup Series teams, with the former leaving Stewart-Haas Racing for Roush Fenway Racing and the latter leaving Roush Fenway Racing for Stewart-Haas Racing.

Must Read. Danica Patrick marries Ricky Stenhouse Jr., leaves Stewart-Haas Racing. light

The never ended up getting married, as they broke up in December of 2017. Patrick has since been dating Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

She did leave Stewart-Haas Racing at the end of the 2017 season, and she made her final NASCAR start in the 2018 season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway for Premium Motorsports. Stenhouse did end up swapping teams, but with Chris Buescher after the 2019 season. Stenhouse now drives for JTG Daugherty Racing.

2015 – Brian France OUT as NASCAR CEO

A joke, or a prophecy?

Must Read. Brian France steps down as NASCAR CEO. light

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Well, it turned out to be somewhat true. In August of 2018, after he was arrested for driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of oxycodone, Brian France did take a leave of absence from his position as chairman and CEO of NASCAR, and he has not returned. Jim, his uncle, has served in his role ever since.

2016 – Tony Stewart to un-retire

At the time, Tony Stewart was still competing full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series, but he had already announced his plans to retire at the end of the 2016 season. On April Fools’ Day 2016, however, his plan was apparently to return for the 2017 Daytona 500.

light. Must Read. Tony Stewart to un-retire, run 2017 Daytona 500

Of course, that never happened, but what did happen is somewhat ironic: he did get his first Daytona 500 in 2017. The Stewart-Haas Racing team co-owner won the “Great American Race” for the first time when Kurt Busch took the checkered flag behind the wheel of his #41 Ford.

2018 – Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch retire

Denny Hamlin was still in hot water with much of NASCAR’s fanbase for derailing Chase Elliott’s Championship 4 bid by wrecking him out of the lead in the round of 8 race at Martinsville Speedway the previous October.

Must Read. Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch announce retirement in joint statement. light

And Kyle Busch is, well, Kyle Busch. Many fans were hopeful, only to remember what day it was. And I’m not talking about the fact it was Easter Sunday.

2019 – Carl Edwards returns, Kyle Busch fired

2019 included two separate NASCAR April Fools’ Day jokes. The first was the idea that Carl Edwards was returning in a fourth Team Penske car.

Must Read. Carl Edwards to return, drive for Team Penske in 2020. light

This car would supposedly be from Wood Brothers Racing, which have a technical alliance with Roger Penske’s organization. Apparently some didn’t get the joke, as Wood Brothers Racing literally took to Twitter to tell people that we were joking.

Rumors of a potential Carl Edwards return have existed since the day he announced his unexpected retirement back in January of 2017, so naturally many wanted to believe this was true.

In fact, we’re pretty sure that one site picked up this rumor and actually ran a story with it about Edwards returning in 2020.

For the second joke, we have the usual suspect of Kyle Busch, who, had April Fools’ Day not been “cancelled” for 2020, would have been the subject of a few more jokes, much to the chagrin of some — and the delight of others.

Must Read. Kyle Busch OUT at Joe Gibbs Racing after Texas controversy. light

This joke was reliant on Busch winning the Truck Series and Xfinity Series races, but not the Cup Series race, at Texas Motor Speedway the week leading up to April Fools’ Day.

Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. He placed 10th in the Cup race.

In a made-up quote by team owner Joe Gibbs, he stated the following:

"“I told Kyle before the weekend that I didn’t want him to win against the kids [in Xfinity] this weekend, and he did it anyway. What about my guys? What about Christopher [Bell] and Brandon [Jones], the guys here for me full-time who go out there each week to win a championship?“At this point, Kyle’s just taking away all these wins from guys just for the spotlight and to pad his lower series resume and I’ve had enough of it. It’s time for a change. Guy’s got a candy-sponsored race car in Cup and still feels the need to take candy from all the babies. Sad, really. Then he goes out there on Sunday and can’t do anything against guys at his level. 10th place? Come on. It’s just time to move on.”"

Indeed, we did move on — but to April 2, not to another driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota Camry.

Next. Top 10 NASCAR drivers of all-time. dark

For this April Fools’ Day, we wish all of you good health and safety, and hopefully everything will be back up and running, NASCAR included, in the very near future. Oh, and hopefully instead of an April Fools’ Day recap, we can get back to joking around in 2021.