Commentary

It's the season of giving in NASCAR

Updated: December 23, 2010, 1:02 PM ET
By Terry Blount | ESPN.com

Santa wish mail boxSteve Klaver/AP Images for Macy'sDid all the people in NASCAR get their wishes in on time?

I've been shopping for almost a month now. Hey, some of you people are downright mean on Black Friday.

You can't just cut in line at 4 a.m. to beat me to the $59 laptop deal. They had three of those and I was No. 4 in line, so it wouldn't have helped you anyway.

Nevertheless, through my extensive browsing, along with avoiding becoming a hit-and-run victim from Grandma's scooter racing down the 20 percent-off aisle, I found some things that might come in handy for a few NASCAR guys in 2011.

If any of you could see the bandaged way I wrap presents you might think I threw them all on the track moments before a Martinsville restart. But wrapping challenges aside, it's what's inside that matters.

It's the thought that counts, since all these gifts cost me nothing. So let's tear open the snowflake paper and check out my annual Christmas gifts under the NASCAR tree:

For crew chief Steve Letarte, who moves to the No. 88 Chevrolet in 2011: A gift card that gives him retro access to the Dale Earnhardt Jr. from 2003 and 2004 instead of the Junior from 2009 and 2010.

For Denny Hamlin: A FedEx package containing the book, "The Power of Positive Thinking."

For Kyle Busch: A transfer order that automatically moves some of his Nationwide and Camping World Truck wins to the Cup series.

For Jeff Gordon: A science kit that gives him the chemistry with new crew chief Alan Gustafson that he had years ago with Ray Evernham.

[+] EnlargeDanica Patrick
AP Photo/Wilfredo LeeWould an Indy 500 win finally convince Danica Patrick to give NASCAR a go fulltime?

For Danica Patrick: A commitment card that reads: "All In or All Out." A part-time schedule in NASCAR doesn't work, as we saw in 2010. And flip the card over. The other side reads: "You Can Win the Indy 500." It's your best track. If you win it, you can silence the doubters and make the full-time move to NASCAR with no regrets.

For Team Red Bull: A judge that will throw out Scott Speed's lawsuit.

For each NASCAR event: A starting field in which every driver in every car attempts to run the entire race rather than going to the garage before the first pit stop.

For Clint Bowyer and the No. 33 Chevy team: A high-tech measuring device that specializes in widths of less than a quarter.

For the regular-season Cup points leader: A 20-point bonus to start the Chase.

For the dashboard on every car: A speedometer.

For Teresa Earnhardt: Smooth travels to any race and easy access to any track in 2011 to prove she still cares.

For Matt Kenseth: A giant cake, which Robbie Reiser pops out of on Christmas morning wearing a banner that reads: "Your new crew chief is your old crew chief."

For Cup race winners in 2011: A guaranteed spot in the Chase as long as you finish in the top 20 in the regular-season standings.

For the Nationwide Series: A rule change that guarantees a Nationwide-only driver wins the 2011 title.

For the Camping World Truck Series: Access to the fountain of youth and a series champion in 2011 who is under 40, something that hasn't happened since 2003.

For Daytona International Speedway: A new racing surface that's as good as the old one, without the potholes, of course.

For every speedway: A qualifying format with more drama and fewer guaranteed spots, which will bring more people to the track on Fridays.

[+] EnlargePaul Menard
AP Photo/Ross D. FranklinPaul Menard may get to finally prove to the doubters he belongs in NASCAR on his own merit.

For Paul Menard: A car at Richard Childress Racing that brings him respect as a decent driver instead of disdain as the lucky rich kid.

For Elliott Sadler: A car at Kevin Harvick Inc. that makes him a consistent winner in the Nationwide Series after years of struggle in Cup.

For Brian Vickers: A healthy body that leads him to a Comeback Driver of the Year award.

For crew chief Mike Ford: A muzzle to wear if his driver, Denny Hamlin, has the points lead with two races to go in 2011.

For crew chief Dave Rogers: A mood CD of rolling beach waves to play into Kyle Busch's helmet whenever the need arises.

For Jack Roush: A lifetime pass on Amtrak.

For Brad Keselowski: A Klingon cloaking device that keeps Carl Edwards from wrecking him in a moment of rage.

For Juan Pablo Montoya: A round, 14-karat-gold pendant that inspires him to a victory on an oval track.

For Joey Logano: A membership in an exclusive club called "The Chase." At age 21, he joins and stays for many years to come.

For NASCAR: A suggestion box for guaranteed future success that includes cards listing ideas for shorter races, fewer races, cars with brand identity and a points system that almost all fans will embrace.

For Jimmie Johnson: A framed certificate that reads: "The Best NASCAR Driver in History."

For the Chase: A champion who isn't named Jimmie Johnson.

Terry Blount is a senior writer for ESPN.com. His book, "The Blount Report: NASCAR's Most Overrated and Underrated Drivers, Cars, Teams, and Tracks," was published by Triumph Books and is available in bookstores. Click here to order a copy. Blount can be reached at terry@blountspeak.com.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter