Views from the Grandstand
The Perfect Gift Ideas
Special presents for both racers and racing fans
It’s that time again. I’m sure you and your garage elves have been fine-tuning the old sleigh so you can circumnavigate the globe in record time. And I’m sure you’re well aware which drivers, teams and series bosses have been naughty or nice this year.
Still, I wanted to offer a few suggestions. Some of these proposed gifts aren’t exactly what the recipients want, but they are what they — and fans — really need.
Kyle Busch: Yes, Santa, I know he’s NASCAR’s resident bad boy, but he still should get something more than a lump of coal. I have the perfect gift for young Mr. Busch. He needs a track mommy. I know he seemed to get his act together as the season progressed, but I’m not convinced. If he had a mom there for every race, she could listen to his whining, dry his tears and straighten him out as only a mother can.
Joey Logano: He needs the flipside of the parental coin, a new track daddy. Unfortunately for the quiet and disarming young racer, his real daddy has a temper. I don’t begrudge any parent the right to be protective, but Tom Logano’s run-in with Greg Biffle after a Nationwide race was uncalled for. Yes, the Biff put Joey into the wall back in the October California race. But it was just a racing deal, and Joey came back to win. If your child is going to hold a full-time job in a big-league sport, you need to back off and let him handle the on- and off-track incidents himself.
Kyle Petty: Racing fans would love to see Kyle back in a car, but he’s doing a nice job as a TV race commentator. We’d just like you to give him more airtime — as a Project Runway guest judge. For real. Kyle told us via Twitter that he likes the show. And during his appearance, the contestants could design motorcycle apparel that could be spotlighted during Kyle’s annual cross-country trek that raises money for his Victory Junction Camp.
Richard Childress and Kevin Harvick: Please bring both men a case — OK, two cases — of aspirin. They’ll need the medication to ease the pain of the forced smiles they’ll be wearing in 2010 as they soldier through the last year of their contracts. Yeah, yeah, both say all is good, but no one’s seen a happy Harvick in a while. And there was way too much smoke coming from that garage in 2009 for there not to have been some fire.
Tony Stewart: Speaking of smoke, I know it seems as if Tony got his Christmas present early, what with such a successful inaugural year for his new Stewart-Haas team. But please, Santa, bring us fans the old Tony, not this responsible adult wearing the Old Spice-Office Depot firesuit! Tony, we know you’re the boss now, but throw us a bone by throwing a tantrum now and then!
Danica Patrick: The “it” girl of racing desperately needs some dignity, so, Santa, please help her drop the GoDaddy affiliation or at least demand the URL registry company lose those tacky, tasteless commercials in which she appears. And as a stocking stuffer, Santa, help Danica pick a series. She’s been flirting with NASCAR but has also indicated she’ll be back in IRL next season. Running races in both series is a recipe for disaster. If you don’t believe me, take former open-wheeler and current NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya’s advice for Patrick: “You’re going to get comfortable in one thing and then you’re going to get to the other thing, and every time it’s going to be like night and day.”
Dario Franchitti: A set of nice hairbrushes would be perfect since his flowing locks obviously gave him Samson-like ability to claim his second IRL championship this year. Of course, being back in open wheel didn’t hurt the Scot. He definitely was much more comfortable in IRL, and it was great to see Dario rebound from a disastrous detour into NASCAR.
Chase for the Championship contenders: Santa, remember that voodoo doll you brought Jeff Gordon last year to help him try to stop the 48 juggernaut? Well maybe if you give one to all the other 11 Chase competitors, the