The year 2014 was a busy one for the Speed51.com powered by JEGS staff. From providing Trackside Now coverage from short tracks all over the United States and Canada to the debut of 51 TV and the first ever live video broadcast of the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (FL), it was an eventful year for the 100% Short Track Racing news source.
With snow now falling in different regions of the country and the Christmas spirit in the air, the 51 staff now has a chance to breathe for a few days before gearing up for another busy year of coverage on Speed51.com.
How will the 51 team, who’s so accustomed to spending their days at a race track, be spending their time during the holiday season? Let’s find out.
Christmas with the Dillners is a cross between the scene from the town Who-ville in “The Grinch” and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Since we have the Snowball Derby, PRI and the NASCAR banquets in December, we always get a little behind on our Christmas shopping, even though, inevitably, Angie always begins shopping in June. So, Angie and I have been running around with all the other last-minuters at the mall this week.
Last weekend we had a nice Christmas gathering with some of her family, and the dogs, in Virginia. It’s always nice to spend some time with those you don’t get to see enough, especially our niece!
After shopping, wrapping, baking (her mainly) and getting stuff loaded in the car this, we all head to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, with a candlelight service at our church on Christmas Eve. We are hoping they play The Little Drummer Boy once again this year. It’s amazing! Then we’ll pop over my mom’s for a traditional lasagna dinner and a lot of laughs.
Christmas Day is always about the kids in the morning with sharing our gifts and then spending time with family during the day. We all over eat, plop on the couch and want to go to bed by 8pm.
Merry Christmas to all!
Matt “Duke” Kentfield (Speed51.com Executive Editor) – Twitter: @MattKentfield
For a few years, I had begun to wonder where my Christmas spirit had gone. I always had it living in Connecticut, always spending time with multiple generations and extensions of our family and our traditional holiday celebrations. When I moved to Charlotte 11 years ago, my Christmas spirit kind of dwindled away. It’s hard to hear songs about White Christmases and sleigh rides when it’s 55 degrees in North Carolina in late December. Then, I met my now wife Mandy. A few years after that, our son Brady was born. Between them, my family back in Connecticut and my wife’s family here in North Carolina, that spirit is back.
I can’t wait to see what Santa brings my little guy this year. It will also be the last Christmas that he doesn’t have to share with a little brother or sister, since we are expecting Kentfield #2 in June. Brady will leave cookies out for Santa when he comes on Christmas Eve and I’ve got a pretty good feeling Santa kept him on the nice list this year. We will spend a couple of days celebrating with my wife’s family down here and then make the long trek up the coast to be with my Connecticut family for a few days after that. We will do it all as a family and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Elgin “Stat Boy” Traylor (Speed51.com Operations Manager) – Twitter: @ElginTraylor
After a long racing season I will be taking my Fiancé Kimberly to the Outer Banks so we can sightsee and check out some lighthouses. It’s our first trip there and out first chance to climb the Bodie Island lighthouse since it was opened this spring. As far as Christmas’ go we will be hitting about six or seven between my family and hers. We will have to pace ourselves and make sure we don’t eat too much before Santa comes on the 25th. Merry Christmas to all.
Kevin Ramsell (Speed51.com Director of Business, Midwest Editor) – Twitter: @KevinRamsell
I am spending the holidays with my parents in Crystal River, Florida. They manage an RV Park and this will be the first time in over 15 years that I will be celebrating the holidays with them. Typically, my sisters, brother-in-laws, and nieces will get together on Christmas Eve and Skype with my parents so they could watch us open gifts. Not sure on plans, but may go and check out the manatees in the gulf or maybe if I am lucky, see the mouse.
Brandon Paul (Speed51.com Northeast Editor) – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
The holiday season is always a busy and hectic, but enjoyable time for my family. That doesn’t change this year. Between Tuesday and Friday, we have six Christmas parties to attend. On Christmas Day itself, we have three different places to be throughout the day.
I always look forward to this time of year, though, because it results in valuable time spent with family and friends despite how hectic it may be.
As far as this year in particular, there are a few things I’m really looking forward to. Those things include: the food, spending time with family and the look on my grandmother’s face when she opens her Kermit the Frog Chia Pet.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
Rob Blount (Speed51.com Regional Editor – CT, Long Island, NJ) – Twitter: @RobBlount
We don’t really have any special plans this year, at least not on Christmas Day. But we’ll be exchanging gifts as a family in the morning before going to a family breakfast. For dinner we’ll be having Manicotti prepared by my mother. It’s my absolute favorite meal and we only have it twice a year, so I’m very excited for our small Italian Christmas. I hope all my fellow 51ers, as well as everybody out there, have a safe and Merry Christmas.
Mark Keeler (51 Correspondent and 51 TV Production Team) – Twitter: @MarkKeeler975
I am looking forward to enjoying some downtime with family and friends. I am also looking forward to starting 2015 in my new home and watching the Patriots in the playoffs.
Aaron Creed (Speed51.com Northeast Correspondent) – Twitter: @Aaron_Creed
I will be spending Christmas day with my mom and plan to successfully learn a family beef stew recipe. On Saturday, I’m off to my dad’s for what I am sure will be some more food and cookies. I plan on ringing in the New Year back home in Pennsylvania and kick off 2015 right away by attending my first Eastern Motorsport Press Association convention the first weekend of January. Hope everyone enjoys their holidays with family and friends!