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Muppets pull strings with NASCAR

Drivers Jarrett, Labonte would trust stuffed co-pilots

HOLLYWOOD — NASCAR drivers zoomed into Hollywood Thursday to join forces with the Muppets and unveil racecars emblazoned with the friendly faces.

“Bill Elliott will really be cookin’ in the Swedish Chef car,” announced Charlie Rivkin, president and CEO of Jim Henson Co. at the soiree held on the Jim Henson lot in Hollywood.

Driver Dale Jarrett said he would be most comfortable riding with Kermit behind the wheel because “he seems like he’s in control of his life. I’d put my life in Kermit’s hands.” He also pointed out that since he will be driving the car with Kermit’s likeness that the Green One would be less likely to crash his own car.

Bobby Labonte — who will be driving the car with Pepe the Shrimp’s image — said he would be willing to ride with Pepe as the driver. “With his four hands, I think he would be able to handle the car better than the other Muppets,” he said.

“Most people don’t know this, but frogs are huge fans of NASCAR,” Kermit said. “We’re very impressed at the number of bugs these guys can catch on their windshields and with how few laps it takes them to provide a full eight-course dinner.”

“The Muppet Show” is celebrating its 25th anni this year with the muppet cars making their NASCAR racing debut in Chicago in July.