While it seems like the racing season just ended, it’s already time for Christmas. That’s right, the big day is just one day away. Many are still braving the cold to do some last minute shopping. Others are traveling to far away lands to visit family.
But it’s not too late to ask some racers what they want from Santa Claus. His elves can make the magic happen, even with only a day to spare.
We decided to make some calls to drivers around the states to see what they want this year. We started off with a trip to Colorado to check in on Kulwicki Driver Development Program champion Brett Yackey and see what he has on his list.
“On my list is slot cars,” Yackey said. “Because when you can’t race outside in the winter you have to race indoors.”
Yackey makes a valid point. We understand that Colorado gets a lot of snow in the winter, so racing a Late Model outside may be tough. But zipping around a slot car track is always a fun time, especially in the winter.
After chatting with Yackey, we decided to venture over to Long Island and check in on Timmy Solomito. He’s been trying to act like Santa Clause, delivering wrapped Lightning McQueen cars to kids all over the Island, so we wanted to see what he’s hoping the actual Santa Claus brings him.
“A new racing bag to put all my stuff in,” he said. “Mine is pretty old and after having a tough year I’m hoping it brings me some new luck.”
We hope for your sake it does too, Timmy.
Adam Yarbrough finished third in points as a rookie with the Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series this year and won the Speed51.com Hard Charger Award. But after such a strong season, Yarbrough is hoping Santa can help him out so he can continue on next year.
“I would love to have a sponsor,” Yarbrough said. “I need an engine. My racing is family funded and a new engine would be greatly appreciated.”
Late Model Stock Car racer Lee Pulliam is in need of some race car parts too, especially now that he’ll have a second car running the CARS Tour full-time with Brandon Pierce behind the wheel.
“I’m really hoping Santa will bring me some JRi Shocks, Eibach Springs, a fresh new Five Star body, some new Bassett wheels, a new Turn One box, and some fresh new PFC brake pads and rotors. You know, all the important stuff.”
That’s a pretty complete list there, Lee.
Jeremy Gerstner, the two-time defending Southern Modified Racing Series champion, has just one item on his list, and that’s a race win at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida during Speedweeks in his new Troyer TA-1 chassis that he purchased earlier this year.
“Me and my wife buy things as we need them, but we don’t really buy presents for each other,” Gerstner stated. “I want to take it to New Smyrna and be the first actual southern owner-driver to ever win a Tour-type Modified race at New Smyrna. There’s never been one.”
Noah Gragson told us that he had one item on his Christmas list when December started.
“That Snowball Derby trophy,” otherwise known as the Tom Dawson Trophy, is what Gragson told us he wanted.
Well, he got it when he won the 51st Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway earlier this month.
“I guess Santa came early,” Gragson said.
I wonder what he did to get his gift early from Santa.
Anyway, moving on. Speaking of the Snowball Derby, Granite State Pro Stock Series champion Devin O’Connell said his Christmas list to Santa had something Derby related on it as well.
“The opportunity to run the Snowball Derby would be the ultimate Christmas gift,” O’Connell said.
Raphael Lessard raced in 2018 with Kyle Busch Motorsports, but he and KBM have since parted ways. Lessard is now a free-agent searching for a car to race in 2019, and with that in mind, Lessard said for the first time in a while he actually has something on his Christmas list.
“Every time my parents ask me what I want for Christmas I say nothing, because it’s Christmas for me every time I’m in a race car,” Lessard said. “But I wish I can get a good ride for 2019, that’s for sure.”
We caught up with FASTRAK Racing Series driver Carson Ferguson and he had an interesting request on his wish-list for Santa.
"My Christmas wish is for it to not take millions of dollars to get to NASCAR, so that people like Bubba Pollard could have a shot," Ferguson said. "The best racing is at your local dirt or asphalt track when it would be in the top series of the sport."
Alabama Pro Late Model standout Jo Jo Wilkinson had two simple wishes, one related to racing, and one that anybody can relate to.
"I wish for all family and friends to be healed," Wilkinson said. "Also, I'm hoping for a great 2019 racing season that will open opportunities for me."
We called up this year’s Milk Bowl winner Jason Corliss to see what’s on his list this year, and he melted our hearts with his one request.
“At this point, honestly, the one thing I want for Christmas is a healthy baby boy,” Corliss said. “My girlfriend is due December 30th so we are ready any time for a little one to arrive.”
A healthy baby boy would be the best gift anyone could ask for, and quite honestly, it’s going to be hard to follow that one up.
So, Blue Gray 100 winner Brandon Overton didn’t try to follow that up with anything on his list. In fact, Overton’s list has absolutely nothing on it. To explain why, we’ll let Mr. “Big Sexy” himself explain it in his own words.
“Man, to be honest, everything I want I’ve got,” he said. “My family is healthy. Everyone’s doing good. I get to race for a living. I’m surrounded by great people. I couldn’t ask for much more. Everything’s good in Brandon’s world right now. I just hope everyone who wants or needs something gets it. But, a couple of trophies in Arizona would be a nice post-Christmas gift.”
Lastly, we decided to give this year’s polesitter for the Snowball Derby a call and see what he has on his list.
“I don’t really want much,” said Harrison Burton. “I just want to get this racing season started.”
Us too, Harrison. Us too.
But in the meantime, we hope that everyone out there gets everything on their wish-list this year. We also hope that everyone has a very safe, and a very merry Christmas this year.
-Story by: Rob Blount, Speed51.com Associate Editor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com