NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Daytona 500 TV Ratings Down
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Wednesday February 26, 2014
What was the longest weather delay in Daytona 500 history turned out to bring NASCAR lower ratings and TV viewership Sunday night than expected. According to a report Monday from FOX Sports, the 56th running of the Daytona 500 airing at 8 PM (ET) posted a 5.6/10 national household rating/share which averaged 9.3 million viewers. That’s down 44 percent from last year’s 9.9, easily making it the least-watched Daytona 500 of all-time.
Due to the six-hour, twenty-two minute rain delay in Daytona, the race was up against the primetime coverage of the Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony from Sochi, Russia on NBC (15.25 million viewers). FOX also reported that 69% of the pre-rain delay viewers of the race, which began at 1 PM (ET) kept tuning in.
In comparison, the 2013 Daytona 500 on FOX was the most-watched race in five years, posting a 9.9/22 rating/share, commanding 16.7 million viewers. The Daytona 500 in 2012, the first to ever be run on a Monday and in the primetime slot did a 7.7/13 overnight rating/share which resulted in 13.67 million households viewing the race according to Nielsen TV ratings data.
Earnhardt, Jr. Claims Second Daytona 500 Victory
posted by Justin Tucker
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Ten years is a long time. For Dale Earnhardt, Jr., it felt like an eternity. NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver endured many near misses and close calls at the Daytona 500 since his only win in the Great American Race in 2004. Earnhardt had finished second in two of his last three Daytona 500s coming into Sunday’s race. He was also riding the tail of a 55-race winless streak, dating back to Michigan in 2012.
However nothing would stop Dale Jr. on Sunday, not even a 6 hour and 22 minute rain delay from capturing his second Daytona 500 win. Earnhardt Jr. led a race-high 54 laps on the evening and used some timely drafting help from teammates Jimmie Johnson and, on the final restart, Jeff Gordon to separate from the pack and secure the victory.
“Winning this race is the greatest feeling that you could feel in this sport besides accepting the trophy for the championship,” said a jubilant Earnhardt after pulling into Victory Lane. “We could fight off battle after battle. We got a little help at the end there from Jeff to get away on the restart. This is amazing. I can’t believe this is happening. I never take this for granted, man because it doesn’t happen twice, let alone once.”
Aside from the race itself the big story of the race was the 6 hour and 22 minute red flag, which threatened to move the race to Monday evening (had the race been postponed, FOX Sports’ Chris Myers had tweeted that the race would resume at 5:00pm EST). However, Mother Nature would cooperate and would allow the race to be run under different conditions from which they practiced this week. Once the race resumed, the intensity picked up from the changing track conditions. This allowed the pack to race side-by-side and at times 3-wide up to seven rows deep.
Joining Earnhardt Jr. in the top 5 for the 2014 Daytona 500 were: Denny Hamlin who closed out a spectacular Speedweeks in second, Brad Keselowski in third, Jeff Gordon in fourth, and Jimmie Johnson who overcome two wrecks leading up to the 500 in fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 in the Daytona 500 were Matt Kenseth in sixth, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in seventh and Greg Biffle would bring his No. 16 Ford home in eighth. Austin Dillon would come home ninth in his first Cup Series race in the iconic No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, while Casey Mears would round out the top 10.
A couple of major contenders for the Daytona 500 win would see their hopes dashed early on as Martin Truex, Jr. would blow up just 30 laps into the race, relegating him to a 43rd-place finish in his debut for Furniture Row Racing. Crew chief Todd Berrier was already in Nashville for a test session before the race was even over. Kyle Busch, meanwhile would have a pit road violation just before halfway and would spend much of the race battling back from that mistake. Busch would eventually finish 19th after leading 19 laps.
Danica Patrick would also be bit by bad luck as she was caught up in a multi-car wreck on lap 145. Patrick would lead her second consecutive Daytona 500, but wouldn’t have the finish to show for it finishing 40th. Tony Stewart would encounter a frustrating evening as well, with a fuel pickup problem derailing his quest for his first Daytona 500 win. Stewart would finish 35th.
A look at the Daytona 500 by the numbers. There were 42 lead changes among 18 drivers, while seven cautions for 39 laps would slow the race pace to 145.290 MPH.
Next week, the Sprint Cup Series heads to the “diamond in the desert,” Phoenix International Raceway for The Profit on CNBC 500K. The Green flag is scheduled for 3:15pm EST.
Nationwide Series Post-Race Quotes: Drive4COPD 300
posted by Thomas Bowles
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Frontstretch Interviews – Courtesy Mike Neff
ELLIOTT SADLER – FINISHED 4th
Thoughts on the race?
It’s definitely a lot different racing than what we’re used to.
Comfortable with it?
Yeah, it’s just different. You’re worried about what you’re doing, but you’re also worried about what everyone else is doing and they’re not doing more than you’re doing. Physically pushing a guy is way better than just riding so you just gotta time it right and push it to the edge.
Happy to start the year with a top 5?
Yeah. Hell, that was the worst we ran all day, I think. I have no idea how they put the 3 car in front of us on that last restart. I hadn’t seen the 3 car hardly all day. When they put us from fifth to sixth, on the outside line, it just really boxed us in. I would have really restarted behind my teammate and given him a good push to the front. Anyways, it is what it is; we’ll take it and move on.
Looked like you were up front all day.
The guys did a good job. We had a fast race car. Great pit stops, just really proud of these guys. The car’s in one piece and we can take it to Talladega now. Great job by my guys. A lot of effort came into coming down here to Daytona and giving ourselves a shot to win. We had that chance to be up front and make some things happen. Fifth is not what we want, but we’ll take it and move on.
Bumping vs Pushing?
It’s way harder. You don’t want to lay on the guy in front of you, so it’s tough racing. A lot different than what we’re used to, ‘cause you gotta go. You gotta drag the brake too ‘cause you don’t want to hit the guys and you don’t want to stay on him. It’s a lot harder mentally than what we’ve done in the past.
Car was strong all day. Pushing vs. Bumping, is that harder to do than just getting on somebody and pushing them?
Yeah, it is a little bit. When you bump ‘em, you jar ‘em, it kinda jacks ‘em a little bit. It’s a little more abrupt, obviously. I thought it was OK there at the end. It was certainly fun and hopefully entertaining. But a little bit of a struggle in the early part of the race and the midpart of the race to see a good race. And that’s unfortunate for the fans. You can’t do that the whole race, you can’t tear up your stuff, knock your grill in, overheat your motor, all that stuff so there’s no sense in doing all that until you get down to the last lap. The 7 and the 6, they did a good job. Man, the 7 really held the 22 and I tight on the bottom. I was rubbing his door and hitting the apron at the same time, no room whatsoever. So it was good; wish we were the ones who could have won but a lot better now than what we were last year.
Going home in one piece makes it a lot better, right?
Yeah. My back feels good. My foot feels good. Past years here, I’ve been going home with pain so I’m alright.
Connect with Mike!
2014 Truck Series Post-Race Quotes: Daytona (Exclusives)
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday February 22, 2014
When you’re on the outside like that, how frustrating is it?
It’s so hard. Timothy Peters has won here. Kyle Busch has won everywhere. Ron Hornaday has been running Trucks forever, probably before I was even born. I was surrounded by veterans there, and like I told them I don’t have a rookie stripe but I’m a rookie. This is only my fourth Truck race ever, my fourth superspeedway race, and man, I figured out when the 17 got up in front of me, I pushed him. And as soon as I pushed him, he took off. And I went with him. And I just kept doing it, and before I knew it, he was leading. And I saw Ron in my mirror, backed up to him, and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t know what would have happened. I gotta thank him big time for that. That was a true teammate move right there. I really appreciate that. He just bounced off me and we got to the front. I tried my hardest to sidedraft Kyle. I was probably touching his door.
Top 5 in the No. 30 truck. This deal come together at the last minute, but you had a heck of a truck. Tell us about your night.
Yeah, I’ve got to thank Turner Scott Motorsports. The guys worked so hard on this Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet. Exciting! Just got hung up on the outside and had to wait for my teammate there to catch up. And then he got to the bottom, so… I got the old 32 and started pushing ol’ Ryan to the front. So, it’s not bad. We’ll take it. You just don’t want to step over that boundary. You don’t know how far to push and shove. We bumped about six times down the straightaway without latching onto them. Hopefully, that was OK and we came home with a top 5.
Connect with Mike!
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Thompson In Turn 5 · Tommy Thompson · Thursday September 10, 2009
If the rumors are to be believed, and there is no reason to believe that they should not, Danica Patrick, the darling of the IndyCar Series, is ready to test the waters in NASCAR. The questions that remain at this point are simply when, where, and with whom the only female in history to win an IndyCar event will land for her apprenticeship in stock car racing.
But there’s a second, more pertinent question, as well that no one is talking about: Is NASCAR itself ready for “Danica-mania?”
What does seem fairly clear is that Danica is not ready to chuck her day job as an IndyCar driver quite yet, pursuing a new career in NASCAR slowly with possible starts in ARCA, the Camping World Truck Series, and later the Nationwide Series before considering the gigantic jump to Sprint Cup. Armed with sponsorship, Patrick should be able have no problems finding owners within any of those divisions, and it is being reported that Kevin Harvick, Inc. is willing and able to integrate her into its successful Truck Series program. The Dale Earnhardt / Rick Hendrick partnership of JR Motorsports no doubt would also be willing to accommodate the IndyCar Series’ most recognizable driver should she be in need of a Nationwide Series seat.
Of course, Patrick coming to NASCAR-talk is nothing new, and has been an experiment that I have wholeheartedly endorsed and invited. Patrick has absolutely nothing to lose in attempting a move to the nation’s most popular and profitable motorsports series — and she knows it. Should the 28-year-old fail, she will still have her open-wheel career as long as she can be semi-competitive and remain a fan draw. However, should this woman succeed and become a viable competitor at the Sprint Cup level, any fame and fortune Patrick has made up to now will pale in comparison to what she would gain in NASCAR.
Two-time Sprint Cup Champion, Tony Stewart, who seems to be the go-to-guy for information concerning Danica’s move to NASCAR, believes that her motives are deeper than just financial. Said Stewart, who is the only credible source confirming that Danica is, in fact, working towards a career in NASCAR: “She’s looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘Hey, this is what I want to do. It looks like fun. It looks like a lot of work, but it looks like fun. She doesn’t have some misguided idea that it’s going to be easy doing it. She wants to do it the right way. She has the intention of doing everything right.”
OK, maybe a race schedule about twice as long and wheeling race cars about twice as large looks like fun to Patrick, but don’t for one minute believe that this woman doesn’t understand the move could also further fatten her checking account!
“NASCAR has so many viewers and so many partners. There are lots of options [for drivers] inside and outside the car. And it looks like fun. Oval racing always is fun. It’s kind of like the Indy 500 event weekend [each race.]”
Patrick continued, “The most important thing is to put myself in a situation where I can win as many races as possible, run up front, and be competitive. There’s also the brand side. Just being able to make the most of it as an athlete and endorser of products by gaining exposure and, in due time, exploring things outside of racing.”
Clearly, for Danica racing might be racing, but… it’s a business for her as well!
More than once Patrick, regardless of her finishing position in a race, has garnered the largest share of publicity after altercations with fellow drivers. Perhaps her most memorable incident actually happened following a practice session, with her temper boiling over at Mid-Ohio towards fellow female driver Milka Duno in the pits. During that public display of anger, a simple disagreement turned into a shrill yelling match between the two women as well as full-fledged entertainment for sports broadcasts nationwide. No punches were exchanged in last July’s incident, but Milka did make a couple of futile attempts to snap a towel at Patrick’s face in a YouTube clip viewed by over half a million.
Perhaps stock car racing and NASCAR could survive and even thrive in a “catfight” between Danica and a fellow female competitor (if there was one), but the fiery driver does not limit her challenging and confrontational antics to those of her own gender. In June of 2007, Danica was brazen enough to confront 2005 IndyCar Series Champion and Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon following an on-track incident and got physical, grabbing and shoving her rival in the process. Wheldon, to his credit, did not retaliate physically.
Then, too, there was the infamous “High Noon” stroll down pit lane at Indianapolis during last year’s 500 after tangling with Ryan Briscoe in a pit road incident. The visibly angry Patrick appeared ready for battle with the Penske driver; however, IndyCar officials ultimately prevented her from entering Briscoe’s pit area before any confrontation could occur. Still, Patrick’s pit road display remains THE story of the 2008 Indianapolis 500.
So far, Patrick has been able to get away with her temper tantrums. But would the result be the same should she compete in NASCAR? Not unlike the IndyCar Series, tempers do from time to time turn physical in stock car racing — but rarely does either driver allow another to manhandle them without defending themselves. So should Danica tee-off on a fellow competitor in NASCAR, does that driver still have the unwritten physical right to defend himself… or should Ms. Patrick be exempt from retribution?
The question may seem trite and insignificant, but it is one that every driver, knowing Patrick’s past history, should consider. It is not a situation that they have probably had to contemplate in their career, yet with a brazen, confident, and successful woman in the lineup, suddenly their world could change in an instant. Just imagine, if you will, Danica attempting to manhandle a short-fused driver such as Kevin Harvick. Would such a driver be out of line to physically react, or would they be best advised to shirk away from the confrontation? Better yet, would their temper allow them to even make that decision?
A more problematic situation confronting NASCAR should Patrick become a visible part of the sports scene is also the direction her “branding” is taking. Entering a sport known for hawking its family values, it seems that Patrick has determined to date that she should sell “sexiness” as part of her national marketing appeal. Indeed, those that have seen her GoDaddy commercials could not have missed the sexually suggestive tone. In fact, the latest rumor has the 5’ 2” Patrick posing nude for the upcoming issue of ESPN The Magazine (no doubt “tastefully” done). The driver, of course, is already no stranger to such racy photographs, gracing the pages of last year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
Nude photos in NASCAR? How is that going to jive with a sport that embraces, Mom, apple pie, and pre-race prayers?
We don’t yet know the answer, but it’s all part of the overall impact this move could bring in the coming weeks and months. At least there’s one thing we can say for sure; should Danica prove capable of competing in the Sprint Cup Series, things will be interesting… to say the least.
And… that’s my view from Turn 5.
©2000 - 2008 Tommy Thompson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Tommy, you’ve got to be kidding with this article. Good God I at least HOPE you are kidding with this article. Bringing Danica Patrick into the highest ranks of NASCAR driving would be one of the smartest moves that Brian France could make. Whether Danica is ready to jump into the Cup Series right off the bat or gradually enter into it by starting off in the Truck or Nationwide Series first is totally up to her. You talk about Danica as if she’s the only driver wanting to drive in the big league for the money that comes along with it. I’ll be the first to say that every driver in the Cup Series does what they do because of their love of the sport, but not one of them is going to turn away the money either. Your logic in this particular aspect stupifies me. Then you talk about her confronting other drivers (female or male) and how are the ‘boy’s club’ of NASCAR going to react to her. First off, I like watching a little confrontation on the track. What do we have currently; Shrub crying and running off to his trailer every time he doesn’t win, Jeff Gordon (with his helmet on for protection) shoving Matt Kenseth, oh, or Matt Kenseth going doe-eyed when Carl Edwards throws a fake punch at him, and your spoke of Kevin Harvick, oh yeah, that girly slap fight with Juan Pablo Montoya was real manly, hell, even bad boy Tony Stewart is being so politically correct these days that you just want to shake him by his back hairs and tell him to grow a new set. Speaking of which, I’m sure Danica has a bigger set than 90% of the Cup drivers. Oh, and then you have the audacity of talking about her ‘nude’ cover shoot on ESPN Magazine. Excuse me, but what do you call Dale Jr.‘s Wrangler Jean commercials with the crotch shots and ass shots of him, do you really think they aren’t supposed to be somewhat sexual to attract the female audience into buying a pair of jeans to make their man look like Jr.? And did you forget that two or three years ago Cousin Carl Edwards stripped down to his waist for an ESPN cover, showing off his six pack (well, it looked more like a twelve pack), along with his pecs; but because they are guys their commercials and photo shoots are okay? Do you really think Danica is going to be showing body parts that children don’t need to see? For goodness sakes, kids see more flesh in any of todays magazines or music video’s than what I’m sure Danica is going to be exposing. Tommy, your article sounds like you wrote it with a mindset from decades ago when women were to do only what men told them. I look forward to Danica’s fiestyness, sexiness and desire to drive the hell out of the CoT. Maybe, just maybe, the fans will get a little bit of the excitement back that’s been missing in NASCAR for the last few years.
I admit to finding the way that Dale Jr’s popularity vastly outstrips his performance bewildering, but at least Jr. keeps his clothes on.
As for physical confrontations, I think it would be highly amusing for Danica to take off after Harvick. Delana would mop the floor with her.
The drivers who don’t want to cede Danica-tantrum-response to their wives/girlfriends could try the old hand-on-the-head-at-arm’s-length trick. LOL
Seriously, as a woman, I think that if Danica tries to abuse her position by thinking that her XX-chromosome pattern gives her the right to get physical without repercussions that the male driver should be permitted to respond by physically restraining her from doing any damage.
Picking her up and slinging her over his shoulder to carry her to the Nascar hauler would be the perfect.
A gentleman always treats a lady like a lady, as long as she acts like a lady….when she starts acting like a man, knock her ass out just as you would do to a man!!
My mother always told me “don’t start a fight if you can’t finish it”. It was good advice then and I still think it holds true. Just because Danica is female shouldn’t give her a free pass to shove another competitor. She might just bite off more than she could chew. And as for her “sexy” ads, I’m not a fan, if I’m watching TV when they come on, I switch the channel. They aren’t a lot worse though than the “male enhancement product” commercials. Hey NASCAR, that’s not family friendly either!
Perhaps the fact that so many care what Danica does is more a reflection of the bad economy making it hard to lure sponsors than attaining a top notch driver from another series (like Montoya or Hornish – not that I am a fan of either).
As for her marketing approach including sex and nudity, tastefully or otherwise, I’ll be glad to check her out. It still won’t make me a fan though and it will undermine her being taken seriously as a driver.
It’s hard to take Ms. Patrick seriously due to the fact that she’s getting more know for shedding her clothes (she does look good, check out the swimsuit issue) than driving a car. Her emergence in nas$car would be strictly for notoriety and money. Being a long time nas$car fan whose already fed up, this would be one more coffin nail as far as I’m concerned. There is no love of driving anymore. Just love of money. oh well. It was fun while it lasted. We need a real stock car series again. Not a cheap imitation of formula one.
over——-rated! if she was a he we wouldn’t even discuss her. She wants respect then makes those cheesy commercials… Over—-rated!
A femalw driver exploiting her sexuality is not new. A couple of years ago I read a book called THE BUGATTI QUEEN, by Miranda Seymour. It’s about a French woman named Helle Nice who raced in Europe in the 30s. She even came over here and raced dirt tracks and speed bowls for a year. But she also was a nude model and a cabaret dancer. Has lots of great photos of her, Bugattis and Auto Unions.
If she got physical with wimpy harvick, his wife the tough one in the marriage, would kick Danica’s booty back to Indy.
One of your poll choices should be the other driver turns Danica over his or her knee and spanks her for her tantrum
Translation of much of this article: you’re not sure NASCAR can handle a strong female figure, one who acts tough yet isn’t afraid to flaunt the fact she’s a lady. That’s kind of similar to the business old boys clubs having issues with female CEOs who get to their jobs by not playing the subservient roles the old boys’ secretaries did, which flabbergasted them.
The answer: I’d like to think that NASCAR is ready to be dragged into the late 20th century, but I’m not sure.
Her driving isn’t overrated – she’s won in IRL and in the top 5 in points at this time, not shabby at all.