The Wrench Who Stole Racing


Down in Fan-ville they liked racing a lot

But the ‘Wrench’, who lived just north of Fan-ville, did NOT!

The ‘Wrench’ hated racing! The whole racing season.

Now please don’t ask why

No one quite knows the reason.

It could be that his helmet wasn’t screwed on quite right.

It could be, perhaps, that his ‘steering’ was too tight.

But I think the most likely reason of all

May have been that his hands was two sizes too small.

But whatever the reason, his head or his hands,

He stood there the night before the first race, hating the Fans.

Staring down from his cave with a sour, Wrenchy pout

At the motorhomes below in the infield scattered all about.

All the Fans were busy now hanging driver flags with cheer.

“And they’re wearing driver t-shirts!” he snarled with a sneer, “Tomorrow is race day! It’s practically here!”

Then he growled, with his Wrenchy fingers nervously drumming,

” I MUST find a way to keep race day from coming!”

For, tomorrow, he knew…All Fan guys and gals

Would wake up bright and early with screams and happy howls…

They’d head for the track.

They’d rush the grandstands!

Hats on their heads and scanners in their hands.

They drop that green flag and then,

And then!

Oh the noise!

Oh the noise!

Noise! Noise! Noise!

That’s the one thing he hated!


The Fans, young and old, would sit down there to watch them race.

And they’d race.

And they’d race!

And they’d RACE! RACE! RACE! RACE!

Those infernal machines would start going round, the Fans all cheering, yelling so loud!

But, before all of THAT they’d do something he liked least of all.

Every Fan down in Fan-ville, the tall and the small, in the stands, in the infield

And along the pit wall,

Would place their Fan hands over their little Fan hearts,

And they’d start singing.

They’d sing!

And they’d sing.


And the more the Wrench thought of the Fan-pre-race-Sing,

The more the Wrench thought, “I must stop this whole thing!”,

“Why for fifty-four years I’ve put up with it now!

I MUST stop this race from running!….

But how?”

Then he got an idea!

An awful idea!


“I know just what to do!” The Wrench laughed in his throat.

And he made a quickie drivers hat and a drivers red leather coat.

And he chuckled and clucked, “What a great Wrenchy trick!”

With this coat and this hat, I’ll look just like Dale Earnhardt Junior did in 2006!”

“All I need now is a crew chief and a car…”

The Wrench looked around. But since crew chiefs are scarce,

There was none to be found.

Did that stop the old Wrench…?No!

The Wrench simply said,” If I can’t find a crew chief, I’ll make one instead!”

So he called his dog Max.

Then he took an old NAPA hat and placed it on his head.

THEN he loaded some bags,

And some old empty sacks

On a ramshackle old Pontiac Grand Prix

And he snatched up old Max.

Then the Wrench said with a hiss” Gentleman start your engines”.

And the car started down toward the motorhomes

Where the Fans lay a-snoozen in the infield.

All their windows were dark.

The garage silent.

All the Fans were dreaming sweet dreams without a lark.

Then he came to the first motorhome on the row.

“This is stop number one.” The old Wrenchy racer hissed, “Let’s start this show!”

And he climbed to the roof, empty bags in his fist.

Then he slid down the air-vent, a rather tight pinch.

But if a Fan could do it, then so could the Wrench.

He got stuck only once, then on he went.

Then slowly he stuck his head out of the AC vent.

On the table there before him, the little Fans’ hats lay all in a row.

“These hats” he grinned, “are the first things to go!”.

Then he slithered and slunk, with a smile most unpleasant

And he took every Fan thing in the room that was present!

Mark Martin hats! T-shirts for Stewart! Dale Jarrett socks! Belt buckles for Dale junior!

Mugs from Labonte, both Terry and Bobby! Die-cast cars collected as a hobby!

And he stuffed them in the bags.

Then the Wrench, very aloof, stuffed all the bags

One by one up to the roof.

Then he slunk to the icebox and as dirty as dirt.

He took all their food and shoved it down his shirt!

He cleaned out the icebox as quick as a deer.

Why that Wrench even took their last can of Miller Lite beer!

Then he stuffed the whole load up onto the roof,

Where it landed on Max, who let out a ‘ooch’!

“And NOW!” grinned the Wrench,” I‘ll head to the next,

There’s much, too much work that’s yet to be done!”

But as he turned to the vent and started to jump up with a lerp.

He heard a sound behind him, a rather large burp.

He turned around fast, and saw a large Fan!

A big old redneck, who went by the name of Dan.

The Wrench had been caught by this big redneck who stood near

Who’d gotten out of bed to relieve himself of old beer.

He stared at the Wrench, looking quite tipsy, and said,” Junior…Junior? What the heck are YOU doin’ here?”

Now you know, that old Wrench was so smart and so slick.

He thought up a lie and he thought it up quick!

“Hey dude, sorry thought this was my hauler.”

And this fib fooled the man.

The Wrench reached in his shirt and pulled out a beer.

Then gave it to the man and whispered in his ear,

“Here, take this, thanks for your support”.

Then he patted the man on the on his big redneck belly and sent him to bed.

And when the redneck went to bed with his beer,

He went to the vent and gave a silent cheer.

Then he went up the vent, the old liar.

On their walls he left nothing but some hooks and some wire.

And the one speck of food that he left in the RV,

Was a crumb that was too small for even little John Andretti.

Then he did the same thing to the other Fans RV’s

Leaving crumbs much too small for ANY John Andretti.

And last thing he did was climb the flag stand.

And took ALL the flags, red ,yellow, black, checkered and green!

It was a quarter past dawn, all the Fans were still a-dreamin’

The Fans still a-snorin’, when he packed up his old Grand Prix.

Packed it up with all that Fan stuff.

The Mark Martin hats! The Stewart t-shirts! The die-cast cars!

The Dale Jarrett socks!

And finally the flags, red, yellow, black checkered and green.

Up the side of Mount Rockingham, the old Wrench he did climb.

His trunk piled high from his overnight snide.

He went to the top, and peered over the far edge,

And got ready to dump the bags over the ledge.

“Pooh-pooh to the Fans!” He was Wrenchly humming, “They’re finding out that no racing is coming!”

“They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!”

“There mouth’s will hang open a minute or two!”

“Then all the Fans down in Fan-ville will cry BOO-HOO!”

“That’s a noise” grinned the Wrench, “That I simply MUST hear!”.

So he paused.

And the Wrench put a tiny hand to his ear.

And he heard a sound rising from the track way down there.

It started in low.

Then it started to grow.

But the sound wasn’t sad. No BOO-HOO!

And he looked very hard at the track down below.

And saw them pushing RACE cars onto pit row!

The Wrench popped his eyes. Then he shook!

What he saw was a shocking surprise!

Every Fan down in Fan-ville, the tall and the small,

Was cheering!

Why, they’d race after ALL!

He HADN’T stopped the race from coming.


Somehow or the other, they’d race just the same!

And the Wrench, with his wrenchy feet ice-cold in the snow,

Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so? How could they still cheer?”

“They’ll race without hats! Without flags, without Miller Lite beer!”

“And yet, somehow, they’ll still put on a show. Race ‘round the track, off they’ll go”

And he puzzled awhile, and puzzled and puzzled’ till his puzzler hurt so.

Then the Wrench thought of something he hadn’t before!

“Maybe racing, means a lot more, than hats, or T-shirts or stuff from a store,” he thought.

“Maybe the drivers going around head to head, racing each other counting the laps that each have lead.”

The Wrench screwed his mouth and looked up in the air,” Maybe at the end of 500 miles or more, after racing each other close, door to door, one-hundred ninety miles an hour, sometimes a little more.”

The Wrench rubbed his pointy, wrenchy chin.

“Hmm…A TRUE test of a man is how far and fast he will go.”

And what happened then?

Well…in Fan-ville they say

That the Wrenches small hands grew three sizes that day!

And the minute his steering didn’t feel so tight.

He whizzed, raced really, with his load through the bright morning light.

And he brought back all the Fans’ things!

And he brought back the flags, red, yellow, black, checkered and green.


The Wrench dropped the green flag from the flag stand that day,

But not before all the Fans heard him say:

“Gentleman start your engines! Let the racing get underway!”


(Adapted from the “How The Grinch stole Christmas”, by Dr. Suess)

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.