More and more racing seasons are kicking off, and we love it

At Automobile Magazine’s frigid Michigan home base, double-digit temperatures have seemed balmy recently. But there’s nothing like a little racing action to get our blood pumping and our minds thinking about warmer days. Cheer up, race fans.

Just before 3 pm yesterday, the first Pro Stock qualifier blazed down the drag strip at nearly 207 mph at Pomona, California’s Auto Club Raceway, signaling the beginning of the professional NHRA season. Since I’’m a closet drag-racing nut and I know a few of these drivers personally, I’ll be closely watching the results this weekend at Pomona and for the rest of the season, thanks to ESPN2’s Sunday night coverage and If you’ve never been to a pro drag race, you owe it to yourself to smell the nitro, feel the thunder, and marvel at how much those guys (and quite a few girls) actually have to steer those hellbent monsters.

But if you’re not into big-time drag racing, you can still help shake off the winter blues this time of the year by following the World Rally Championship, which has its second event of the season—the Uddeholm Swedish Rally—this weekend. It’s too bad that, here in the States, TV coverage of the WRC is so tough to find/so late at night.

The USAC Midget and Silver Crown divisions are also in action this weekend on the clay short track in Manzanita, California. Not the mention Tony Stewart’s win at the Chili Bowl extravaganza in Tulsa a few weeks back and the recent 24 Hours at Daytona, where Scott Pruett, Salvador Duran, and Juan Pablo Montoya took the checkered flag.

Of course, if you tend to lean on the lazy side and just want to see cars on-track, Speed surely will have tons of NASCAR Daytona Speedweeks coverage over the next day or two, even though the worthwhile Daytona 500 won’t get the green flag until February 18th.

And don’t worry: in about one month, Formula 1, ALMS, the IRL, CART, and other action will be fully underway, too. See? Before you know it, you’ll need to go out and buy more charcoal for your grill, Coors Light for your bros, and sunscreen for your farmer’s tan.