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Yes, Danica Patrick could win the Daytona 500

By admin | January 23, 2012

By Richard Allen

During a Charlotte area stop off for the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour, the motorsports press were provided access to Stewart-Haas Racing’s roster of drivers. While team co-owner and defending Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart was among those to be on hand, he was not necessarily the star attraction.

The team’s newest driver, Danica Patrick, spoke with the assembled media about her plans for the coming 2012 season in which she race full time for JR Motorsports on the Nationwide Series and part time for SHR in the Sprint Cup Series. As the former IndyCar star discussed her expectations for what will be her most heavily involved effort in stock cars, she made what some might consider to be a startling claim.

In regard to this year’s Daytona 500, Patrick said, “I think there’s a real chance, if luck falls our way, to perhaps win.”

Some might say that such is not possible. It might be argued that Danica is too inexperienced to win the sport’s biggest event in her first try. However, those who might make that argument are lacking in memory…and very recent memory at that.

Just one year ago Trevor Bayne was able to win ‘The Great American Race’ in his first Sprint Cup attempt on the big 2.5 mile speedway. Coming into that race, the just turned 20 year old driver had only entered one other event at NASCAR’s highest level. For that matter, he had only been a part of fifteen Nationwide Series races by that time. And, he had never won in any of NASCAR’s top divisions.

Bayne won the 2011 Daytona 500 driving for the Wood Brothers, a single car team that receives engines and some technical support from larger Roush Fenway Racing.

Danica will enter this year’s Daytona 500 with a resume very similar to the one Bayne brought with him a year ago. Except, she will be driving for championship caliber Stewart-Haas Racing, which receives its support from powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports.

As Bayne proved last year, the key to winning the biggest event in Sprint Cup racing is to steer clear of trouble for 497.5 miles and have the car in the right position on the last lap. With whatever rule changes that may be in place by then, it could be anyone of 43 drivers who could do that on February 26th. And that includes Danica Patrick.

But one race Danica won’t win in 2012 is the Indianapolis 500. She announced on Monday that it had proven too difficult to put a deal together for the Memorial Day weekend event. She will compete in the Sprint Cup Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte instead.

I currently have 1835 followers on Twitter. If I reach 2000 by the day of the Daytona 500 I will host a ‘Pick the Winner’ contest for that race which will pay $50 to the winner. So, if you are already on Twitter follow @RacingWithRich for a chance to win. If you’re not on Twitter come on board and join the discussion.

Click the Twitter link on the left side of the page to follow.

Topics: Articles |

16 Responses to “Yes, Danica Patrick could win the Daytona 500”

  1. Chris Fiegler Says:
    January 23rd, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Who was the Last Woman to Race in the Coca-Cola 600 & How did she do?

  2. Russ Says:
    January 23rd, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    While Danica may well win the 500, seems like the unflattering truth has come out about the way she has handled this whole “affair”.

  3. fuzzy Says:
    January 24th, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Stay tuned Russ,with all the points buying just to get her in the 500,u aint seen nothing yet as far as the AFFAIR !

  4. Greg Says:
    January 24th, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Points Buying ( Gee thought Mikey Waltrip was only 1 doing that ) has been going on for years and hardly a word on it, but the minute HER name is mentioned its OH MY GOD !.

    Any 1 of the 43 drivers entered can win the 500 , and a lot of 1 time only WINNING drivers have in the past.

  5. Russ Says:
    January 24th, 2012 at 9:22 am

    I wasn’t referring to the points buying. Actually it was a reference to the deceit, lies, or whatever you wish to term it regarding her switch to Nascar.
    While the “no comment” card is certainly used and expected of anyone in contract negoitations, this was a blatant marketing ploy by she and her handlers.
    But that’s more a question for the media to deal with.

  6. fuzzy Says:
    January 24th, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Greg,did any of the other 1 time winners buy their way in ???? Check the facts mister !

  7. Greg Says:
    January 24th, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Who cares about the BEHIND THE SCENES BS , nothing to do with me.

    I turn on the TV or go to the track to watch the RACE not the NASCAR SOAP OPERA.

    Her switching to NASCAR is no different than other drivers switching over from other series OUTLAWS . MOTORCROSS , NHRA.

    As for MARKETING , um GEE the BIG $ is from MARKETING the driver to SPONSORS and marketing the SPONSORS product or service to the race fans.

  8. Dave Says:
    January 24th, 2012 at 10:29 am

    In reply to Chris, to my knowledge Janet Guthrie was the last woman to race the World 600 in 1976. She started 27th and finished 15th, 21 laps down.

  9. Greg Says:
    January 24th, 2012 at 11:32 am


    The FACT is we do not know of all the behind the scenes deals done in the past with the good old boys of NASCAR.

  10. Bill B Says:
    January 24th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Sure she could win the Daytona 500. Anyone can. It’s a crapshoot race. Always will be as long as restrictor plates are involved.

  11. DMan Says:
    January 24th, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Puuuhh–lease. C’mon. Anyone can win Daytona…anyone. Isnt Derrick Cope proof of that?

    Already sick of the mediocre-skilled Danica hype for 2012. Enough. Theres real stories out there to cover.

  12. Ken Says:
    January 24th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    The only thing making me cringe more than that thought of NASCAR’s so-called most popular driver winning the Daytona 500, is the thought of that petulant little witch winning! The media and NASCAR’s misguided management would be all over themselves with article after article! I for one am already sick of the publicity this woman is getting! There are 43 drivers running each race, but, according to the media (stipulated by NASCAR management no doubt), there are only four or five drivers ever talked about, Junior, Cryle Busch, Jimmie, Jeffy, and now, Wonder-Girl! So much for looking forward to 2012!

  13. Jim Says:
    January 24th, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Restrictor Plate races are the “easiest” races to win, so anyone that starts has as good a chance as as anyone else to win. Key word; chance. It’s all about timing and luck, not a lot of skill involved.

  14. ElBobbo Says:
    January 24th, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Yep, she could win and pigs might actually fly and I am the best looking guy in the world. Do we need to perpetuate any more B.S. or can we simply refer to her as an inexperienced, untested rookie and see where the chips fall.

  15. Jim Says:
    January 25th, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    ElBobbo, how many drivers have won at Daytona, but nowhere else? Vague answer; A number of them. I’m not saying this because I’m pulling for her, I’m saying this because what BillB and many others that know stock car racing already know. It’s a total crapshoot, period.

    Anyone that starts the race can win it with shear luck.

    Restrictor plate racers need only one mantra: ‘I’d rather be lucky than good’

    One more thing, wasn’t Trevor Bayne an untested, inexperienced rookie when he won last year? You bet he was.

  16. Chris Fiegler Says:
    January 27th, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Will Memorial Day make History in 2012 by Having Women in Both the Indianapolis 500 & the Coca-Cola 600 in the Same Year for the Very First Time? I don’t think that I have ever saw Women Racing in Both the Indianapolis 500 & the Coca-Cola 600 in the Same Year. Unless that there was a woman in the 60th Indianapolis 500 in 1976.