Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

December 28, 2012

Racing starts next week

Gift wishes for 2013

By Ken De La Bastide

— Weather permitting, the 2013 racing season in central Indiana will begin on New Year’s Day.

Anderson Speedway will host the annual New Year’s Day Bash with racing action set to begin at 1 p.m. I always recommend that people dress like they’re attending a Chicago Bears game at Soldier Field in December.

Drivers in the Street Stock, Thunder Cars, and Front Wheel Drive oval and Figure-8 divisions will compete in heat and feature races.

Dress warm and kick off the start of the 2013 racing season instead of sitting home and watching a college bowl game. In general, the racing on New Year’s Day is pretty exciting.

Since this is a few days after Christmas and just before the New Year, I made a wish list for those connected with racing.

To the United States Speed Association: Plenty of competitors as the USSA attempts to revive non-wing pavement racing for sprint cars. The USSA also needs some tracks such as Winchester and Lucas Oil Raceway to agree to host the sprint car series.

To the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Two wishes for 2013. First is a race as exciting as 2012’s with plenty of passing for the lead. The second is a driver with ties to American short-track racing to emerge as the race winner. Think of the boost the series would get if a Brian Clausen or Ryan Hunter-Reay won the 500.

For central Indiana race fans: More events on the oval at Lucas Oil Raceway. The track is one of the best in the nation and is only hosting a handful of events. For some reason the ARCA Menards Series is not scheduled to appear during the Brickyard 400 weekend.

Continued growth for the JEGS/CRA All Star Tours with higher car counts and increased interest from fans in the Midwest.

To Danica Patrick: A course in anger management and to learn patience as she competes in the Sprint Cup series. Patrick’s credentials to climb to the top of stock car racing are doubtful at best. Danica, the “big boys” aren’t going to put up with any silliness on and off the track.

For Carl Edwards: A victory in 2013. After almost winning the Sprint Cup title in 2011, Edwards suffered through a terrible year.

A full-time sponsor for Indiana racer David Stremme as he continues to try and return to Sprint Cup racing on a full-time competitive basis.

Good weather for local track promoters on race nights. Without clear, warm nights it’s hard to keep a track operating at a profit.

For NASCAR fans: Tighter racing, fewer questionable caution periods, and a wish that the new qualifying procedures bring an end to the start and park teams.

Finally, a safe season to all drivers, officials, and race teams in 2013.

— Ken de la Bastide is the Kokomo Tribune enterprise editor. He can be reached at 765- 454-8580 or via e-mail at ken.delabastide@kokomotribune.com