December 31: last day of the 2013 calendar year and home to a couple birthdays of note.
First, a happy 39th to Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan, who earned an early birthday present in October when he signed with Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2014 IndyCar season. That became the No. 10 Target seat earlier this month, when CGR confirmed Ryan Briscoe as the team’s fourth driver to replace the retired Dario Franchitti.
Next up, we’ll wish a happy 59th to Hermann Tilke, the architect of most new Formula One circuits. Tilke’s tracks ignite opinion either way but they do have some dramatic points.
Lastly, happy 20th to NASCAR up-and-comer Ryan Blaney, who won his first Nationwide Series race earlier this year at Kentucky. A Penske Racing prodigy, Blaney should be in Cup within a couple years at the latest.