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Danica to NASCAR would be bad news for other competitors

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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10 Responses to “Danica to NASCAR would be bad news for other competitors”

  1. John Says:
    May 27th, 2009 at 10:14 am

    With Danica in NASCAR the reporters wouldn’t know who was more newsworthy, her or Jr. As far as ability, it would be interesting to see which of the two finished better.

  2. John H Says:
    May 28th, 2009 at 2:09 am

    I agree with everything you’ve said regarding Danica being overrated and over-hyped. She’s just a big fish in a small pond right now. She has a cushy ride and and one of the few open wheel names that people recognize because they market her so much. She’d be out of her mind to jump over.

    However, if she did surprise everyone, I’m sure there will be a lot of coverage at first (just as Juan Montoya generated a lot of interest when he moved over), but it would probably short lived. I think the only bad news in the end would be for Danica. I can’t see her making it, if far superior drivers such as Franchitti, and Carpentier had the trouble finding success. I think Juan is a great example of how tough it really is to get up to speed transitioning to NASCAR. It’s great to see that he’s finally starting to run well every week.

  3. Scottie Says:
    May 28th, 2009 at 4:29 am

    “…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?”

    Yes, his name is Dale Earnhardt, Jr.


  4. ED Says:
    May 28th, 2009 at 6:38 am

    I would love to see Danica in Na$car! She turns me on BIG TIME!! More of Danica is a good thing!!

  5. Ken Says:
    May 28th, 2009 at 8:13 am

    If she came to NA$CAR, it would be the D & D show all day long. The race would be the sideshow. It would be enough to drive the little interest left to zero.

  6. gary Says:
    May 28th, 2009 at 9:04 am

    I am a long time nascar fan and i would love to see her in the series. Those who don’t are probably afraid she would get a top notch ride like Gibbs, and prove that she can win in the good ol’ boys series. Now more than ever, nascar needs her. Open your minds, boys, its 2009 now, not 1950. She’s a racer, she should give it a shot.

  7. Cotton Says:
    May 28th, 2009 at 11:38 am

    I agree wholeheartedly with your opinion of Danica. I also agree with choosing Sarah Fisher as the racer I most wanted to see win. Unlike Danica, Sarah paid her dues driving sprint cars on midwest ovals. She doesn’t stomp her feet and throw silly tantrums like Danica, trying to take advantage of her gender by getting in a male driver’s face. She is a real racer and has proved it consistently by getting decent finishes in underfunded, non-competitive equipment. I’d love to see her in a competitive car. I can’t figure why on earth some owner ( Tony George, are you listening? ) doesn’t put her in one.

  8. Chad Says:
    May 28th, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    I think it would help NASCAR and the other competitors if she came there and ran well. The increase in exposure and intrigue of people wanting to know how she does would increase ratings. The better the ratings the more sponsorship opportunities for teams. It would help all the teams if Danica moved to NASCAR and ran for a competitive team

  9. D Jones Says:
    May 28th, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    I wish her IRL owner would call her bluff. Then what?

    If she really wanted to drive in NASCAR, why hasn’t she at least raced a truck or a NW car?

  10. sean Says:
    June 1st, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    well she would be just like dale jr., over hyped with no real talent. they both have no real credits to their name, the only thing that makes her famous is that she is a woman, and the only thing that makes jr. famous is his dad, they are the same person pretty much.