As I’m sure everyone knows by now (and much to the relief of the Indy Racing League), Danica Patrick has left open wheel racing and is now racing full time in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series (J.V.), with limited appearances in the Sprint Cup (Varsity) races.
If you don’t know, you must be under a rock, because she’s all anyone’s been talking about in the paper, on ESPN, and of course, during races (including ones that don’t even involve her). Needless to say, the vast majority of fans are pissed.
I can’t help but feel that I need to set the record straight on her. I have seen so much misinformation, it makes me want to vomit. First off, she is not a “championship race car driver” as so many people seem to want to refer to her as. She won one race, once. That’s right. ONE RACE in her entire career – through no fault of her own. She won the 2008 Indy Japan 300 on fuel economy, not talent. Keep in mind, when she was racing Indy cars, she had a 50 lb weight advantage over all the other drivers. 50 lbs in an Indy Car is insane – most drivers would kill 1,000 hobos to get a 50 lb weight reduction – yet even with this gross handicap, she never managed to win a race at speed.
Furthermore, she is not the only woman driver, despite what the media would have you believe. In fact, there were two other women drivers at the Daytona 500 before she showed up with her media circus – Janet Guthrie was the first woman to run the Daytona 500 for NASCAR, back in 1977 – where she finished 12th (compared to Danica’s stellar finish of 38th out of 43 drivers. In fact, she is merely the 18th woman driver in NASCAR. I bet you didn’t even know that there are other women running the Nationwide series with Danica – but we never hear their names (twins Amber and Angelo Cope are both running).
Finally, Danica whines and complains that she wants to be taken seriously – that she doesn’t want to be objectified or viewed as “sexy” – really? Maybe she should stop doing those GoDaddy ads.