Every year I (used to) publish a list of Christmas wishes for the Late Model Stock Car racing community. Some are meant to be serious and some are meant to be somewhat funny.
So with that said here are my Christmas Wishes for the racing community.
Mother Nature – Something to make her happy. We can’t take her crying (rain) anymore. In the Roanoke Valley area of Virginia (where I live) over 75% of the weekends were saturated with rain. We need a drier 2019.
Motor Mile Speedway – A resurgence like we’ve never seen before. We as a racing community need all the race tracks and touring series and racers we can get. And having this prominent racetrack shuttered for 2018 wasn’t good for short track racing in our area.
CARS Tour – What do you get the series that has everything? How about a huge turnout for the $30,000 to win Old North State Nationals at Orange County Speedway in April. That and an even higher average car count throughout the season.
Zeke Shell – A straight truck arm. Yeah, he bent his a little during the last race at Kingsport Speedway before driving like a man possessed to win the track championship.
Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown – Some better weather. I know we could say this about any event but no one wants to be at Langley Speedway in the bone-chilling weather they had this season. Sunny and 75 works for me…
Corey Heim – How about a trophy to go with his three wins this season? Nothing will replace that Grandfather Clock he was robbed of at Martinsville but maybe a trophy in one of his 2019 Late Model Stock Car starts will soothe the pain.
Layne Riggs – A complete race at South Boston in November? This guy has had the worst luck when it comes to that track and the CARS Tour finale. It cost him a title in 2017 and he looked for redemption this season only to have a broken heart once again.
Orange County Speedway – This track was probably most plagued with rain this season only was able to get a handful of races in (less than any other track I believe). The ones they did get in were pretty good. Here’s to hoping that they can avoid weather woes and have a great 2019 season.
Philip Morris – How about a sixth NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Championship? I mean even his haters could appreciate a six-time National Champion.
Tri-County Motor Speedway – A few more races and fewer issues with the asphalt. The fans deserve to see more racing on that incredible track layout and the racers deserve to get to race there. It’s a favorite of everyone’s and we need to have more races there.
Bubba Pollard – This isn’t really a wish for him but more for fans of Late Model Stock Car racing. We want to see him race more. That performance at Martinsville from taking a car that wasn’t to his liking and didn’t have the speed to put it on the outside of the front row for a late restart at Martinsville was epic. This guy is maybe one of the all-time great racers like Dick Trickle and Richie Evans and we need to see him in more Late Model Stock Car races.
SouthEast Limited Late Models – With the chance of new life through new ownership from the Hackett family that owns Caraway Speedway, the Southern Modified Racing Series, the 602 Tour and more, it’d be great to see this series that’s been on life support for years take command of the Limited Late Model racing scene again and get back to having some great events at great venues.
Rodney Cook Classic – Another event that needs some seriously different weather. Two years in a row since the track and the event was taken over by Robert and Jason Turner, the event has been plagued by weather. This event is for one of the greats of Late Model Stock Car racing and it deserves to run as originally scheduled. It is a week later this year and that might help. Fingers crossed.
Anthony Anders – I hope that he gets Greenville-Pickens Speedway back. He’s been negotiating to get the track back and he still has some promoter life left in him despite the challenges he’s faced the last four years running the track.
NASCAR Officials – Some serious rest and relaxation before the 2019 season gets started. You guys work hard and have to deal with so much from so many angles (including me from time to time).
Eastern North Carolina Track Owners/Promoters – I wish you guys would get on the same page. It’s time to work together. There’s no area with more tracks concentrated in such a small area and you guys are beating each other up. Work together on schedules and events and rules.
Hoosier Tire Company – I want you guys to stop selling the F-45. It doesn’t last and isn’t good for the short track racer. In this economy, you and the race tracks who purchase from you owe the racer a chance to be on a good long lasting tire. And stop going up on your prices. It’s time for a price hold, the racers can’t take any more increases. That F-50 is a good tire, the Hoosier 970 is an even better tire and we need to be working our way in that direction. Will you help us?
Southside Speedway – I wish you and your racers more coverage or any from race22. We’re going to get out there and help promote you guys races sometime this year. You guys have a great program and deserve the coverage.
Lee Pulliam – I wish you’d get back out there racing more. I know the business of LPP needs you to not be behind the wheel but you’re one of those guys we need on the track week in and week out. Even your haters want you out there if for no other reason than what you bring to the table.
Carteret County Speedway – Wishing you guys an incredible season in honor of Bobby Watson. He was a great man and I want to see his legacy carried out in ways that only he could have imagined.
Thomas Scott – A win to go with those runs you had at South Boston this past season. Man, you were impressive and we’re hoping you get a win there sometime this upcoming season.
Cole Bruce – He isn’t really running Late Model Stock Cars yet (Limiteds, same thing) but come on man, we want you to pass tech. So fewer disqualifications should be in your stocking.
Caraway Speedway – We’re hoping you guys get back on your feet. We know 2018 was a rough season and having to cut races wasn’t what you wanted to do. That History of Caraway Speedway page has proven one thing for sure, that we shouldn’t let that place die out. Here’s to hoping your moves for 2019 will net big results.
Trevor Ward – Wishing you continued success. It was good to see you come to life at the end of the season in 2018 and we’re hoping you’re going to be a bigger part of the mix this season.
Woody Howard – I want to see you back in victory lane. Looking through old photos the other night of when you were one of the top Late Model Stock Car guys in that yellow 30 car, makes me want to see more of you in 2019 and for you to get back to winning form.
Josh Berry – How about a Martinsville win? Yeah, I’d like to see you finally get that one this year especially after the way this year’s race ended for you.
Myrtle Beach Speedway – You guys have been tops in the car count department the last couple of seasons and we’d like to see that continue. Also hoping this IceBreaker continues to grow and becomes one of the major big races of the season. There’s nothing like going to Myrtle Beach in February to kick off the season.
Tommy Lemons, Jr. – How about a trip back to victory lane? I’d like to see you back in winning form as well.
Justin Milliken – A win in the Myrtle Beach 400. It’s time for you to get that done.
Justin Johnson – I know you said you “retired” but I don’t believe you or at least I hope you catch the bug by March. I’m thinking you’d make a great entry to the $30,000 to win CARS Tour race at Orange County … just sayin’
Late Model Stock Car teams – Wishing you will have no more engine rule changes after the rules are set for 2019. It’s time to shut down all the rule changes and get this back to being fun and not about who can afford to buy the most different engine combinations.
Martinsville Speedway – The chance to put together a new staff (some of the old guards can stay) and to get better organized for the biggest race in the country. Don’t let another year of last second rule changes and terrible race calls scar what is the biggest race of them all.
And to the rest of you guys out there I wish you nothing but success and good times in the 2019 season. If I didn’t mention you don’t take it personally, I was just spitballing and hope to see all of you at a race track soon! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!