With the days winding down to finish your Christmas shopping (or, in my case, start), what better time than now to list what the people of INDYCAR should have on their Santa wish list? Kick back, grab an eggnog, and if you’re the jolly fellow with the jelly belly, take notes.
Scott Dixon: The ABBA Gold greatest hits compilation. Not that the Iceman needs any further world sophistication, but with new Swedish teammate Felix Rosenqvist set to pilot the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 10 Honda, Dixon can use some tunes as an icebreaker. Together, they can chase that “Money, Money, Money” while holding off “Fernando” at Indy. Felix has three wins in the past two seasons in FIA Formula E, whose title sponsor is ABB. That’s just an “A” away from being the namesake of his homeland’s best musical export.
Fernando Alonso: Gift cards to Birmingham’s Dreamland BBQ and a tour of the Queen Mary. Sure, the two-time F1 has committed to run just the 103rd Indianapolis 500 in 2019, but why not entice the Spaniard to run the Alabama road course where he tested or the crown jewel street course in Long Beach? Yes, having Alonso at Long Beach and Barber would be spicy, and a guy can dream, right?
Ryan Hunter-Reay: A year’s supply of Lucky Charms. I don’t know how much the 2012 season champ cares for rainbows or blue moons, but after a frustrating 2018, the Andretti Autosport driver will surely take all the green four-leaf clovers he can get.
Chip Ganassi: An appetite for Monster Energy drink. Sure, Chip doesn’t seem to need more pick-me-up in his step, but with the recent addition of Kurt Busch to his NASCAR driver lineup, INDYCAR fans will be clamoring to see the 2014 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year get another shot at the swig of milk.
Tony Kanaan: See Chip Ganassi. Sure, the popular Brazilian may have easy access to his country’s best coffee beans, but as TK continues to drive like he’s found the Fountain of Youth, he could use all the caffeine he can get. With his newest family addition arriving during the 2018 season, a night’s full sleep is surely a rarity in the Kanaan house.
James Hinchcliffe: Anything from Bed, Bath & Beyond, Crate & Barrel or Williams Sonoma. The Canadian is set to marry his high school prom date in eight months. It’s a safe bet he’ll ace the first dance, but any groom knows the registry is usually the bride’s wish list. All he’d like is a glass milk bottle.
Roger Penske: Another INDYCAR title. What do you get a man that has everything? Penske picked up his 500th career win as a car owner, 17th Indy 500, a Brickyard 400 and a second NASCAR championship in 2018. Yet he watched Chip Ganassi take home the Astor Cup. Sure, Penske won the Verizon IndyCar Series championship in 2016 and 2017, but the pursuit of perfection is what sails the Captain’s ship.
Zach Veach: A book shelf. One of Veach’s competitors told me, “He’s going to win races in this series, and it’s going to start soon.” After spending an offseason hiking and rock climbing, the second-year driver is ready to climb his way into Victory Lane.
The fans of INDYCAR: A safe and joyous holiday season. May you all enjoy good tidings, good company and healthy family. Snuggle all snug in your beds, while visions of St. Petersburg dance in your heads.
(Veteran broadcaster Jake Query is a member of the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network team and offers his musings regularly on IndyCar.com.)