Kelly Racing looks forward to successful 2006
By JOE KELLY
have a couple of Christmas traditions we like to keep
around the Kelly household.
Denny and I cut down the tree. Trish and Chip dress
it with ornaments and lights – you do not want
to get in their way, I still have tinsel-burn from last
year. Tex and Billy mix up the “adult eggnog.”
And Armani sings Christmas carols. Or I should say he
tries to. He tends to get a little choked up during
Frosty the Snowman.
“But if he melts in the sun he’s gonna die.”
“It’s just a song, Armani.”
“Not to the snowman!”
My favorite tradition is Brenda’s Christmas ham.
I love that ham. I wish there was a word stronger than
“love” to convey the feelings I have for
this particular salted pork product. I superlove
that ham. I know it’s not a real word and I don’t
care. You can’t let something like proper grammar
get in the way of expressing your feelings for the things
It is moist. It is tender. It is sweet.
Christmas is the one meal a year Brenda takes the
restrictor plate off my dinner plate. And by God I love
her for it. No DNF for me. I like to kid her and tell
her that any thoughts I ever had of straying were tempered
by the fact that to do such a thing meant risking
the ham. And that is something I just won’t
do. No, sir.
After Christmas dinner we gather by the fire and take
time to say how much we love each other. I know it sounds
corny, but when your family life and business life are
pretty much the same thing day in day out, you need
to make time to tell the people you love how much you
appreciate them. This is Brenda’s idea and it’s
a good one.
Afterwards we break out the eggnog – hot chocolate
for Chip and Trish – and make our New Year’s
resolutions. We have no secrets in our family –
at least, we’re not supposed to, anyway –
so I have asked everyone to share their resolutions.
Consider it our gift to you for being such a loyal fan.
“I want to be friends with little driver boy Denny.
He is a good boy and if we work together we can win.
I also want to make a snowman with Chip. We will protect
him from the sun. We must.”
“Kevin Harvick will be defeated, by me, in a series
of video game challenges including Thunder Road
II, Left Turn Lightning and Cannonball
Gumball, featuring the celebrity voice of Bert
“Um, yeah, I want every member of the family to
experience the thrill of victory this season. I also
want these Enzo Angiolini high heels from Nine West
with the strappy thingies that just scream business
in the front, party in the back.”
“Sweet lord I want Trish to have those shoes more
than any man has ever wanted anything. Now I sound like
Joe with the ham. Resolution, resolution, resolution
– I would have to say I want to get the 13 and
69 cars to the front of the pack every week. We’re
so close already.”
“I want to follow in my dad’s footsteps
and win a championship. I know it’s going to take
even more time and dedication, but I’m ready.
I’m another year older and wiser and I know I
can do it. First we’re going to win a race. Then
we’re going to beat McSwain. Then we take the
title. That’s a promise.”
“I want to do more fishing with Billy. Just me
and him, a fast boat, a cooler with a six-pack of liquid
relaxation and a lake full of large-mouth bass that
say, ‘Don’t bother with all the work, boys,
we’ll just jump right in the boat. You fellas
Calvin T. Tibbins
“I want to land top sponsors for Denny and Armani.
Real sponsors. The kind that run commercials on TV and
have huge cardboard cutouts of their drivers in Wal-Mart
and who treat their team’s public relations manager
with the professionalism, respect and, dare I say –
reverence – he deserves.”
“I plan to redouble my efforts to shake this team
from the foul curse that has descended upon it. I’m
planning to teach the boys a form of transcendental
meditation that heightens awareness of the senses during
competition. It’s very Thoreau. He would have
been a great driver.”
“We are going to keep working hard and we are
going to get at least one win this season. I know it.
I can feel it. This is going to be our year. What could
possibly go wrong?”