'Tis the season for gift ideas for race fans


Santa has gone biodiesel, so Christmas will be greener than ever.

But you might not want to rely on the old guy showing up on time this year because he isn't traveling as well as in the past -- too many pit stops (prostate problems).

Here are ideas when shopping for a racing fan and a peek at my gift-giving list:

RACE TICKETS

One size fits all. Pick your event.

Tickets are on sale for the Feb. 29-March 2 NASCAR Weekend and the April and October NHRA Powerade Drag Racing Series events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Visit the speedway, call 644-4444 or visit LVMS.com.

For a little more wow, pack those tickets with a favorite racing T-shirt or hat.

ELECTRONICS

I'm not a video games guy, but other gift ideas include satellite radio.

If you're a NASCAR fan, make it Sirius, which provides 24/7 coverage of the sport and Tony Stewart's weekly show.

XM offers a daily afternoon show with Claire B. Lang, who covers NASCAR, and race coverage for the Indy Racing League. Regular programs this year featured Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Michael Waltrip.

If you have a fan who attends at least one major race a year, then give a scanner, which provides real-time eavesdropping on drivers, crew chiefs, officials and radio and TV broadcasters. From $89 to $215, not including accessories.

BOOKS, PUBLICATIONS

My favorite book this year was "Darrell Russell: Broad Smiles, Quarter-Miles." Russell died in an NHRA crash in 2004. Written by his friend and racing journalist Rob Geiger, the book captures Russell's essence. It's available through Jegs.com for $24.95, with proceeds going to the Drag Racing Association of Women.

NASCAR fans must get NASCAR Scene, a weekly newspaper independent of NASCAR. Get 50 issues for $47.50 and access to SceneDaily.com, where you also can subscribe.

VIDEOS

The NHRA has produced a DVD of highlights from the past season. "Countdown to the Championship" sells for $19.99 plus shipping. It's worth buying just for the tributes to the late Wally Parks and Eric Medlen. Order at NHRAdvd.com.

Great drag racing videos from the 1960s and '70s are for sale at DragRacingOnLine.com.

In NASCAR, everyone will appreciate receiving the 100-minute "Dale the Movie" DVD for $24.95. This package includes six discs with a collection of footage showcasing the late Dale Earnhardt. Go to DaleEarnhardtInc.com for more details.

SEAT TIME

The least-expensive way to get time in a racer's seat is to plan a day at a driving school.

The Richard Petty Driving Experience (1800BePetty.com) and Mario Andretti Racing School (AndrettiGordon.com, 877-722-3527) have regular sessions at the speedway.

Drag racers can head to Pomona, Calif., for the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School (FrankHawley.com, 888-901-7223).

THE ABSURD

The officially licensed Dale Earnhardt Jr. Mountain Dew AMP Dog Jersey is made of breathable polyester micromesh fabric and costs just $24.99 for your mutt.

And the Martin Truex stainless steel toe ring is $29.99.

Find both items and more at StoreNASCAR.com.

MY LIST

• A copy of "NASCAR for Dummies" for IRL and Champ Car owners. Maybe they can get pointers on how to keep their top drivers from leaving the series like rats from a sinking ship.

• The unreleased Vegas Grand Prix DVD, a 10-second video with highlights from the first and last Vegas Grand Prix. Eight seconds are devoted to this summer's fire near downtown that burned pallets of tire barriers owned by the VGP.

• A victory for IndyCar driver Danica Patrick. Her best year is coming now that two of the series' best drivers -- Dario Franchitti and Sam Hornish Jr. -- have left for stock-car racing.

• A two-hour family counseling session with Dr. Phil for Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

• A "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign for Rossi Ralenkotter, president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for attending last week's NASCAR Cup banquet in New York City.

Do you think he was doing research on how to get the event moved to Las Vegas?

THE BEST GIFT

Take part of your holiday shopping budget and send the money to the Las Vegas Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities or to your favorite driver's charitable foundation.

Cheers.

Jeff Wolf's motor sports column is published Friday. He can be reached at 383-0247 or jwolf@reviewjournal.com.

 

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