The Frontstretch: A Perfect Antidote For Danica-Mania by Jeff Meyer -- Thursday August 18, 2011

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A Perfect Antidote For Danica-Mania

Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Thursday August 18, 2011


So I’ve been sitting here thinking and guess what happened… I thought of Barenaked Ladies! While that may be no surprise to many who know me, for those who don’t, I will be a bit more precise. I was thinking about money and suddenly the song If I Had A Million Dollars (sung by Barenaked Ladies) sprang into my head along with a genius marketing plan… one that involves NASCAR, of course.

OK, I admit, for my plan to work I probably would need more than a million dollars but for a few million, I’m sure I could make it happen. Better yet, it’s the perfect answer for the next relentless round of “Danica-Mania” that is poised to strike the nation in February of 2012.

Other women racers, like the Nationwide and Truck Series’ Jennifer Jo Cobb would make an exciting rival to Danica Patrick if given the right opportunity… and the right amount of cash.

As has been “officially announced” by ESPN, Danica Patrick will be racing full-time in the Nationwide series for JR Motorsports beginning in 2012. Not only will she be a surefire contender for the Nationwide championship, she will also be running a limited schedule of Cup events in cars that will be prepared by Stewart-Haas Racing, preserving her rookie status with the intent to race for SHR full-time in 2013. (Part of this paragraph contains heavy sarcasm… can you guess which part?)

Now, before I go forward, I want everyone to be perfectly clear on what I think of Danica Patrick and her foray into NASCAR. I have nothing personal against Danica, but she is one of the most overrated drivers to come through the ranks in a long time. The only reason she gets the attention she does is simply because of her looks, her sponsor and the fact that she is a woman. There are plenty of more deserving and talented drivers out there that will never get the chances she has been given simply because they are male or sponsorless (or both, as is usually the case). Let’s face it, if she wasn’t “Danica,” would there really be all the hoopla, past and future? I doubt it.

Be that as it may, if we have to have Danica, we need a rival for her as well and that is where my plan is genius in its simplicity… if I had a few million dollars, I’d sponsor Jennifer Jo Cobb and put her in equipment that equals anything Danica is driving. (Are you listening, teams such as KHI or even RWR?)

As I said, Patrick needs a rival. I mean, seriously; no matter how mad she may make a fellow competitor out on the track, one of the guys would never take a swing at her or even make snide remarks in an interview about her. How could they? Any male who did would instantly be labeled, branded, scorned, deemed sexist or any number of other things that PC wackos could dream up.

But Jennifer Jo Cobb… now that’s a different story altogether! Imagine the two of them head to head, equal equipment, woman to woman! Imagine what would happen when the two should happen to get tangled up together on the track! A NASCAR catfight… who wouldn’t love to see that!?

The marketing potential of a girl on girl racing rivalry in the big leagues is limitless for all involved. From the girls themselves to the teams and, given Brian France’s proclivity for sensationalized self-promotion, NASCAR itself could literally spin the heck out of it! You already know Danica won’t play nice; remember her little spat with Milka Duno over in open-wheel?

Yes, there is room at the top levels of NASCAR for more females other than Danica Patrick, and “If I had a (few) million dollars,” I’d buy Cobb an equal shot. Besides, Jennifer Jo Cobb is much prettier anyway!

Stay off the wall (but keep on dreaming!)

Jeff Meyer

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08/18/2011 08:03 AM

There would be no Danica-mania if it weren’t for the media and track promoters. Unfortunately, that’ll only intensify when she appears fulltime next year. Hopefully that will fade over time.

Her move to NASCAR is totally due to more competent female drivers in IRL (e.g. De Silvestro) taking the spotlight off of her. And we all know that Danica loves the spotlight regardless of what she says. She runs from the fans as she’s ‘too important’ but never leaves a camera.

It’s just a shame that Jr. and Stewart are buying into the hype. I thought that with all of their experience that they would be better than this.

Oh well, I guess we’ll get to hear more driver radio traffic about a driver that can’t get out of everyone’s way. All one has to do is pick a seat at the track that provides a view down the front stretch dog-leg and watch her weave her way through it. Scary.

08/18/2011 08:10 AM

You the man Jeff.

Rick, as much as I hate the hype over Danica, I hate even more that the sport is more and more about “can you bring or attract, a sponsor?” rather than “can you drive?”. I wish Jr. and Stewart would steer clear of this over hyped driver, but it is hard for them to turn down the millions Go daddy throws at Danica.

08/18/2011 07:01 PM

Why don’t you show a picture of Maryeve Dufault. She can drive circles around that other woman driver. People would forget Danicant real quick.

The talk of Danicant reminds me of the words in a song: “over-exposed, commercialized.”

08/19/2011 01:38 PM

Maryeve Dufault is definately a beautiful woman, but her results aren’t all that impressive. So far this year in ARCA she has no starts in the top ten and only one finish in the top ten. She has crashed in six of the 12 races she has run.

She may have potential, but for now she isn’t going to “drive circles” around Danica.

Unless you get a female driver who is easy on the eyes and starts winning, you’re not going to derail the Danica train. Too much money has already been spent marketing her and her mediocre results.

Chris Fiegler
08/19/2011 08:06 PM

How do you think that Danica Patrick will do in the Sprint Cup Series in 2012?

Chris Fiegler
08/19/2011 11:29 PM

Would it be funny if Danica Patrick Retires After this season From Auto Racing & Becomes an IndyCar Broadcaster for ABC?

Funky D
08/20/2011 09:37 AM

And what about Chrissy Wallace, who has shown some promise in the Truck and Nationwide series despite sub-par equipment. Why won’t a sponsor step up and give her a shot?


Contact Jeff Meyer

Recent articles from Jeff Meyer:

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Want to know more about Jeff Meyer or view his complete article archives? Then hop on over to his archive and bio page.