Holiday Wishes to NASCAR Fans and Cheers to an Exciting 2012 Season

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IDecember 24, 2011

Texas Motor Speedway Speedway Children's Charities
Texas Motor Speedway Speedway Children's CharitiesBrandon Wade/Getty Images

The racing season has ended and the holidays are here, so now is a time to reflect on all the emotions we have felt, thanks to the sport of NASCAR, the drivers, owners, teams and sponsors.

NASCAR fans are a united family, who despite their individual preferences of who they support, are quick to come together when times call for it.

NASCAR fans are a loyal group of people who defend their drivers and are quick to critique the performance of other drivers.

It may be hard to believe, but these kind and loyal fans can also be pretty tough on the media when anything is written that may not favor a driver or team they call their own.

The fans of NASCAR are a giving and caring lot, as are the people involved in the sport. Many, many charitable venues are supported through those in NASCAR and all who enjoy watching it.

So at this time of year we look back on the 2011 season and think of the highs and lows we experienced each week the drivers took to the track.

They gave us thrills and excitement with their high speed chess game that we call racing. Some drivers really entertained us and others gave reason for disappointment.

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We had a Chase that was as dramatic as any we have ever had. Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards fought a battle royal with Stewart being crowned the NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion though they were tied in points.

As the season ended, there were changes abounding with some operations becoming smaller, loss of sponsors, drivers moving to other teams and a plethora of crew chief swaps and team changes.

All the changes are fodder for speculation as to what we might expect when Speedweeks at Daytona rolls around in February.

Despite the loss of some sponsors, there were new companies that stepped up with funding to help keep the cars on the track. In 2012, we can only hope economic conditions will bring in more sponsor dollars.

The economy has been tough for fans of NASCAR, yet attendance was up at most tracks and viewership was up significantly.

There are so many storylines that will be followed in the coming year. The young guns who are moving up through the ranks of NASCAR, new faces like Travis Pastrana, drivers who have much to prove with new teams and of course, Danica Patrick.

Those are just a few of the topics that will be closely followed by the media and as always, there will be surprising storylines that stun us, much like Trevor Bayne winning the Daytona 500.

It is the holiday season and a time to wish the fans of the sport health and happiness as they enjoy the brief off-season of NASCAR.

Testing at Daytona begins in a few weeks and Speedweeks will be close behind. The withdrawal symptoms will soon dissipate when we hear the roar of the engines once again.

To those who have taken the time to read my articles, I thank you whether you agreed with my writing or not.

Happy holidays, and may you all have a terrific 2012.

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