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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Happy New Year's Race Fans!

Wonder what's in store for the 2008 racing season? Here is a suggestion for those who are ready for the season to start.

New Year’s brings about resolutions and optimism regarding the new calendar year. My hopes for 2008, as they relate to auto racing, are almost identical to what they were last year. I always hope for safe and competitive racing, while seeing fresh faces at the forefront of all major motorsports. In 2007, Baby New Year gave Formula 1 fans Lewis Hamilton. NASCAR fans were given the “Car of Tomorrow,” and Indy style racing fans… well?

This year, NASCAR fans can expect some old faces in new places. The only problem is the new places are perennial powers and the additions should only make the Hendrick, Gibbs, and several other teams stronger. Thankfully, we do not have to wait until almost June to find out what is in store for stock car fans. Many teams have already begun rigorous testing at Daytona.

One of the things that I would really like to see in 2008 is a concerted effort by those in power to send a viable American driver overseas. Each year, we are teased with promises and new drivers that are supposed to move America into global racing respectability. Each year, these hopes are dashed whether by poor equipment, poor choices, or overrated drivers.

The “Stars of Tomorrow” program founded by Jeremy Shaw has again crowned a Team USA scholarship winner. The list of Team USA winners is rather impressive until you look at what they were able to do against international competition. Joel Miller is a driver that I will be watching this year. It sounds like he possesses the talent to make the world take notice. Another interesting driver, who already is embroiled in international motorsport, is Jonathan Summerton of Team USA in the A1GP Series.

No matter what type of racing you like, the New Year brings about hope for the upcoming season. I understand that there is no sport whose season is year round but I sure wish there was a way to shorten racing's off-season. Granted, I have not taken part in a 36-race season so that is easy for me to say. Enjoy the 2008 race seasons!

Miller photo courtesy of Joel Miller International Website and Michael Booth

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