By admin | May 27, 2011
By Richard Allen
Word has it that Danica Patrick may be coming to NASCAR full time in 2012. Few drivers in racing today evoke as much reaction as the heavily commercialized female racer, which is exactly why she may be making the move away from the IndyCar circuit for Americaâ€™s most lucrative racing series.
Along with the rumors that she may be considering a move to NASCAR have also come the rumors that top teams such as that of Tony Stewart would like to hire her.
The mere mention of Ms. Patrickâ€™s name often elicits strong commentary from those involved in the conversation. Some of that commentary is in her favor and some of it is not, but either way, people seem to have an opinion.
For those who choose not to like her, keep in mind that she is merely the product of an evolution in racing that has been in the process of happening for a number of years now. In case you havenâ€™t noticed, getting a ride in racing has become very much about the driverâ€™s ability to bring funds to his or her team. Whether it be by having a sponsor attached to the driver, coming from a wealthy family, in some way offering a break from the norm that might set the driver apart from the others or just being attractive and outgoing enough to make commercials, the ability to raise money has succeeded the ability to drive race cars as a means of getting into top notch equipment.
Without mentioning any names, those drivers who fit the qualifications above are easy to spot as theyâ€™re the ones who often crash, rarely finish well and make critical mistakes but never seem to be lacking for a quality ride. They are scattered throughout all three of NASCARâ€™s top divisions as well as in IndyCar, drag racing, dirt racing and just about every other form of motorsports.
With regard to Danica in particular, there are few drivers who are as heavily promoted, well known or hyped as she despite the fact that her driving credentials alone do not warrant the amount of coverage and attention she gets. That said, this is a trend that has become clearly evident throughout our society in general. Look at the number of people in the music and movie industries that have no real credentials but are excessively hyped.
Of course, Danica could win the Indianapolis 500 this weekend and her credibility would suddenly be elevated well beyond its current level.
In my opinion, Danica Patrick is a marginally talented race car driver who happens to be a super talented product spokesperson. While there may be a number of drivers in various other series whose talents on the track may indicate they deserve the breaks she is getting, those individuals might not bring one of the most important skills needed in modern day racing, the ability to secure sponsorship.
Like her or not, Danica is a product of the times as far as modern day racing goes. She may not be the best behind the wheel but she is great in front of the camera which means she can provide any team she drives for with the resource they need the most in this highly expensive business.
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