My Racing Wish List for Santa
Christmas is only a day away and as I sit here jonesing for some kind, ANY kind of racing to watch on televison or read about online, I keep thinking about what I want Santa to bring me for Christmas.
Yes, my wish list includes lots of noble things like a cure for cancer, world peace, the elimination of poverty and a few hearts and souls for select Senators, Congressman, bank presidents and media moguls.
But from a selfish, after-the-important-stuff-is-taken-care-of point of view, here's what I really want Santa Claus to deliver:
- A flash of genius set of specs for the 2012 IndyCar from Tony Cotman. Sometime in the near future, Cotman will release the new chassis and engine rules that will shape the next generation of IndyCars. I want them to be great, not just different or good so America's oldest form of championship motorsports can return to glory ... not necessarily at NASCAR's expense, but if so, oh well.
- An announcement that NASCAR is going back to body shapes that actually look like the cars we see in showrooms and on the street, with full-size sedans in the Sprint Cup Series and ponycars for the Nationwide Series. Oh, and more road races for all three series, including the Camping World trucks, with at least one scheduled for the Chase.
- The abandonment of the Chase format for NASCAR. I believe motor racing championships should be determined by a full season's results, independent of how popular the NFL is when the NASCAR season is winding down, the way they've been since forever.
- The return of racing a full quarter mile for NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car teams. If some tracks can't host races because they don't have enough real estate for a safe runoff area, so be it; move the races to tracks that can handle the speed. And if the cars are just going too damn fast as they approach the finish line then change the rules for the equipment instead of the track.
- A merger between the American Le Mans Series and the Grand-Am Rolex Series -- or at least a comparable rules package. One series has nine events and the other has an even dozen right now, they obviously share no venues and I think a 21-race season would be ideal. Heck, I'd even take dueling conferences, a la the NFL and AFC in football, or the Eastern and Western conferences in the NBA, with the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 12 hours of Sebring, a new six-hour combined race at Road America and the Petit Le Mans as combined events.
- A new, rear-engined dirt/pavement car to replace the Silver Crown car in USAC. Almost forty years ago Carl Gelhausen, among others, introduced rear-engine Sprint Cars that were promptly outlawed because they were going to make all existing chassis obsolete. Bad move. Because now, as a direct result of those actions, the path from dirt to pavement to the Indy 500 has become equally obsolete.
- A series for the Delta Wing car. When Ben Bowlby conceived the swoopy new, ugly-to-some/Natalie Portman -gorgeous to others, no wings, four-banger-powered IndyCar he pushed the edge of the envelope further than anyone thought possible -- or, in some cases, practical. I love the open source design philosophy, the 'green' efficiencies and the premise that 300 horsepower can deliver 230 mph speeds at Indianapolis. Talk about flash of genius.
- A short oval track in or around Phoenix. I live in the fifth largest city in America and now that Manzanita is gone we are bullring-less. The ultimate would be an Irwindale -like 'half mile superspeedway' but I'd take just about anything within fifty miles of the Valley of the Sun, preferably paved, with real VIP Suites instead of the single wide trailers, on top of the grandstands, that swayed like a drunker sailor when the wind blew like Manzy had.
- A "Why can't we all just get along?"-style fantasy racing game for Racing In America and The Henry Ford that follows stock car, sports car, open wheel and even drag racing.
What's on your wish list?
Read more of Bill Tybur's thoughts on fantasy racing at FMFL
Photo Credit: Steven Luftman