The holiday season is upon us, and short track racers across the country are making their own Christmas wish lists. Whether it’s speed secrets, wishes for the “real world,” or just a little good fortune, racers have plenty of ideas for Santa in 2020.
Racers are always looking for a little more speed on the racetrack. Whether it’s new parts and pieces, a new race car or even a new firesuit to look good at the track, every driver wants to go faster in 2021.
Jake Johnson, coming off a win in the Allen Turner Snowflake 100, has eyes to climb the racing ladder.
“I’m hoping for a built motor so I can go Super Late Model racing,” said Johnson.
Bryce Bailey, a winner in the Race of Champions Four Cylinder Dash Series in 2020, has a wish list centered around his racing endeavors in 2021.
“I asked for a new suit, new shocks, new tires.”
The personable Andy Jankowiak is already looking forward to competing at Daytona International Speedway with the ARCA Menards Series in 2021. However, he hopes to show up with a fresh pair of racing shoes, so he doesn’t track some rubber from the northeast onto Florida’s sandy beaches.
“New racing shoes,” said Jankowiak. “I can’t get the indoor rubber off mine and I want to look fresh and clean at Daytona.”
Jeremy Gerstner has already unwrapped one of his Christmas presents, which he is also taking to Florida in February. Gerstner hopes the new toy can bring him a checkered flag and a championship at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway.
“Just looking forward to kicking off the new 2021 season at Speedweeks with a new 2021 LFR Troyer car, my early Christmas present, and going for the Speedweeks championship with a new crew chief for 2021 and get me a win in a tour car finally at my home track here in Florida!”
A couple of other racers hope to join Gerstner and Jankowiak in Florida during Speedweeks, but hope Santa brings some resources or sponsorship down the chimney to make it happen.
“My Christmas list would be to find sponsorship to run Speedweeks 2021,” said Ryan Kuhn. “I would love to get down to Pensacola to run the Snowflake as well!”
Kodie Conner is another racer with eyes on New Smyrna Speedway.
So for Christmas I’m actually skipping to try and make it to speedweeks @newsmyrnaspdwy I’ll be taking donations for gas and tires. Who would like to see the Tiger at New Smyrna ? #KodieConner #chasingdreams #tigerman #KCR45 #doingitmyway #partnerwithkodie pic.twitter.com/H72NAY93I0
— Kodie Conner (@KodieConner) December 18, 2020
What do you get the man who won several major Super Late Model races in 2020? The answer is an easy one for Carson Hocevar.
“All I want for Christmas is to make the damn Derby,” said Hocevar. “And some more wins in 2021!”
Other racers looking for more trips to victory lane in 2021 include Jack Dossey, III and Michael Christopher, Jr.
“Better luck,” said Dossey. “With better luck I think we could clinch us a big win in the 2021 season!”
“World peace,” joked Christopher. “A Stafford championship would also be nice.”
Alex Prunty made his first trip to Bristol in 2020, competing with the Highlands Race Team at the U.S. Short Track Nationals. Prunty has another shot with the team during the 2021 season on his wish list.
“I think the best thing I could get for Christmas is another shot with Highlands Race Team. Like a lot of things in 2020, our first race didn’t go as planned. They are an incredible group to work with and their hard work deserves to be put on display for the world to see. I’ve been fortunate to win a lot of races in my career, but bringing those guys home a trophy in 2021 would certainly be a gift to remember.”
Mat Williamson admits he doesn’t even remember what is on his Christmas list. However, he has a pretty good idea what it revolved around.
“I’m not really sure what I asked for,” said Williamson. “Me and my girlfriend are trying to get a house together, so I think I asked for things for the house.”
Speaking of home cooking, former ARCA/CRA Super Series champion Logan Runyon would love nothing more than for the series to return to one of his home tracks.
“It would be cool if the Super Series raced at Kilkare again,” said Runyon. “It was nice having the series come to what I consider my home track at this point. Any template body late model race at Midvale speedway would be cool, while we’re at it.”
Of course, 2020 has been a trying year, and some racers just hope for better days in 2021.
“My wish is for fans to return to sporting venues,” said Mike O’Sullivan. “I’m a big sports fan, racing, and hockey mainly. But watch all sports. Fans are what make sports. The competition between fans and their drivers or teams is what builds the excitement. I miss that.”
Kenny Wallace probably summed it up best.
“The coronavirus to be gone,” Wallace wished, “So everyone can feel good again.”
Regardless of what’s on your Christmas wish list this year, our staff at Speed51 wishes the entire short track racing community a very Merry Christmas.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51