New Year's NASCAR resolutions

Bob Margolis

Hopefully Santa was good to you and you woke up on Christmas morning with Guitar Hero III sitting under the tree.

I'll bet you're still trying to figure out how to play the middle eight lead guitar line in "Sunshine of Your Love."

It sounded so easy when Clapton was playing it …

Nevertheless, let's turn our attention to the New Year, which is just around the corner.

It's time to make those two lists of resolutions – the really short one of resolutions you'll keep (things like taking out the garbage) and the longer one of resolutions you'll have forgotten (like losing weight, quitting smoking, not abusing your credit cards and keeping your room clean) by the time the Daytona 500 rolls around.


College basketball and football

* Fantasy football

Major League Baseball

Mixed Martial Arts





I've always felt in order to not feel guilty about the long list that it's best to have someone else write the list for you. That way, you won't feel guilty when you toss out the list.

With that said, here are some resolutions (and wishes) for my friends in the motorsports world:

Jimmie Johnson: To never use the phrase "three-peat" throughout the entire 2008 season and scold anyone in the media who dares to bring it up. Besides, NBA coach Pat Riley owns the rights to its use.

Tony Stewart: To end the season with the same slimmed down figure he usually starts it with.

Team Red Bull: To receive some of the good karma it handed out in 2007 by giving away gallons of its product for free in the NASCAR garage each weekend. It undoubtedly benefited countless numbers of rival crewmembers by helping them to stay awake and alert.

Jeff Gordon: To never do another television commercial with his wife, even if it uses just her voice.

Kevin Harvick: To not use up all his good luck winning the season opener and then watch the rest of the season turn into an absolute struggle.

Boris Said: Clear skies and temperatures in the upper 60s &ndash on any weekend when he's attempting to qualify for a Cup race.

Matt Kenseth: To start off the 2008 season exactly the way the 2007 season ended.

Clint Bowyer: To never have to hear the name Cinderella for the rest of his life.

Sam Hornish Jr.: To have announcers drop the phrase "former Indy 500 winner" from before his name by the end of the season.

Ryan Newman: To see what the world looks like through the confetti and sprayed Gatorade during a Sprint Cup victory lane celebration.

Bruton Smith: To have one of the homeowners living adjacent to his soon-to-be-built drag strip in Concord (N.C.) come up to him and tell him the noise doesn't bother him (or her).

ABC/ESPN: To actually hear words of praise from the NASCAR viewers at home watching the racing on television.

NASCAR media pool: To eat more fruits and vegetables at the racetrack.

Formula One and Bernie Ecclestone, in particular: To have more than a couple thousand or so fans in the United States who actually give a damn about F1 racing.

Stephen Wallace: More than just a taste of the apple that fell off of the tree.

Juan Pablo Montoya: Multiple visits to victory circle – all at ovals.

Denny Hamlin: To get back to business and forget about the private jets, lucrative commercial endorsements and win enough races so that he'll need two hands to count them.

Dario Franchitti: (See Hornish Jr.) Also to not have television announcers make repeated references to his well-known wife.

National Hot Rod Association (NHRA): To never again have the kind of tumultuous year it's just gone through. The series was sold in the middle of the year to a group of investors whom no one had ever heard of until the sale was announced. Then, the series lost one of its brightest stars (Eric Medlen) in a testing accident and nearly lost its biggest star ever (John Force) during an event. Force is on the road to recovery and will race again in 2008.

Richard Childress: To be known as much for his winery as for his race team.

Helio Castroneves: To appreciate why more people know him for winning "Dancing with the Stars" than know him for winning the Indy 500 – twice.

Jack Roush: A BIG bottle of Excedrin to help with the headaches he'll be having when even the Toyotas beat up on his down-on-power and not-quite-slick-enough-aerodynamically Ford Fusions.

Rick Hendrick: To remember everyday that it's all about hard work – which makes everything feel as if you're waking up with a four-leaf clover in your pocket every morning.

Kyle Busch: To have the last laugh on everyone when he wins his first (of several) Cup title(s).

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: To have the same guy who builds teammate Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon's Chevy Impala Sprint Cup cars build his cars.

Lewis Hamilton: To win more races in one season than Michael Schumacher and not choke in the final stretch.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway: To have an ultra-successful debut (and continued success down the line) of Moto GP racing at the legendary racetrack.

Greg Anderson (NHRA Pro Stock): No more red lights.

Bobby Labonte: See Ryan Newman.

Toyota Research and Development (TRD): To have a subdued celebration after winning its first Sprint Cup race. And the knowledge to know that winning one isn't what it's about. Winning 100 is something to celebrate.

NASCAR officials: To make the right call, quickly and consistently.

Nationwide Insurance upper management: To recognize very quickly that sponsoring NASCAR's Number 2 racing series was the best decision it had ever made.

Sears Craftsman Brand upper management: To hope that they made the smart move to take their money elsewhere.

Race fans near Kentucky Speedway: To finally get your long-sought-after Sprint Cup race.

Andy Hillenburg: To have a very successful 2008 season at "The Rock" and many more to come. NASCAR will eventually come back to Rockingham.

Dodge Motorsports: To finagle a new engine design out of NASCAR, get more Cup wins and stay with the name Charger for its Sprint Cup model.

Champ Car World Series: After recently being voted by readers of Sports Business Journal as the sports series most likely to disappear within five years, a respectful exit in 2008 for this once great racing series that has basically been on life support since 2000.

NASCAR fans: To find cheaper race tickets, fewer cautions for debris and fewer green-white-checkers finishes.

Greg Biffle: See Ryan Newman and Bobby Labonte.

Chad Knaus: A return to "model citizen" status in the eyes of Sprint Cup director John Darby.