December 20, 2011
McNulty's wish list for Canada's racing elite
By DEAN McNULTY, QMI Agency
In the spirit of the Holiday Season here are my wishes for Canada’s motor racing elite:
Ron Fellows: To the new owner of Mosport International Raceway a full racing calendar for 2012. And for 2013 a NASCAR Nationwide Series race and a rebuilt oval where the Camping World Truck Series would look right at home. And while we are at it how about a return of the Grand Am Series to Canada’s most storied racing facility?
Paul Tracy: To this country’s longest serving active IndyCar driver, a full-time ride with a competitive team for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season. At 42-years-old Tracy is at the best-before date in his career and deserves one final opportunity to show he is still one of the most exciting drivers in the sport.
James Hinchcliffe: To the IZOD IndyCar rookie of the year, a long-term contract to drive the GoDaddy.com No. 7 car with Andretti Autosport. Hinchcliffe is the new hope for Canada on the IndyCar circuit and he has proven he can play with the big boys. With his infectious personality Hinch would be the perfect choice for GoDaddy’s high octane profile.
Robert Wickens: To the only Canuck currently holding a Formula One licence a seat in Bernie Ecclestone’s travelling circus. He has shown he is among the best in the junior Euro circuits, now it is time an F1 team offers him a contract. His test performances this past season show he is more than ready to make the move up.
Andrew Ranger: To the two-time NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion, a full-time ride in the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series. The 25-year old from Roxton Pond, Que., drove in three racing series in 2011 and won in two of them. Ranger should be given a chance at a quality NNS job.
Bruno Spengler: To the reigning DTM champion for the Mercedes team, Spengler deserves an F1 job, but it doesn’t seem to be in the cards. So a perfect gift for the talented Canadian would be a return ticket to North America and a seat in either IndyCar or NASCAR.
Alex Tagliani: To the pole sitter of the 2011 Indianapolis 500 a ride with a quality team in 2012. Tagliani is hoping his Christmas stocking includes a contract with Bryan Herta Autosport. Tags is at that stage in his career where he needs an IndyCar win to solidify his position as a top driver.
J.R. Fitzpatrick: To the youngest Canadian driver to win a national stock car championship a 2012 season in which he wins the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series crown. He made several trips down south in 2011 to compete in the Nationwide Series but needs a team to give him good equipment and a full schedule to make his mark.
Scott Steckly: To the current NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion a third trip to the top of the podium in the No. 22 Dodge. Steckly has proven that nice guys can finish first in the rough and tumble world of stock car racing and it would be fitting for him to become the first three-time Canadian champion.
Kyle Marcelli: To the LMPC driver in the American Le Mans Series a move up to a factory-backed prototype team in big-time sports car racing. The Barrie, Ont., native has all the talent it takes to win, racing with the top sports car drivers in the world. He proved that this past season driving, and winning, in the LMPC class.
Patrick Carpentier: To the recently retired NASCAR Sprint Cup and IZOD IndyCar driver the best of luck in his new career as a custom home builder in his hometown of Joliette, Que. We also wish that he will make a one-race exception to his retirement to win the 2012 edition of the NNS NAPA 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve next August.