Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 26, 2012

De la Bastide: Racing season tips off with New Year’s Day Bash

Columnist offers his Christmas wish list for the racing community

By Ken de la Bastide
Tribune columnist

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

Anderson Speedway will be hosting 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 be competing 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.

Dear santa

Since this is the day after Christmas I made a wish list for those connected with racing.

• To the United States Speed Association plenty of competitors as it attempts to revive non-wing pavement racing for sprint cars. The track 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 of all is a race as exciting as that of 2012 with plenty of passing for the lead. The second is a driver with ties to American short track racing emerges 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.

• A safe season to all drivers, officials and race teams in 2013.

Ken de la Bastide may be reached at ken.delabastide@kokomotribune.com or 765-454-8580.