50 Things I’m Thankful For

Since we are traveling towards the end of the year, that means several things, one is weight gain, and the other is end of the year lists. Today we’ll look at 50 items I’m appreciative and thankful for in motorsports over the past year or so. These are in no particular order.

1. Randy Bernard. Yes, in February it was Randy who? Since that time he kicked off the ICONIC committee, has brought in two engine manufacturers to the series. He found a solution to return the Milwaukee Mile to the schedule and seems to have IndyCar back on the right track. Oh and killed the name, Indy Racing League thank you.

2. Delta Wing project. This project brought IndyCar technology back to relevancy. Thanks to Ben Bowlby and Bruce Ashmore for kicking the suits on Georgetown Road in the pants to move the new chassis-engine 2012 rules up. Especially since Brian Barnhart was hinting they might have been postponed to 2013.

3. Tony Stewart. Keeping it real for close to twenty years.

4. WindTunnel on SPEEDTV. Yes, it has become a little too NASCARcentric. But it is the last bastion on television where we can see IndyCar, USAC, WoO highlights along with interesting insightful interviews with many of the power players in motorsports.

5. The off-season. Really? Yes, you recharge your batteries, look back at the season that was. It gives you time to watch old racing films, dig through photo albums and for me, research projects. Remember, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

6. Angell Park Speedway. Terrible that Badger Midgets and the track had their divorce, however it remains the most family friendly and best short track in America.

7. Kyle Busch. Yes, many consider him an ass, but he’s brutally honest and a helleva racecar driver.

8. Dave Despain. Yes, could be included in No. 4; however Dave is the best interviewer we have in motorsports television and the only one on TV I can think of that actually asks follow up questions.

9. NASCAR at Road America. Road America proved when given a proper track to race on the big ol’ stock cars can put on a good show. Now only if NASCAR officials understood what ‘local yellows’ mean.

10. Jim Hunter. A class act who will be missed.

11. Chris McGrath of Avocado Motorsports. Thank you (along with BMG Event Productions) for taking on the promotion duties at the Milwaukee Mile in 2011.

12. Chevrolet Motorsports. Thank you for coming back to the IZOD IndyCar Series.

13. Lotus. See No. 12.

14. A.J. Foyt. For being A.J. Foyt

15. Page Jones. Thank you for being an inspiration.

16. Formula One. No chase, no phantom caution flags, just the most technological racing in the world and you had four drivers competing for the championship in the last race. Well done.

17. Sebastian Vettel. For being a young talented driver who drove the wheels off in becoming World Champion.

18. National Midget Driver of the Year. Http://

19. Bob Varsha, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett. Best motorsports TV team.

20. Dario Franchitti. Champion driver who appreciates the history of Indy Car and motorsports.

21. Indianapolis Motor Speedway for being my Mecca in the month of May

22. National Sprint Car Hall of Fame (Knoxville, Iowa). Seeing the roots of racing in America’s heartland.

23. Simona de Silvestro. A fan favorite and a heck of a driver.

24. 24 Hours of Daytona. For having the best field of drivers of any race in the world.

25. Sarah Fisher. For being the friendliest and most accessible IndyCar driver and the savviest in regards to social media.

26. Darlington Raceway. For being the most unique and historic track in NASCAR.

27. Brian Clauson. Thank you NASCAR (and your sponsors) for turning your back on this talented driver who’ll hopefully be driving in Firestone Indy Lights in 2011 and with any luck in IndyCar in 2012.

28. Pressdog. Thank you Bill Zahren the king of IndyCar bloggers for your unique and amusing blogs on IndyCar racing.

29. IndyCar Bloggers. Thank you for honest, sincere and sometime amusing blogs that cut through the world of regurgitated press releases.

30. Brad Sweet. One of America’s best young talents in auto racing.

31. Harry A. Miller Club Vintage Indy Car Event (Milwaukee Mile). The premier vintage Indy Car event of the year.

32. Bench Racing Weekend (Indianapolis). Thank you Jack Martin for making the month of March bearable in the Midwest.

33. Paul Page. How I miss thee on the IndyCar broadcasts.

34. Jacques Dresang. For proving you can still win driving a Dan Gurney AAR Eagle. Http://

35. North Lake Drive One-Hundred Mile Per Hour Club. The best kept secret social club in racing.

36. Dan Gurney for being Dan Gurney

37. Boris Said for winning the Nationwide race in Montreal.

38. Paul Powell. His hard work paid off with the wonderful Mark Donohue reunion at the Brian Redman Int’l Challenge weekend at Road America in July.

39. IZOD. Series sponsor who stepped up and made sure American Ryan Hunter-Reay had a full-time ride.

40. Justin Allgaier. A talented young driver who’ll thankfully race fulltime in 2011.

41. for adding older races (from the 1980’s and 1990’s) to their video section.

42. Howie Lettow. A mentor to many in NASCAR today, who won’t be forgotten.

43. Chris Wilke for trying to bring sanity to midget racing.

44. My boys in Indiana and elsewhere who trade informative and interesting e-mails with me involving motorsports, they know who they are.

45. Indiana State Police for not pulling me over this year.

46. Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser, Dan Wheldon, David Hobbs, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Vitor Meira, Sarah Fisher, Chris Dyson, Pippa Mann, James Hinchcliffe, Bryan Gapinski and Monica Hilton for appearing on our Open Wheel Focus Podcast

47. Dave Reininger for his hospitality (you too Geoff) in the month of May.

48. Bobby Unser. I love Uncle Bobby.

49. Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman for their support of dog rescue and adoption. www.ryannewmanfoundation

50. John Wiedemann of his support of

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