Last time we looked NORAD had not detected a jolly ol' red-suited man in a sleigh towed by reindeer headed south, but he can't be that far away, so here's Fro's list of last-minute gifts for NHRA folks we especially don't want him to forget.
In no necessary order of importance, and in time for Christmas, or the Holiday Season, if you wish, which runs on through Jan. 2, here's that list we compiled:
For Tony Schumacher. Laurels for that two-in-a row and three overall and for more publicity for that remarkable feat. And hats off, Santa, please, for his extra support of his sponsor, the U.S. Army to whom we all owe our thanks.
For Wayne Dupuy. A speedy and complete recovery so you can resume your crew chief duties with Doug Herbert. And for Jim Brissette, a successful stint in carrying on the increasing success of Herbert's team.
For Erica Enders. Santa, we would say give her at least a win, but that would mean 15 other losers in that situation, so just please be sure you bring her another successful, record breaking season.
For Shirley Muldowney. Well Santa, what else can she ask for after the International Motorsports Hall of Fame induction and a wonderful career. Now, she's going to be inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, which is engineered by, you know, Don "Big Daddy" Garlits. Yep, Donald, to this ol rival. Give her a catchy line for the banquet, After all, you know, she did have Donald as an advisor or consultant to her team for a time.
For Gary Scelzi. Adequate recognition for an outstanding season, not only in ending John Force's total domination, but in beating out teammate Ron Capps, no small feat in itself.
And don't forget, Santa, he's the only other guy than Kenny Bernstein to win titles in Top Fuel AND Funny Car.
For Ron Capps. Second isn't the greatest, but it beats anyone that's third.
For John Force. You said you felt like the Bismarck, unsinkable, but found out differently and took the blame -- if you call it that -- for not winning that No. 14. For you, a little piece of mind.
For Morgan Lucas. Success with your new team.
For Whit Bazemore. Many interviews in which you can exhibit your wit as well as your driving ability.
For the late Bob Russo. Induction into the AARWBA Hall of Fame, please Santa, for this long-time PR rep for NHRA and founding president of that group, the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Assn,
For Larry Dixon. Continued success as Don "The Snake" Prudhomme's main man, even with the departure and retirement of crew chief Dick LaHaie.
For Dick LaHaie. Santa, bring him an active and rewarding retirement, He's earned it after Top Fuel championships as a driver AND crew chief.
For Kim LaHaie. Didn't think I'd leave her out, did you? Continued success with the Kenny Bernstein crew for Brandon Bernstein and crew chief and hubby Tim Richards.
For Warren and Kurt Johnson. Santa, let the Professor know he's welcomed back after almost leaving with that School's Out tour. And continued improvement for both him and Kurt.
For Greg Anderson. Santa, you've been very good to him the last three years, but maybe, just maybe, if you'd let NHRA look at his recent comments to Drag Race Central about the placing of the Pro Stock Series in qualifying and eliminations, it would prove beneficial. You know Pro Stock has many fans.
For Steve Johnson. Santa, we hesitate to flat out ask for win in 2006 (see our request for Erica Enders), but maybe, just maybe, you might let his success be at a time when he can fully appreciate it. You remember the tragedy at the time he won his first race. And then, great guns, Santa, his win this year he had to wait 24 hours before he could enjoy it. He's always nice, so give the guy a break.
For Tom Compton and NHRA. Let the new TV contract be ultra successful for all parties so that the sport may continue to grow and get more recognition among the mainstream media.
For Bob Glidden. Hey, let him know he's not too old if he really wishes to get back in the cockpit.
For Angelle Sampey and Antron Brown. Success as those other representatives of that team to which we all give thanks, the U.S. Army.
For Don Schumacher. Santa, get him to tell you. I'm not sure with his championships and teams, just what he might come up with.
For Cruz Pedregon. Santa, se habla esponal, I believe is the saying, but help both Cruzer and Tony Pedregon to continue to be excellent good-will ambassadors to our the Latin fans and bring them into the sport.
For Ed "Ace" McCulloch. Please bring him continued success and the best wishes of his many fans.
For Andrew Hines. Santa, let him have the best wishes of Harley folks everywhere for that remarkable two-in-a-row,
For Alan Johnson. Recognition for his two-in-a-row with Tony Schumacher. If he was in the U.S. Army, he would be promoted to at least Bird Colonel.
For Connie Kalitta. Please don't confuse him with Scott, Doug or Dave Grubnic, but allow them all continued success.
For Tommy Johnson Jr. Skoal, my man and continued improvement.
For Brandon Bernstein. Continued success to the extent that when fans are describing you, they don't have to make sure they use your first name.
For Doug Herbert. They're not his sponsor, but make sure he receives the thanks of U.S. Marines everywhere for his generous hosting of their returned combat veterans in his pits at 13 races this past season. Semper Fi.
For Cory McClenathan. Santa, he's thankful for the new contract. Now also let him have continued success.
For Clay Millican. Guess maybe you'd better chat with him -- as well as Don Schumacher -- to see just what this many-times IHRA champion feels is lacking in his career, if anything.
Santa, I just touched on a few there for you, in case you needed a little help. You know how many, many others haven't been mentioned, but in your wisdom you've probably already compiled their lists. I'm just trying to be helpful.
Finally, for the readers of this space and NHRA and IHRA competitors, staffs and fans everywhere, Santa, I hope you bring a Merry and Prosperous Holiday Season and a Healthy and Prosperous 2006.
Thanks, Ol boy, Norm