Oreo's holiday wish list
It's the holiday season, and whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or even Festivus, there's bound to be gift-giving involved.
Trouble is, people are so hard to shop for. What do you buy the guy (or gal) who seems to have everything?
Terry Blount was your personal shopping assistant for the past few years, but he got a gift of his own this year -- the opportunity to cover the Seattle Seahawks beat for ESPN.com in what could be a Super Bowl season.
But relax ... I'm here to help. I've spent the past two decades crisscrossing the globe reporting on motorsports, so I've got a feel for what those racing types want or need.
There's still time to get gifts to your loved ones before the start of the 2014 season, so get your credit cards ready and place those orders!
Meantime, here's my wish list for racers:
For Tony Stewart: a return to the driver's seat -- any car, any track, any time he wants to race.
For John Force: a major sponsor for 2015 and beyond. A new manufacturer affiliation would be a nice stocking stuffer.
For Sebastian Vettel: a little respect and courtesy from racing fans around the world.
For the IndyCar Series: A blue-chip title sponsor that truly invests in promoting the sport.
Here's a closer look at the paint schemes. pic.twitter.com/mwCOuiNkGw— RCR 3 NSCS Team (@RCR3ADillon) December 11, 2013
For Helio Castroneves: a new Dallara/XTrac gearbox and another shot at an IndyCar Series championship.
For Alex Zanardi: an invitation to drive the pace car at the Indianapolis 500.
For Jimmie Johnson: a little appreciation from outside the NASCAR garage area and a positive reaction to his seventh Sprint Cup title, whenever it may come.
For Clint Bowyer: a prescription for some anti-itch medication that lasts all race long.
For Mark Webber: a successful sports car career with all four wheels on the ground.
For Matt Kenseth: a do-over on the November Phoenix race weekend.
For what is now known as the NASCAR Nationwide Series: a new title sponsor, and a champion who is able to beat the Sprint Cup moonlighters on a regular basis.
For Will Power: a year that starts like his 2012 season and ends like his 2013 campaign.
For Mark Martin: true peace of mind in retirement.
For Danica Patrick: as much happiness on the racetrack as she seems to be enjoying off the track.
For Graham Rahal and Courtney Force: an engagement present for racing's fastest couple.
For Sam Hornish Jr.: a good ride for a good guy.
For Hulman Motorsports leader Mark Miles: a successful inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis to kick start a new month of May tradition.
For Jeff Gordon: one more real shot at winning the Sprint Cup.
For IndyCar Series fans: races where you want them, at places like Elkhart Lake and Phoenix.
For Greg Zipadelli: a big dose of patience for the inevitable flare-ups that will occur with four emotionally volatile drivers in the Stewart-Haas Racing stable.
For Nico Hulkenberg, or any other F1 driver who weighs more than 150 pounds: a rule change that includes the driver in the car's minimum weight.
For oval track operators across America: a warm, dry summer.
For designers in the Chevrolet and Honda Indy car aero programs: a little bit of freedom in their quest to make the Dallara DW12 faster and better looking.
For NASCAR's technical directors: a "Eureka!" moment that inspires something to eliminate "the big one" at Daytona and Talladega.
For Martin Truex Jr.: a place in the NASCAR Chase, with or without help from his teammates or team management.
Finally, for auto racing fans around the world: a peaceful and joyous holiday season, and a healthy new year. See you at the track in 2014!