By admin | May 27, 2009
By Richard Allen
Quick! And don’t look! Who finished 2nd in the 2009 Indianapolis 500?
Granted, no one is supposed to remember who finished 2nd but the race has been over for less than a week and I’m trying to make a point here.
Many probably know that the guy with the tax evasion troubles won. And, many probably know that Danica Patrick finished 3rd. But who finished 2nd?
If you don’t already know, it was Dan Wheldon who came across in 2nd place. Without a doubt, far fewer people know Wheldon finished 2nd than know that Danica finished 3rd.
It’s not as if Wheldon is some unheard of guy who just popped in there by a fluke of some sort. He was the 2005 IRL champion and the 2005 Indy 500 winner, both of which are accomplishments Danica has never achieved.
My point is this, if Danica Patrick were to come to NASCAR many of the other drivers who already receive very little attention anyway would be forgotten in the media storm that would surround this prima donna.
Before this column goes any further, let me say that I am not against Danica because she is a woman. If I could have chosen any driver to win the Indy 500 it would have been Sarah Fisher. I am opposed to Danica coming to NASCAR because she is an over-hyped, attention seeker with few accomplishments to her credit. Doesn’t NASCAR already have enough of those?
For what it‘s worth, it is my opinion that the talk of her making NASCAR overtures, or overtures being made toward her, are just a ploy to get the contract she wants with the team she wants in the IndyCar Series.
Danica Patrick coming to NASCAR would be a bad thing for the other competitors. Imagine the television specials and pre-race talk centered around her. Whether she was running 1st or 30th she would be focal point of attention, just like the coverage of IndyCar racing. One pit reporter would be dedicated to her and her only, just like the coverage of IndyCar racing.
I don’t know whether Danica could win in NASCAR or not. I doubt it, but I don‘t know for sure. She certainly does not have the credentials of Sam Hornish or Jacques Villeneuve, one of whom has struggled and the other never made it in NASCAR. I do know it would best for a lot of people if she just stays where she is.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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