- Terry Blount, ESPN Staff Writer
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So what's under the tree?
Santa has some gifts that made the wish list of folks around the racing world, so let's take a peek inside the bag:
• For Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- A chance to say "I told you so" in 2008 and prove to the doubters that he can win big on a top team like Hendrick Motorsports.
• For Jeff Gordon -- Some justice, winning the 2008 Cup title after someone else built a big points lead in the regular season.
• For the Nationwide Series -- A 2008 champion who isn't a full-time Cup driver.
• For Dale Jarrett -- A victory in one of his final five Cup races next season.
• For Danica Patrick -- That elusive IndyCar win to get the monkey off her back.
• For John Force Racing -- A win for Ashley Force, a successful comeback from injuries for John, a Funny Car title for Robert Hight and a year without tragedy for the NHRA team.
• For Teresa Earnhardt -- A kinder/gentler image, a bigger presence at races and a year of stability, tranquility and competitive racing at DEI.
• For Cup team owner Gene Haas -- A get-out-of-jail-free card.
• For Petty Enterprises -- Bobby Labonte contending for a Chase spot in the No. 43 Dodge.
• For Helio Castroneves -- A written guarantee for as much success in the 2008 IndyCar Series championship as he had dancing on prime-time TV.
• For Kasey Kahne -- An erase button for 2007 and a rewind button to make 2008 look more like 2006.
• For Robert Yates -- A blissful retirement while watching his son, Doug, return the Cup team to respectability.
• For open-wheel fans -- A unification between the IRL and Champ Car that you've waited on for 12 years.
• For Bernie Ecclestone -- Free visits to Great Clips and LensCrafters.
• For Las Vegas Motor Speedway -- A thank-you note to send to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the second Cup date LVMS will get from NHMS in 2009.
• For Homestead-Miami Speedway -- A Chase finale in which five drivers are within 50 points of each other for the Cup title.
• For Toyota -- A sophomore Cup season that includes a few wins and a couple of drivers in the Chase.
• For Clint Bowyer -- Another run at the Cup title and a chance to cross the finish line in the Daytona 500 on his wheels instead of on his roof.
• For Pocono Raceway -- A track diet that reduces the length of both Cup events by 100 miles each.
• For the Car of Today -- An exciting run in the COT's first Daytona 500 and good racing on the 1.5-mile ovals.
• For the open-wheel newbies in Cup -- Enough success to make the first year interesting for Dario Franchitti, Sam Hornish Jr. Patrick Carpentier and Jacques Villeneuve.
• For Joe Gibbs Racing -- Toyotas that can win and a chance to show it isn't the manufacturer, but the quality of the team that brings success in Sprint Cup.
• For Michael Andretti -- An Indy 500 victory by taking one last shot at the ultimate prize that has eluded him.
• For A.J. Allmendinger -- A spot in the Cup field every week to prove he's a much better driver than some people think.
• For Juan Pablo Montoya -- A Cup victory on an oval track.
• Boris Said -- The full-time Cup ride he deserves.
• For Tony Eury Jr. -- A speedy learning curve through all the detailed data he must absorb at Hendrick Motorsports.
• For Michael Waltrip -- A Daytona 500 without fuel additives.
• For Dale Earnhardt Inc. drivers -- Engines that don't blow up.
• For Reed Sorenson, J.J. Yeley and Dave Blaney -- Finally earning that first Cup victory.
• For Fernando Alonso -- An armored truck to hold all 50 million of those dollars he'll earn next season.
• For the Formula One teams -- A seminar at the CIA on the proper techniques of spying without getting caught.
• For NHRA legend Kenny Bernstein -- Contentment in his second retirement.
• For Kentucky Speedway -- A settlement in its lawsuit against NASCAR/ISC that everyone can live with.
• For Paul Menard -- A last-lap pass on Tony Stewart (his biggest critic) to win a Cup race.
• For International Speedway Corp. -- A successful negotiation to build a new track in New York, Denver or Seattle.
• For Indianapolis Motor Speedway -- A full house again for the Indy 500.
• For California Speedway -- A Labor Day weekend Cup race with temperatures below triple digits.
• For Aric Almirola -- A photographic memory so he can absorb and recall everything Mark Martin shows him and tells him.
• For Chad Knaus -- A season without a NASCAR-mandated vacation for breaking the rules.
Terry Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.