The 2006 racing season is officially underway so it's time to take a glimpse of what we'll be treated to during the next eight months. And, since 33 is only a number, we'll use it as our yardstick.
1. The Waltrip brothers will make a really lame TV commercial.
2. Mario Andretti will be the 24th and final qualifier for the 90th Indianapolis 500. Tony George then announces qualifying will be reduced to four hours in 2007.
3. Rusty Wallace, sick of wearing a tie, not being able to cuss and talking about Danica Patrick, quits ABC/ESPN and starts running the truck series.
4. Jenson Button, now making $8 million a year, will continue his streak as the highest paid driver to never win a race.
5. Sebastien Bourdais will question Paul Tracy's intelligence.
6. John Andretti will cause a yellow flag.
7. Bernie Ecclestone, who convinced Tony George to spend $60 million to tear up the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to accomodate Formula One, decides to move the US Grand Prix to Hoboken, New Jersey.
8. Benny Parsons will breathlessly declare that Kyle Petty, in 16th place, is having a "great run."
9. Champ Car cancels its race in Korea for the third straight year but announces it will be staging a street show in San Francisco through Chinatown.
10. Jimmie Johnson will win the Firecracker 400 by four laps but his engine is found to have 16 cylinders. Crew chief Chad Knauss is fined $1,000 and banned from Florida for three months.
11. Miffed that Mario is back in an Indy car, A.J. Foyt comes out of retirement and qualifies for his 36th Indy 500. But he has to get one of his old roadsters out of the IMS museum because it's the only car he can fit in.
12. Chip Ganassi will be caught smirking on camera.
13. ISC will suggest that USAC put bodies on all its midget and sprint cars, make it one series and call it NASCAR Midwest. Naturally, USAC will comply.
14. Kyle Busch will replace brother Kurt as the most petulant driver in Nextel Cup. Jeff Hammond will praise the news until he finds out what petulant means.
15. Paul Tracy will question Sebastien Bourdais' manhood.
16. Kevin Kalkhoven and Tony George will finally agree to unify open wheel racing but nobody shows up for the press conference.
17. Michael Waltrip will use the term "cats" in a sentence more than 25 times during a Craftsman Truck broadcast.
18. Michael Schumacher will not win a Formula One race, quit in disgust and be replaced by Valentino Rossi.
19. Michael Andretti will lead the first 100 laps of the 90th Indianapolis 500 and fall back to 10th when he pits on Lap 101 just as it starts raining. It doesn't stop so the race is called and Roger Penske's team winds up in victory lane.
20. Mark Martin will win every NASCAR truck race but be shutout in Nextel Cup.
21. Katherine Legge will wish she'd have stayed in Atlantics one more season.
22. Toyota will hire Richard Petty as its NASCAR spokesman and 5,000 members of his fan club will commit mass suicide by drinking STP.
23. Helio Castroneves will win the IRL championship, Sam Hornish Jr. will capture the Indianapolis 500 and Danica Patrick will still get more magazine covers.
24. Mike Helton will quit NASCAR and become the lead character in Texas Hardtails.
25. Porsche will dominate the ALMS and Audi will quit in disgust. Penske will have effectively ruined another series.
26. A.J. Allmendinger, the only American driver left in Champ Car, will score his initial victory but nobody will be able to locate the national anthem music for the podium celebration.
27. Grand Am will start more cars than there are paying customers at Laguna Seca and Phoenix.
28. Christian Fittipaldi and Michel Jourdain will start their own NASCAR team and hire Paul Tracy to drive.
29. Little E will be caught on Inside Edition pouring root beer into his Budweiser can.
30. The IRL will announce it's condensing its '07 schedule to three months in order to be finished by the baseball all-star game and thus keep its TV partners happy.
31. Champ Car will no longer have a chief steward to police races and rely instead on the honor system.
32. NASCAR will introduce spotters instead of drivers to the crowd at Talladega.
33. Vision Racing will field 15 cars at Indianapolis to keep the last tradition alive.