DAYTONA BEACH, FL—In an attempt to boost viewership, NASCAR officials have just approved the use of Mario Kart-style power-ups in every race.
Cars will be equipped with banana peels, red and green shells, mushrooms, and the dreaded blue shell, spicing up races considerably. The move seems to be working, with early ratings predictions showing at least 10 times the viewership of ordinary NASCAR events.
"Who wants to just watch cars make left turns all day?" said one official. "Now, you can watch as cars blast each other with shells and inkblots, and you can revel in the drama and excitement as the last-place racer shrinks everybody else with a lightning bolt."
In addition to the new power-ups, races will be held on sandy beaches, chocolate volcanoes, and giant rainbows in space, adding the opportunity for more twists and turns and drivers falling to their deaths or getting smooshed by a rolling boulder or Thwomp block.
An early test race proved to be much more exciting than a regular NASCAR event, with one driver nearly winning before getting hit by a blue shell and ending up in last place. He threw his steering wheel in anger and disgust, saying the move was "not fair" and "super lame."
For additional safety to counter the added hazards, Lakitu will hover around the races, ready to pick up any car that goes off a cliff or into the drink.