Wednesday, April 22, 2009

NASCAR TV Better With Danica?


Whenever the New York Times takes a moment to talk auto racing, it gets the attention of fans nationwide. Click here for the paper's most recent story.

In discussing how NASCAR can attract new TV viewers, the name of Danica Patrick usually surfaces sooner or later. The NYT story was written because Patrick is now in the final year of her IRL contract with Andretti Green Racing.

Fans of the NASCAR Now program on ESPN may remember Patrick making a brief appearance last season. She was asked about someday possibly moving over to NASCAR. Patrick turned the tables on the panel and asked them to name some reasons why she should leave a solid contract with a good team. They had none.

Now, some circumstances have changed and one of the biggest involves the TV coverage of the IRL. As TDP reported last year, ESPN basically washed its hands of the IRL in a bold power play. The media company only wanted the Indy 500 for ABC and a mere handful of races for ESPN. If the IRL said no to the new deal, they would lose the national broadcast TV for their biggest event of the season. Needless to say, they caved.

Enter the Comcast-owned Versus cable TV network. The former Outdoor Life Channel had some cash in the bank and was looking for a new sport to add to its line-up. The resulting deal with the IRL put lots of races on TV and added some quality support programming as well. For the IRL, it was a relief. For Patrick, it was a significant loss in the national exposure that helps her drive revenue away from the track.

When asked by the NYT recently about a potential move from the IRL, Patrick's tune had changed. "It’s interesting to me as well," she said. "Do I stay where I am? Do I try to change? It’s all about evaluating options, and I think that’s something any good businessperson does."

When Patrick looks at the Sprint Cup Series, she sees every race televised on Fox, TNT, ESPN or ABC. Every lap of practice and qualifying is shown on national TV and there are endless preview and review shows on both ESPN2 and SPEED. Where TV is concerned, NASCAR's exposure makes the IRL TV deal pale in comparison.

So, what would Danica bring to Sprint Cup land? Humpy Wheeler says her presence would have a huge impact on the sport. Marketing maven Max Muhleman describes her as a "ticket selling machine." It seems rather ironic that NASCAR is currently searching for new storylines and also needs to sell more tickets to the races.

We all remember the open-wheel set from the 2008 invasion. Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti is back in the IRL. Formula One veteran Jacque Villeneuve never really got his effort off the ground. Sam Hornish continues to soldier on and Scott Speed has already missed one race this season. He is 38th in points.

The big difference is that Patrick might not have to win, or even contend, to grab the NASCAR limelight and use it for her marketing and sponsor campaigns. The 5 foot 2 inch Patrick weighs in at 100 pounds and has not been shy in using her looks to her advantage. The fact that she was born in Wisconsin, raised in Illinois and has a feisty temper to boot might play well with the NASCAR crowd.

There is absolutely no doubt that the TV networks would take full advantage of as much of Patrick's time as she would give. Danica on NASCAR Now, Danica on RaceDay, Danica on Trackside. The list goes on and on. So does the media exposure.

So, take a deep breath because this topic is going to continue to be talked about until Patrick makes a decision. On one hand, maybe coming to NASCAR in 2010 for a high-profile team would be a marketing dream for all concerned. On the other hand, the lack of success of the recent open-wheel invaders should cause any driver to carefully consider how tough it is to make the transition to stock car racing.

What is your opinion? Would you be more inclined to watch Sprint Cup races live next season if Patrick was in the field? Do you think it would give both the sport and the TV coverage a spark if she took the gamble and made the move?

TDP welcomes comments from readers. Just click on the comments button below to add your opinion on this topic. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting.

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to stop by The Daly Planet.

77 comments:

jmnlman said...

ummm Muhleman if she's a ticket selling machine then why are there so many empty stands at IRL events?

Daly Planet Editor said...

I think what he said is that she would be a ticket selling machine is she came to NASCAR. Very sorry if I did not make that clear in the column and the link to the NYT story.

JD

spot check billy said...

Complete lack of success for the open wheelers? Do Allmendinger and Montoya not count for some reason? They've both been at least credible.

That being said, mixing a 5'2" 100 pound driver with four hour races in 3600 lb. cars doesn't sound like the best recipe for success.

darbar said...

I'm not a Danica fan. As a woman, I cannot understand why any female athlete needs to display themselves in sexually provocative situations. Danica is nothing more than a slightly more clothed Playboy centerfold. Yeah, yeah. I understand that the Go Daddy commercials pander to the immature, drooling males of society, and she probably sells product, but that doesn't give her credibility in the sport IMHO. You don't see Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson or Dale Jr unzipping their clothing or taking it all off in shower scenes. But you see the Danica's of the sports world, including the likes of Amanda Beard and Brandi Chastain, feeling the need to take it all off to advance their careers, or whatever excuse they use.

As for whether Danica would sell tickets, sure she would, until the novelty wears off. And that novelty will wear off as soon as fans see that she's a field filler running at the back of the pack.

And according to another story I just read, they're speculating that Danica is using these "maybe I'll go to Nascar" comments to get a better deal from her current team. She has said more than once that she isn't interested in Nascar's 36 race season.

The Track Girl said...

OMG NO.
NO
NO
NO.
Do you know how many times as a female race fan that I get asked, "So what do you think about Danica P." to which I must patiently explain that she is _not_ a part of my series.

(And that I don't have that high of an opinion of her anyhow. She's _great_ at looking sexy. good for her)Darbar, I'm right there with you.

How about driving like a race car driver instead of relying on your, ahem, assets. She reminds me of a pit lizard who got to drive a car.

You want a real female stock car driver? Let's find the next Louise Smith, the next Sarah Christian.
Maybe, her last name is Wallace.

Let's not bring a female Scott Speed over. Flashy- annoying, attempting to legitimatize stock car racing as a real and valid sport by bringing in Indy..which somehow, has always been _better_ than NASCAR.

We have a valid sport. We have sixty years of history and heritage that say we're legitimate.

oh! I get so mad!
:)

(jumps off soap box)

Sophia said...

Those Go Daddy commercials are very annoying and edgy.

THEN VERSUS is FULL of "Smiling Bob" and Enzyte commercials ENDLESSLY during IRL (You all thought TNT was annoying with repeat commercials?")

Odd since the owners of that company were convicted of FRAUD but I digress.

I have nothing against an attractive woman using her looks to market herself..it's the limits Danica has gone over and past that get on my nerves. Sultry is one thing, and that's good.

Trashy is another.

She would add nothing to NASCAR.

I am just happy to hear Sarah Fisher has a ride for the 500. Maybe if she ENHANCED she could get a ride.

Yet Milk and Do-nuts has a ride and sponsors. Sigh. Looks count in driving when a woman it seems.

Meow Hiss, Phhfft.

:)

Dot said...

Let the Danica madness begin.

I really hope that Danica does not go NASCAR racing. If Sam Hornish didn't know Penske, I doubt seriously he'd be in a CUP car. Does Danica have an alliance with a CUP team?

Of course she'd start in a CUP car. Couldn't ask her to start in the NW series could they? She needs to talk to Dario Franchitti.

My belief is that a racer wants to run well and win. Her chances are better in the IRL. Why doesn't VS use her in a media/comml blitz? I haven't watched an IRL race yet. Comments here are saying they put on good TV coverage. Let them market her the way NASCAR TV markets KyB, JR, etc. If she can single handedly increase viewers for IRL, that's where she needs to be.

Danica in NASCAR is just too gimmicky. Mine is a woman's viewpoint. If you asked my roommate (who's a guy), he'd help strap her in the car.

@ darbar & Track Girl, I was ready to send my comment then I read yours'. Good comments. Funny that our thoughts are in the same vein. Can't wait to hear from dear Sophia. Right when I finished typing, there she is. :)

Newracefan said...

First off, how tall do you think Mark Martin is anyway, Jason Leffler. That said didn't we go through this the last time her contract was up. Danica stay in the IRL, I'd rather have a Chrissy Wallace or a Gabi DeCarlo be the first women of this century to compete at the cup level. Danica has already sold out and cashed in on her femininity and not in a good way I for one would not look forward to her in Nascar.

Glenn said...

Here we go again.

TDP said;Every lap of practice and qualifying is shown on national TV and there are endless preview and review shows on both ESPN2 and SPEED.

I agree there is more NASCAR coverage and it is so much better than IRL coverage. I just can't go along with "Every lap" is seen on TV. Fox, Speed, and TNT do a great job, but ESPN ONLY shows us what they have time for. We miss a lot of laps when ESPN has the coverage.

I would have no more reason to tune in if Danica was in the race. I am just as happy if Regan Smith, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, etc. has a good day.
She's already said she doesn't want to work that hard.
She is more than welcome to join in, she just won't make a difference to me.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Glen,

Last season ESPN let SPEED televise the early Cup practice sessions that the network had originally chosen not to show.

I am hoping that we get the same coverage this season. As for the Nationwide series, that is another story all together.

spot check billy,

You certainly understand the point that I was making. Neither Allmendinger or Montoya came over with the bunch that was sent away with their tails between their legs. Guys like Tony Stewart are good examples of having success in both disciplines.

JD

jmnlman said...

JD,

No it was clear that she would be a ticket selling machine if she went to NASCAR. I was wondering about her track record with ticket sales in the IRL. Sorry I was to flippant.:)

Daly Planet Editor said...

No problem. I am not sure if anyone can really sell tickets to the IRL. I experienced those folks back in the old IndyCar days and it was a fight between street circuits and classic road courses.

Belle Isle and St. Pie were not really winning choices. It should be interesting to see what effect Versus has on the series TV.

JD

Karen said...

Danica is never going to leave Michael Andretti. This is just a ploy to up her new deal next year.
She's only won one race and that was on fuel mileage. But then again, Jr., Biffle, etc. did the same thing and I consider them real drivers. Danica's spent her whole life racing so I consider her a legit racer. I say if you've got it, flaunt it. I know I would if I looked like her. Too bad IROC is not around now. She could get a feel for what NASCAR is like.

And Dario looks so much better with a full head of hair. You could see how thrilled Ashley was to be back at "home" in the IRL. I wish he was in NASCAR again with an A-No.1 team.

Village Idiot Intern said...

Come and visit us, Danica, and bring your personality and charactor with you. Oh, and if you do well, let the festivities begin.

haus20 said...

I am with Darbar...However, there would definitely be marketing and sponsorship opportunities for a team if they chose to sign her.

The reality is that money is what drives this sport. In this economy, teams would certainly be interested in all the money she would bring to their operation. She doesn't have to win to bring in the big bucks.

This may be taboo, but look at Jr. right now. He hasn't won in a while, but he is still the most popular driver, he still brings in high dollar sponsors and he is still the top driver in merchandise sales. Even if he never wins for Hendrick, he is still a money maker for the operation.

Anonymous said...

That being said, mixing a 5'2" 100 pound driver with four hour races in 3600 lb. cars doesn't sound like the best recipe for success.

Please. If you're goign to argue against Danica, at least make it worthwhile.

Lesley said...

I think Danica would be great for the (way to much fluff that the sport of Nascar has become.)and It would be a hell lot of fun to watch her run up to Tony Stewart, and start grabbing at his arm and yelling at him for cutting her off!!I dont think that would go over very well!Bottom line? The cars are to heavy, and the races are to long for her size and strength..Plus, these guys are the best of the best..Just ask Dario!!

Lesley said...

Also... there are some drivers in nascar..Who would spin her out,Just to piss her off!! I think most of you would know the drivers Im Talking about...

Photojosh said...

I find Danica's public personality offputting. She just seems like an asshat to me. And Nascar has plenty of asshats already.

I'm excited for the day when a real female nascar racer emerges. But I don't think that's Danica. Janet Guthrie raced 30 years too early. The sport needs another female racer like her.

Good article on Guthrie and Shirley Muldowney here: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/womenshistory2009/news/story?id=4014187

Anonymous said...

Danica is a totally overated driver that is simply trying to leverage the best IRL contract deal that she can get. No problem with that,but call it as it is. I think she'd have trouble even qualifying for a Cup race. And don't underestimate the physical demands of running for three to four hours in a Cup car. The comment probably wasn't meant to be sexist,but just ponting out the realities of the situation. What's disturbing is that insteading of focusing on how to improve the quality of Cup racing,we get sidetracked with folks with an attitude like Danica.

KoHoSo said...

If Danica came to NASCAR, I believe that she would cause a slight, temporary increase in viewership and attendance. However, I would dadgum near bet the farm that she would be a total failure in stock cars, but not for the reasons given here so far.

As somebody who had been following IndyCar in its various incarnations since 1970, my confidence in my statement about Danica is not because she is a "bad" person or due to poor driving decisions in and of themselves. She will fail in NASCAR for the same reason she generally fails in IndyCar -- she does not have the ability to soldier through a stint where her car is not handling perfectly and she is extremely poor at giving her crew the proper feedback in order to improve during the next pit stop. Any fully-rounded driver would already have multiple wins in a series where only three teams (four on road/street circuits) have any chance of winning.

Thus, to steer this back on topic to television, is this going to help in the long run if Danica comes in and runs in the back of the pack like I predict? I think not. Frankly, I believe it will just give programs like SportsCenter, Around the Horn, Pardon the Interruption, and so on more fodder for jokes and put-downs as well as more reason (in their minds) to treat NASCAR as being more like professional wrestling than a real sport. With more of that tripe being spewed out, it will put off the potential new fans who won't want to be a part of something that the "majority" considers to be unworthy of full attention.

As for those of us who congregate here in Mr. Daly's happy little space on a regular basis...well, as somebody who likes IndyCar as much as NASCAR, I can tell you that even those of us who root for Ms. Patrick became sick of Danicamania long ago. Can you imagine what both Fox and ESPN pre-race shows will be like with her around? How long before a Danica-like gopher shows up in Digger cartoons as a regular character? What will the over/under be before the big uproar comes when Jimmy Spencer makes a PMS remark?

Back on Danica herself...she has a choice to make. If she stays at AGR and would actually listen and learn from Tony Kanaan, she still has the opportunity to be a better master of her craft and achieve her stated lifelong goal of winning the Indianapolis 500. If she goes to NASCAR, she can make tons more money and be the center of attention but all while spending her prime years running to stay above the dreaded 35th-place-in-points cutoff line.

There's a lot to be said about having money. Danica could set herself and her family up for life for generations to come with just one NASCAR contract. She could then do all kinds of great charity work, mentor future drivers, and all kinds of helpful things if that was her choice.

Of course, she's doing better than any of us right now already. However, I ask this...even in its currently diminished state...especially if already financially well off, would you trade away the opportunity for your face to be on the Borg-Warner Trophy for all of eternity to make more money running 35th every week somewhere else? Maybe it's my IndyCar side talking, but I would take a win in the "500" over any amount of money.

Stay in NASCAR, Danica. Stock cars already have a fan and TV favorite who can't communicate properly with his crew. We don't need another one.

cvt said...

Let's wait and see what Motorola does about renewing its commitment to autoracing. If they go away the picture for Ms Patrick becomes a lot less clear,whether IRL or NASCAR.

majorshouse said...

I really do not see Danica coming to NASCAR. I have noticed that for the most part the open wheel drivers have not been that successful in these ultra heavy and hard to drive cars. The open whell especially the IRL cars are lightweight and are some of the most technically advanced machines out there and she has never really shwon me the talent that she supposedly has and really do not think that she has what it takes to be successful with NASCAR. Sure she might sell tickets for a little while because of her sex appeal, even though a good fight between she and Tony Stewart would be an interesting show.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The big difference is that Patrick might not have to win, or even contend, to grab the NASCAR limelight and use it for her marketing and sponsor campaigns.As I've said for a couple of years, she and Earnhardt, Jr. need to get together and "merge" their marketing machine. Talk about a royal merger for the $$$ and publicity for no substance on the track.

GinaV24 said...

Absolutely not! Geez, talk about exploitation -- the hype that was around Montoya, Hornish and Logano would pale beside the lather that NASCAR's marketing machine would churn up over Danica. As a female race fan, it bugs the heck out of me that her claim to fame is her looks and NOT her skill behind the wheel. Its all well and good that she is an attractive person, but she's won ONE race and the "temper tantrums" that she's thrown in IRL leave me wishing that someone will give her a good smack back for pulling that sort of stuff. The guys are handicapped because she's a female, but I had hoped that the other female driver (sorry I can't recall her name) that she confronted on pit road last year would have given her the response that she deserved for going there and shouting at her. Humpy's a promotor - he'd be thrilled to pieces - me, I want to watch the races, not this BS.

Aven said...

I hope Danica doesn't come to NA$CAR. If she comes, we will lose race coverage. The attention she would get along with the attention Jr. now gets would consume almost all of the time except for commercials. There would be little TV time left to show the race. It might even cut into Digger's time.

Anonymous said...

Stay away Danica! I want to see a female driver work her way up through the stock car ranks, not someone who comes in because she is a name. Danica will probably fail for most of the reasons mentioned above. Then the good ole boys will have more fodder for their women can't drive stock cars tirades.

Anonymous said...

FAIL that is what DP would do. She could not drive a stock car. All of the open wheel GUYS have said that they cannot believe how hard those cars are to drive. I would love to see her try. But sorry would not work and she knows it so it wont happen.

Broomfield, Colorado said...

I will enhance, ahem, on a previous poster: I have two words for Danica Patrick:

LOUISE SMITH



end of list.

Anonymous said...

It will only work if NASCAR wants it to work. I.E., looking the other way in inspection, bigger carburetors,traction control,nitrous, you know, the stuff that exists now, but we can't prove it....

Michael Huff said...

First off NASCAR doesn't need another driver that whines and throws temper tantrums,that spots taken. Second, I just don't think Danica has the talent to compete at cup level. I do think a female driver at cup level would be good for NASCAR but from a competitive point of view a team owner would be better off with one of the female drivers that is working her way through the ranks e.g. Chrissy or Gabi.

Tracy said...

I'm with the crowd that says bring in a Chrissy Wallace, etc. Someone who has worked her way into the sport - isn't Sterling Marlin's daughter getting into racing at the local track level? These young women know how hard it is - they've seen their families work at it for years. And they're attractive young ladies, if looks are part of the selling package.

I still say, why hasn't Danny O'Quinn gotten a good ride? Rookie of the year in NW...sheesh. Regan Smith - with a part-time team. Sheesh again.

The Danica thing, no matter why she's playing her cards this way in a contract year, makes me cringe.

JT said...

Bottom line, if Danica wants to do NASCAR, she will have to bring her own sponsorship with her.

As previously mentioned, her current IRL sponsor, Motorola is in bad financial shape. And the Go Daddy NASCAR sponsorship is already in the hands of the other "ticket magnet", Dale Jr. That leaves AirTran, who don't have pockets deep enough to do a Sprint Cup sponsorship.

Anonymous said...

Selling sex is her 401K. Good on her, she is a boyishly attractive sprite of a woman. The Anna Kournikova or motor racing. Flash and cash but not the winner's share. NASCAR? I don't think she would be willing to do a year in Busch/ARCA to prepare herself. Too much hard work down on the farm after she's seen Paree. Though she brings an instant sponsor in Go Daddy as the sugar daddy and a beholden sponsor is gold in the NASCAR garage. Ask Teresa, Chip, Yates? Her success in the IRL is more about her uniqueness than her accomplishments. Her one win was a gas dash not a smash down. She is a mid pack driver with great equipment. Personal and otherwise. Though her constant complaining wears thin, she is in a place where it isn't so bad. Who watches Versus and the IRL anyway. If folks complain about NASCAR, the spec COT, and follow the leader races, check out the crate motor, spec, chassis, who d'at IRL. I'd like to see her in NASCAR the same as I spent a quarter to see the Incredible Horned Man at the Kansas State Fair as a kid. She'd be a sideshow. And an entertaining one. Certinaly more exciting than wondering why Johnson has that atrocious beard!

Anonymous said...

If women want to be respected for their achievements and not seen as sex objects, Danica is a good example of what not to do.

If money is all that matters, then Danica's your girl.

Daly Planet Editor said...

What would you guys think if she took over the #5 car? Hendrick would have Jeff and Jimmie going for the championships and Junior and Danica keeping him in the headlines.

Any PR is good PR, right?

JD

Anonymous said...

Tracy said...
I'm with the crowd that says bring in a Chrissy Wallace, etc. Someone who has worked her way into the sport - isn't Sterling Marlin's daughter getting into racing at the local track level? These young women know how hard it is - they've seen their families work at it for years. And they're attractive young ladies, if looks are part of the selling package.

Do you even know the path she took with her family??!! Go-Karts, FV,FF US and overseas racing. Much harder and more skill than using the Wallace name and legend cars for your path!!
I have not come in contact with one female NASCAR fan that does not mention how cute their fav driver is!! Nothing wrong with that...but way the double standard?

Rob from Canada said...

i'm not the best with words so some of my comments may come off brutish or sexist...but danica aint all that cute compared to say..ashley force(thats the uber-babe of racing) and danica is a teeny tiny wiff of a thing...i dont think she'd last 3-4 hours inna big honking stock car...now some of ya might say..martin..allmedinger etc are wee fella's..yup..they also work out to the point they are practically body builders..mark martin can bench press a rookie WHILE driving 500 at pocono...i dont now nor have i ever had problems with gals running in nascar..i been watching since the late 60's and remember watching guthrie and others...if THE female nascar driver of the 2000's is coming soon..rather it be someone like wallace who's been doing it right..coming up thru the ranks...also..i watch irl and have watched open wheelers since the late 60's also..and danica is not a very good driver anyways..do we need a backmarker whose driving suit includes cleavage?

David said...

JD from what I was hearing 8 months ago, her in the #5 is a long shot.

Granted thats alot of time for things to change especially in NASCAR. Mark is also talking another full season perhaps too.

Danica to NASCAR wouldn't bug me but much like when AJ Allmendinger came over, my biggest worry is this solely a money grab or is it legit? Sam Hornish and AJ toughing it out and taking the blows they have during their Cup starts have shown they are both committed to the cause and are here for the long haul but you had guys like Dario and others whose situations were unstable and now they are gone. How long would Danica come and struggle before enough was enough?

Also, do you put her in a Cup car ASAP or develop her. I would argue her skills still need refining even in an open wheel car, do you really think she would be ready for a ill-handling COT Cup car now? Any hope for a 2010 campaign by Danica and she would have to have some ARCA stuff in place by season's end just to get approved...

She could certainly bring alot to the sport in terms of exposure, and marketability and I feel she DOES have some talent...all those things being said, one could say the same about Jr and you see how that works. Love him or hate him (though I'm mostly neutral...)

IMO she'd have to run well for this to work.

batchief said...

Don't know what the end result would be if she came to Nascar, but would enjoy watching the road to that end result, whatever it may be. It shouldn't take too long to see if she has the ability to compete. Watched another Patrick, Carpentier that is, being interviewed by Steve Byrnes and he really wants back in Nascar and I for one would like to see him back.

Jack from PA said...

I think if Danica were to come to NASCAR, not many fans would be happy with it (i.e. the comments left on this post). However, NASCAR desperately needs a boost in headlines, hype, and viewership, at least that's what the TV ratings tell us.

We all know that if she came to NASCAR she would never come close to an elite driver, even a good driver. But if she sells tickets and hypes the sport, and puts it in the spotlight, which is unfortunately what NASCAR has turned to, then she may be what NASCAR needs and wants.

Just One More said...

If she were to come, it would be with a top-notch team. She's not going to come over for a middle-pack team like RPM or DEI. Therefore, there is only 1 team with room for her currently - JGR. RCR could fit her in by giving a boot to Mears though.

There's no doubt she can drive, but I too wonder about the endurance factor. 4-hours of a 3,600 lb. car takes its toll. It would be a good test.

My biggest question is this - other than the obvious sponsorship deals (and I realize that's a big factor), what reason would a Gibbs or Childress have to take a chance on her rather than a driver like Allgier, Keslowski, or Carmichael who have shown that they can actually compete in a stock car? At the end of the day, it's their money and company on the line.

KoHoSo said...

Daly Planet Editor said...

What would you guys think if she took over the #5 car? Hendrick would have Jeff and Jimmie going for the championships and Junior and Danica keeping him in the headlines.

Any PR is good PR, right?
JD, that is often the rule in any entertainment venture. However, in this case, I refer again to what I said above about how Danica constantly running in the middle to the back of the pack would make NASCAR even more of a joke in the eyes of the mainstream sports media. Besides, if Mr. Hendrick really wanted to "stay in the headlines" that much, he would have kept The Shrub. :-)

I also want to add something on another subject. To all of you above who have complained about Danica's "hissy fits," I would ask you to think about that for a moment and consider -- just consider -- whether or not you are being sexist. It is my opinion that, if Danica was a man, we wouldn't even be talking about her various incidents -- shoot, some might even be cheering them as showing a driver with some personality for a change. Her complaining and other shenanigans pale in comparison to what any Andretti (especially Michael) has ever whined about over the years in IndyCar/CART/CCWS and certainly is minuscule as opposed to the bellyaching done by many drivers at NASCAR's highest level ("Digger" Waltrip and cRusty Wallace immediately come to mind, and the list could go on and on).

Again, let me stress this...I'm just asking those who made such comments to consider what I just said. If you do so and still stick with your assessment, I'm cool with that even though I would still respectfully disagree.

Karen said...

Wouldn't you love to see KyB and Danica have an incident on track and then both throw their hissy fits at each other?

Just a thought, but wonder if that's why Hendrick wants an answer from Mark Martin by July.

Anonymous said...

Mr Daly

She should not make the move, and one can only hope that her managers will disuade her from leaving open wheel/sportscars.

As evidence, I cite this past weekend's NASCAR (disg)race.
At last, a glimmer of emotion, passion, anger, conflict! Jr and Mears. And what does NASCAR do? Probation???!!!

The male dominated 'stockers' will not let her come over and be successful-if you doubt that, look at the number of times Al Unser jr was out front kicking NASCAR butt in IROC, only to be wrecked on final laps by Earnhardt or other NASCAR drivers.

In nascar, success is equated 80% equipment and 20% driver ability. In IRL, that balance is closer to even.

Not to mention the fact that she has time on her side. When open wheel physical demands get to be too much in a few years, she can come "south" and still compete and make a few bucks

Bray Kroter

Anonymous said...

I think the g-forces that the OpenWheel drivers take is much harder on the body than driving a stockcar. If she can take the constant g's during her races, I see no problem in driving a stockcar.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Karen said...
Wouldn't you love to see KyB and Danica have an incident on track and then both throw their hissy fits at each other?

Just a thought, but wonder if that's why Hendrick wants an answer from Mark Martin by July.

April 22, 2009 12:07 PM

July is common business sense...bigtime teams need to get all their sponsorship deals lined up. Merchandising being #1

darbar said...

KoHoSo, here's the problem with Danica's "hissy fits". She can have them, and push, shove and slap her male counterparts, but they dare not defend themselves or be labeled in terms they don't want to be labeled. When Gordon and Stewart went at it in the garage area a few years ago, it was two guys duking it out. But Danica would have a huge advantage because the men wouldn't be able to smack her back. Can you imagine if Danica shoved Carl Edwards and he shoved her back? Edwards would be castigated by everyone, including his sponsors. Danica knows she can grab her fellow competitors by the short hairs and not receive any retribution, and she uses that to a huge advantage.

But can you imagine this---at one race, Danica was so upset at the performance of her car, and the fact that she crashed, she climbed out of her car, threw her helmet and gloves and stomped around the track. Can you see how the fans would react if she did that at Bristol or Martinsville? Now that I would pay good money to see. I also wouldn't mind seeing Tony Stewart take her on in a smackdown should she punt him into the fence.

Glenn said...
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Glenn said...

KoHoSo said... As for those of us who congregate here in Mr. Daly's happy little space on a regular basis...well, as somebody who likes IndyCar as much as NASCAR, I can tell you that even those of us who root for Ms. Patrick became sick of Danicamania long ago. Can you imagine what both Fox and ESPN pre-race shows will be like with her around? How long before a Danica-like gopher shows up in Digger cartoons as a regular character? What will the over/under be before the big uproar comes when Jimmy Spencer makes a PMS remark?ROTFLMAO!!!
I enjoyed the whole comment but this paragraph really said it well. Very well written comment that I can agree with.

Daly Planet Editor said... What would you guys think if she took over the #5 car? Hendrick would have Jeff and Jimmie going for the championships and Junior and Danica keeping him in the headlines.

Any PR is good PR, right?
What a marketing machine that would be! (LOL)
The only problem would be Junior's honesty and humility. He doesn't ask for all the publicity and Danica takes and adds to her's as often as she can .
I know Mr. H is in business to make money, I just don't think he races to make money. I don't know him, never met, he as other racers, appear to do it for the love of the game.

Great comments everyone!

darbar said...

anonymous 12:33pm, women don't "hate other women", it's just that we women who have accomplished great things in our lives, using our brains or brawn and not our sexuality or physical assets, are disturbed by women who do. I've always said when someone has a talent, being singing or welding or driving a race car or whatever, when you really have that talent, that's what speaks for you. I've alway thought that when women feel they have to display themselves in that manner, they're lacking in their chosen field or else they know it's the only thing they have. Women have been fighting for equality for decades, and one of those fights has been trying to be taken seriously for more than just a hot body and a good plastic surgeon. But when women like Danica or Amanda or any of that ilk eschew their "talent" and use their bodies to market themselves, it denigrates what every woman before them have worked hard to accomplish. Like I said, you do not see male athletes displaying themselves in commercials the way Danica does. I guess men realize it's their talent and success that speaks for them, rather than letting all their "ass-ets" hang out.

glenc1 said...

I agree with KoHoSo about the 'hissy fits'...Darbar, your point is taken, but I don't know that anyone can prove she does it because she knows they can't retaliate....or she just has the average bad temper of *any* driver that's been wrecked, or thinks they have, and she just reacts. I don't know what's in her mind.

As for her selling herself--how is Tony Stewart hanging out with a Russian model (on TV) any different? Carl Edwards posing without his shirt? Junior 'sells' himself so well he ended up on the Sexiest Man list...these guys know they have female fans to appeal to, and I don't see anything different. Not only that, I bet the men would do even *more* if they had the kind of sponsors that those kind of ads would benefit, because Danica does it for sponsors--not *money*; there is a difference. Without a sponsor there is no ride, regardless of what your personal fortune may be. I don't agree with everything she's done, but in her place, I bet many, many others would have, male *or* female. On TWIN Biffle claimed he got the braces to look better to 'the ladies', for crying out loud.

She would be great for ratings and publicity. But no--we have no idea whether she's take to a stock car like Stewart or Montoya did, or would she take take to it like Franchitti or Hornish, and that would be the difference on the viewership. If she did take to it--I can't even imagine the chaos, lol.

With all of that said--I would of course, MUCH rather see Chrissy Wallace or Gabi or the many others at tracks across America who've worked their way up in a stock car. But unfortunately, again, it's all about sponsorship, and right now that's going to be hard for anyone.

Personally I think Danica's going to stay right where she is and this is a negotiating ploy. But it makes it fun to speculate...

Anonymous said...

Do the readers here not see all the "hissy fits" that the current NASCAR drivers throw??? Helmets, gloves thrown at moving cars, bumping and spinning other cars even in pitlane.
Do you not see the sex ads in print for the drivers..Edwards,JR, Kahne etc

Anonymous said...

Danica in NASCAR would be huge, as big as when Jeff Gordon has his rise and brought new fans. It would be HUGE.

Anonymous said...

>That being said, mixing a 5'2" 100
>pound driver with four hour races in
> 3600 lb. cars doesn't sound like
>the best recipe for success.

Tell Mark Martin.

glenc1 said...

I forgot about Kahne...the dancing heart suit was far more embarrassing than Danica in the shower, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

Put her in the 20-car. She'd be a great Home Depot spokesperson and can surely finish higher than Logano in Grade-A equipment.

Anonymous said...

Might as well let Danica into NASCAR. The WWE has female rasslers and that's what NASCAR is getting closer and closer to being. The WWE on Wheels.

Delenn said...

I read a long time ago (can't remember where) some sports merchandise pundit reckoned that Danica merchandise would outsell Junior.
What with that and the Nascar publicity machine, if there is even a whiff of her coming to Nascar, Brian France will be there tempting her with a roll of cash.

GinaV24 said...

What would you guys think if she took over the #5 car? Hendrick would have Jeff and Jimmie going for the championships and Junior and Danica keeping him in the headlines.

Any PR is good PR, right?

JD

Heaven forbid!

OK, for the person who was worried about the "sexist" remarks because of Danica's hissy fits, well, if she wasn't a female and had tried that BS nonsense with other driver's, they'd have already found a way to deal with it. If she came into NASCAR and tried - I love the thought of her messing with Stewart, I guarantee someone would spin her and then see what happens when she decides to march down pit road and yell.

Geeze said...

You must admit that the prospect of her stomping down pit road to read Tony Stewart the riot act is quite amusing.

John said...
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Lance said...

Two words - Anna Kournikova.

glenc1 said...

you know...I could swear I saw an interview last year where someone asked Tony about her and he was very complimentary (from a guy who's not known for being diplomatic...) Tony could run her in a third car!

Gina...no one ever found a way to 'deal' with Paul Tracy or Kyle Busch's childish behavior...or plenty of others.

John Lee, Hollywood winner said...
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Vicky D said...

I like Danica but I don't think she'll ever come to Nascar. What woman has had success, Shawna Robinson, Patty Moise and others? Not much. I think Danica is a great roll model for girls. When I was young we didn't have any women to look up to and was not encouraged to do anything except find a husband maybe become a teacher or nurse. That was it, not to become a race car driver. I think she would be an asset to Nascar like she is in the IRL.

Robert Upchurch said...

Disclaimer: Despite following NASCAR for 45 years or so, I'm primarily an open-wheel fan, although NOT a fan of Tony George and his systematic dismantling of my favorite form of sport.

Danica to NASCAR though...hmmm. I met her a few years ago - before most of the racing world had heard about her - and know her background pretty well. Don't worry about the physical demands. Maybe in the days before NASCAR cars had power steering, yes, but she's in good shape and she shouldn't have a problem.

Her temperament, however, could be a problem. She's a bit of a prima donna, which will be a problem for her ability to function with the other drivers. She is "the show" for the IRL...as important to that series as Jr. is to NASCAR, so her fellow drivers have to put up with her antics. I'm pretty sure the NASCAR drivers won't be as tolerant.

Talent? She actually can drive competitively - at least in open wheel cars - unlike many female drivers who preceded her (and unlike Ms. Duno, who was mentioned in another reply.) But is she skilled enough to make the switch to sedans? I doubt it. I had no doubts about Montoya and Allmendinger...they are both massive talents ("naturals") who have succeeded in multiple racing formats, and just needed a little time and coaching to adapt to the change. Danica is not as talented as those guys - Allmendinger kicked her butt in the minor leagues of formula car racing, for example.

About using her sexuality for recognition? These days, for any race driver, it is a "whatever it takes" world. Go for it, girl.

Sidebar: To the posters who slammed last year's wave of open-wheel transplants, it wasn't a lack of talent that sent them packing. Other than Villeneuve, who didn't seem to take it seriously enough, it was the weak economy that doomed their efforts. If Dario had gotten to finish last season and continue this year, you might be seeing some good results by now. And Carpentier was getting it figured out too.

Richard in N.C. said...

I am sure Danica's moving to NASCAR would spark a good deal of interest, but it would fade rather quickly if she did not demonstrate that she is dedicated and likely to catch on. I have to accept Robin Miller's assessment that she is talented, but I doubt she is as talented as Sam Hornish and he's had problems even with better than average equipment.

I do wonder whether she could bear up to the physical demands unless she were to be dedicated to an adequate training regimen. For comparison I see that Mark Martin is 5 foot 6, 135 pounds, and a fitness nut.

I do believe she frequently gets a bad rap because she is attractive and willing to make use of it. Yes, she has done some suggestive ads, but I have not seen any that I would object to one of my daughters' doing. I suspect that what she can earn from Indy car racing pales in comparison to what a driver for one of the NASCAR big 4 teams can make just from driving. Also I think she is often unfairly criticized for standing up for herself. I do not recall ever seeing her put a male driver in a position where the "normal" reaction for the male would have been to strike the complaining driver, except there stood this female. It's almost like a double standard - Danica must always be a lady, but male drivers can be "guys."

A more likely alternative it would seem to me would be for her to go to F1 - and maybe erase the bad taste Michael Andretti left there for US drivers.

Anonymous said...

To Majorshouse and others who claim she doesn't have the talent to run the taxicabs in NASCAR I have to disagree. Everyone knows if you get "the call" and have a dominant car my grandmother could win 'Cup events. You know if you get to run the trick Hendrick shocks that push the spoiler UP when going into a corner. Or the rocket fuel additives or traction control or soaked tires that have been out there.

The current Indycar is disrespected but it is one of the only series where death is a a very real possibility. Inches away wheel to wheel at 225mph on ovals is something that takes great skill. These cars are so powerful that they can spin the tires off the corners under acceleration on the ovals like Richmond. Most of the people here would pee themselves if they were strapped into one under acceleration. :)

Danica made up 18 positions in Long Beach. A race that there were hardly any changes for position and in the most competitive road racing series in the world. She outran Helio, Marco, Rahal and ran second for a good part of the race.

glenc1 said...

Robert U-thanks for that assessment, it's one of the more informative ones today. I think the mistake for Franchitti and others is that they were 'thrown to the wolves' without enough training (and Dario's broken ankle didn't help). As someone pointed out, Carpentier showed a lot of promise (and was a good interview to boot). I also think Danica theoretically could improve her regimen if she *chose* to, but I don't think she's seriously interested, at least not at this point. I've also wondered about Katherine Legge in F1--not sure she's gotten enough props for her accomplishments.

In any case, this has given us a day to reflect on women in NASCAR--obviously, the fans appear ready; we just need one of them to get an opportunity, which in this economy--obviously hard. I know Mike Wallace campaigned hard for Chrissie.

red said...

danica to nascar? why?

why would she WANT to make the switch? so she would have to run 36 races each year, 36 lonngggggg races, races that take hours to finish? races in which she would have to remain in a wrecked car and just log laps even though not competitive? yeah, i'm sure she's looking forward to THAT!

for the exposure? at irl, she is one whopping big fish in that small pond. in nascar? hmmm, not so much -- especially if she doesn't succeed (translation: win) in a BIG way, immediately.

for the $$$? well, she'd make that but she'd certainly lose most of her personal time and whatever remains of her privacy. she'd be working one whole hell of a lot harder for her nascar sponsors than she has to for her irl sponsors. the demands are FAR greater on nascar racers.

as for all the rest of this -- "hissy fits," too small, the marketing of "danica" -- in my eyes, it's nothing we don't already have in nascar. and it's irrelevant to me.

i'd rather be discussing if she can race with the cup gang (b/c we can ALL agree they'd never start her in n'wide!) i believe she is a solid racer, maybe not great, but certainly better than mid-pack. i think she'd be treated just like any other rookie or "former open-wheeler" in nascar and i don't believe she'd be treated differently on the track by the other drivers. what matters to them is that big yellow rookie stripe, ability and respect.

do i want to see her in nascar? nope. i want to see more racers come up thru the various nascar series and build the talent pool at the cup level. i want the regional series to be the development ground for the young men -- and women! -- who are committed to nascar, whose dream it is to make a living racing "stock cars."

danica made her choice and i think she's doing just fine there. but i'd really want to see nascar race cards filled with nascar racers, male and female. there's enough talent there without having to have racers come over from other series.

(of course, the upside would be that if danica did come over? i'm pretty sure that'd take some of the pressure off MY driver. maybe we could call her uber-fans "patrick's posse" . . .)

GinaV24 said...

GlenC -- good point about Paul T and KyBusch! But I do think she takes advantage of being a female when she gets into any of the male driver's faces.

And this may not be PC, but I've been waiting for someone to payback Kyle for some of his dumber moves in NASCAR works for me. His choice to stamp his feet and flounce off doesn't make me respect HIM either.

Mike from NC said...

NACSAR doesn't need Danica, because Ford has a little secret. There is a young lady who just turned 19 and is quickly becoming the winningest female in USAC history, her record to date puts Danica's career to shame. Her name is Alison Macleod she's been racing since she was 6 and has mowed down some of the best up and coming male drivers. She is everything Danica is and more looks, brains, skill and determination. She aspires to one day make the transition to NASCAR. From what I've see she may be the most pomising female driver in recent memorey as far as skill and marketability. Danica "NASCAR doesn't need you, we have Alison"

kang said...

Why run all the races in Nascar?Danica could enter the 4 plate races, and say the 6 races at N.H.,PHX,and Richmond.Ten Nascar races and still could run Indy in open wheel.She would have Mar.,Aug., and Oct.off.More endorsements,more money.Whats the down side?

haus20 said...

Anonymous said...
Put her in the 20-car. She'd be a great Home Depot spokesperson and can surely finish higher than Logano in Grade-A equipment.

April 22, 2009 2:02 PM
Look at her results in the Indy cars first. She hasn't been close to dominating in that series.

Those who have been have tried to come to NASCAR and have struggled. Joey Logano has won 2 NW races in 24 starts. He still has plenty of time in the Cup series before he gets to the number of starts it took Danica to get her first win - a fuel mileage win at that.