Even though it was back in the early ‘90s, it seems like only yesterday that I wrote my first letter to Santa on behalf of all of those wonderful individuals in the sport of Sprint Cup racing.
I have asked for a lot on behalf of those that we love to watch on race day, and in many cases that wish has come true. Of course as we all know, there are a few that end up on that ol’ naughty list and if that is the case, my letter does very little to influence the man in the red suit.
I believe 2011 was a great year for the sport and I hope that Santa will agree and bring a few items that I know some folks could use before the green flag drops in February at Daytona. So here it goes, my 2011 letter to Santa!
Dear Santa: Please remember Carl Edwards when you head south this week. What he would want most would be enough Sprint Cup points to count on one hand. Maybe he can start the new season with “your” bonus points and if history repeats itself, he will get what he always has really wanted.
I know the Busch brothers, Kurt and Kyle, are on your naughty list, but they sure could use a little something to help them through a tough time. A couple of scholarships to “How to Play With Others” might be all they need to really uncap their potential.
Seems like I am always asking for something for Dale Jr. and just like last year, please bring him a bunch of victories and a championship run. It would sure go a long way in making the media come up with a different set of questions to ask him during every interview.
Mark Martin may have a beard as white as yours if he would let it grow out, but he still has that desire to take another checkered flag. He will not be returning to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012 but will run 25 races for Michael Waltrip Racing. Please, Santa, let his final years in the sport find him as competitive as he has been his entire career, so a surprise victory or two would sure look good under his tree.
Santa, it sure would be nice if you could stuff a little cash in the form of a sponsor in the stocking of 2003 Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth. His three wins this season and a fourth-place finish in the final standings should entice would-be sponsors, but it seems this late in the year that he may need the kind of help that only comes from you.
All Kentucky Speedway is looking for from you this year is a plan on how to get cars off the interstate and into the parking lots before the green flag drops. I know it is working hard on the problem but as many times as you will park your sled on Christmas Eve, you might need to tell your secret on how to create parking spaces when there just aren’t any.
NASCAR needs a plan to break up the two-car tandems that now dominate the racing at Daytona and Talladega. Another set of rule changes before the green flag waves at Daytona would be nice as a gift for the sanctioning body, especially if they work this time.
Trevor Bayne’s victory in the Daytona 500 and Regan Smith’s win at Darlington sure were good for the sport this past season. A couple of more wins posted by drivers yet to make a visit to a Sprint Cup victory lane would be great publicity for NASCAR. Andy Lally comes to mind as one such driver.
I sure don’t want to leave out the fans that read this column all year long. Please bring them another championship chase that comes down to the last lap of the last race along with a parking spot at Bristol that is less than a two-day hike from the track.
My last wish goes out to all of the fans that I have come in contact with through this column. Thanks for your loyalty through the years, and I hope that your Christmas is the best ever and that you and your family keep the true meaning of this wonderful season close to your heart all year round. Merry Christmas!