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Talladega Offers Danica Another Chance to Live Up to the Hype

By admin | May 1, 2013

 Can Danica Patrick live up to the hype that surrounds her in Talladega?

By Richard Allen

The most hyped driver in NASCAR is easily Danica Patrick. Ever since her move from the IndyCar Series to stock cars, the female driver has been the subject of any and all sorts of media attention. From her commercials for to her personal appearances away from racing to her romance with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., this driver dominates the sport’s headlines off the track.

Trouble is, there is very little to report on Danica as far as on track activities are concerned.

Danica’s relationship with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. has garnered more headlines than her race results.

In ten starts during an abbreviated Sprint Cup campaign last season, her best finish was a 17th in Phoenix. This year, Danica has one top-10 to go along with seven results of 25th or worse. Those numbers don’t even come close to matching the hype she receives on a weekly basis.

Patrick’s best finish of 2013 came in the sport’s marquee event, the Daytona 500. She ran near the front most of the day in a rather event-less race and was eventually shuffled back to 8th place on the final lap. She did start from the pole in that race. That, given the unique qualifying format in Daytona, allowed for an overdose of Danica-mania to catch hold.

Danica did score one of the most talked about non top-10 finishes in history when she came home 12th in Martinsville back in early April.

Now, the Sprint Cup Series is set to head to the Talladega Super Speedway this Sunday for another round of restrictor plate racing. That, in turn, means Ms. Patrick will have another shot at living up to the massive amount of hype that surrounds her every move.

Often times, cars that qualify well at Daytona also qualify well in Talladega. This means she will likely have an opportunity to start at or near the front of the field in the Aaron’s 499. Further, with the way the Daytona 500 played out with its single-file parading, there is also the chance that she could ride at or near the front for much of the day as well.

The big question will come late in the going. In Daytona, Danica made the wrong moves on the final lap and fell back while others moved forward.

Can she make the right moves this Sunday in Alabama? If not, it could be a long wait to get back to another plate track in July. A lot of 25th or worse finishes could be piled up by then.

There’s a lot of pressure to get it right when you only have four chances a season.


Topics: Articles |

13 Responses to “Talladega Offers Danica Another Chance to Live Up to the Hype”

  1. Mike Craft Says:
    May 1st, 2013 at 9:11 am

    It’s actually funny how the media, that’s you, complains about the hype and “too much coverage” and keeps writing full page articles about Danica. You can’t have it both ways. You write how bad all the coverage is, but you love the readership that it brings you.
    Danica is a “rookie” driver who drives smart and doesn’t take a lot of chances. Of course her progress is going to be slow. Just treat her progress like any other rookie. Sometimes I think you expect her to be a female “five time”. There is no substitute for seat time in NASCAR. She will get better. Time will tell.

  2. Russ Says:
    May 1st, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    There are a lot of people, not least of all the France Family and Nascar shareholders, who hope she does well.
    Richmond I think was another eye opener that the turnaround is, to be generous, fragile.
    She is the one bright spot on the horizon for them.

  3. kb Says:
    May 2nd, 2013 at 1:27 am

    I do not believe with the sanity I have this person is worth the hype. Rookie, big deal..what has she done? Kool Aid drinkers will continue to defend, but she is the reason why old timers and the like are leaving. Listening to any broadcaster from big mouth DW to bias Rusty lay fame on her, its sickening. And yes she has said many times she expects to be the center of attention and is mad when she isn’t (something to that effect). So she does court it and looks for it. If she didn’t why would at the beginning of the season she “gush” about her relationship with the butter faced boy on the stage of the world media? That was disgusting and broke our hearts to see how low the media lapped that adulterous bit of news up. Shame what this sport and others have become.

  4. Bill B Says:
    May 2nd, 2013 at 5:51 am

    Danica… Who gives a …..?

  5. Chris Fiegler Says:
    May 2nd, 2013 at 7:03 am

    Do you think that Danica Patrick will win the Aaron’s 499 at Talledega?

  6. Jim Says:
    May 2nd, 2013 at 8:19 am

    I sure do have a good laugh day in and day out as the media continue to give a back of pack runner press time, much to the delight of the King puffy cheeks in the Ivory Towers of Daytona. Princess is doing all this with the best that money can buy and back of the pack is all she will ever do. Anyone with half a brain knows this and still more press time. What a JOKE.

  7. Steven Says:
    May 2nd, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Let’s hope her spotter keeps her from getting into pissing contests with other backmarkers. Then again the full force of Hendricks engineering will put her at least in the top 20 at the plate tracks.

  8. Ken Says:
    May 2nd, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    The fun part will be on Saturday, when Danica is in a well-funded Turner-Scott car. I say this will be fun because I really hope that Johanna Long, who doesn’t have anywhere near the funding of Danica, upstages her. Then, maybe some day, people will realize which female driver in NASCAR has real talent, and maybe Johanna will finally get a well-deserved break. Unlike Danica, she is earning it!

  9. Chris Fiegler Says:
    May 2nd, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Do you think that Danica Patrick will Qualify for the Aaron’s 312 on Friday Since She Has to Qualify on Speed & Time?

  10. Benjamin P. Glaser Says:
    May 2nd, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Johanna Long is a better driver than Danica.

    End of Story.

  11. Tyler West Says:
    May 3rd, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Hopefully she’ll crash early! I’m sick of the annoucers blowing smoke up her butt. She’s a joke that got her ride on looks not talent. Johanna Long is a much better driver but does not have anywhere near the funding of Patricks team. Also, Patrick whines as much as that piece of crap Stewart does. Hate ‘em both. They SUCK!!!! Crash out and go away Patrick!!

  12. Tony Geinzer Says:
    May 4th, 2013 at 8:02 am

    I don’t want to play the Let’s Not and Say We Did Card, but, if Danica doesn’t regularly perform and Kurt Busch was “shipped” North to Indiana, we will look bad for having another loud and expensive Juan Pablo Montoya but with no real work of victories on American Soil. Japan being the lone 1st Division Win for Her in 08.

  13. Joshua Ratz Says:
    May 5th, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Danica’s progress has been slow. In some races, she could have got a top 20 finish but lost a lap or two early due to qualifying and starting the race with poor setups, but some things have to be fixed with her communication with Tony Gibson to get what she needs.

    Can Danica win the Aaron’s 499? One individual asked this already - honestly anything is possible. I know it, just the same as I loved when she won Motegi playing the full mileage game. She can win at Talladega with a better strategy than that, but honestly I feel more comfortable if she had a dance partner who wasn’t Greg Biffle. He doesn’t make things happen as much as others do - can’t believe Roush kept him around. Danica can win. Her strategy should be survive the first 163 laps and launch in the remaining 25 at the first chance she can get, stay in the Top 5 and go for it with 3 to go knowing she’ll have someone behind her who’s going back her up and propel her to the finish.