Sunday, August 30, 2009

Nudity Pushes NASCAR To The Back Burner


Well, it seemed to be a pretty good idea at the time. Former sports car veteran and current SPEED on-air talent Tommy Kendall would be hosting Wind Tunnel for the first time as Dave Despain continues his summer vacation.

Since Kendall is new to this role, getting him a top-notch guest to interview would be a very big plus. Well, some good things come in small packages, so SPEED lined-up the one and only Danica Patrick for the show.

Patrick is on the verge of re-signing with an IRL team in turmoil led by Michael Andretti. She is also rumored to be exploring her options to race part-time in a NASCAR series in 2010. Emails from fans have her in a Randy Moss truck, a JR Motorsports Nationwide Series car or even Tony Stewart's non-existent third team with Go Daddy as a sponsor.

Sunday night would have given Kendall a chance to talk about those topics and perhaps get Patrick to deny or confirm her plans for next season in several areas. Now, he has something else to talk about.

Click here for the Sports Biz story from Darren Rovell over at CNBC. We are using this link because it is one of the few that does not contain nudity. That's right, just when the stories about Patrick began to be themed around her driving, an old issue came to the surface again.

This time, the amazing story is that ESPN the Magazine is supposedly going to feature Patrick nude in its upcoming "Body Issue." This is a poorly disguised attempt by ESPN to cash in on the Sports Illustrated swimsuit franchise that makes millions for that publication.

The ESPN angle is that they will have both male and female athletes in different stages of well...you know. The "hook" is that ESPN will not reveal which athletes are in the issues until well...you buy it.

Print publications are a mess these days. Click here for the real goal of ESPN. That's right, if rumors are true there will be nude images of Patrick available on the magazine's Internet site in October. Sure, they will be tasteful. Sure, they will be professionally done. All of that makes little difference.

Patrick has the opportunity to advance her career into NASCAR in a tough economic time and with the IRL continuing to struggle. She has the exposure of the right kind in the media that has been focusing on her consistent finishes and curiosity about the world of stock car racing. Now, just toss that aside.

Just like Kyle Busch took a while to understand there is a reason you stand and talk to the TV reporters after a race, Patrick is going to have to grasp that in order to make it as a credible female in NASCAR, the clothes have to stay on.

The reason there is an invocation, a National Anthem and a fly-over at NASCAR events is because this All-American sport is aimed directly at the family. The driver's wives and children stand with them during the pre-race and hug them in Victory Lane.

Kendall is going to have to ask about this issue on Wind Tunnel or risk letting a caller do it. In our current society, the words "nude female" will top the words "NASCAR racing" in a Google search every time. If Patrick does not dip her toe in NASCAR, this issue is moot. She and the IRL can continue their very strange relationship.

Kendall's Wind Tunnel program on Sunday could get very interesting if he widens his discussion with Patrick to topics like her Go Daddy commercials and modeling projects. Especially if he lets viewers chime-in. Click here for the Wind Tunnel website where SPEED lets viewers interact with the show. The program airs live at 9PM ET on Sunday.

TDP welcomes your comments on this topic. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

69 comments:

wickedj said...

Im sure somewhere, someone knows the record for the most downloaded photographs of someone. im predicting a new record

also, shameless AWing is shameless (AWing, for those not fluent is Attention Whoring)

Sophia said...

I am all for a woman using her looks to sell but in my day it was a sultry look, sex appeal. Not a trashy in-your-face kind of appeal. The Go Daddy commercials are also NOT appropriate for NA$CAR races imo.

To hear Danica has chosen this route is most disappointing.

That said, as long as NASCAR allows the 'adult ads' to run during the commercials, to suddenly jump on tasteful nude pictures, makes not a lick of sense in my book.

Your either truly family friendly during an entire race, sponsors/ads/commercials or you are not.

I'd lump those in with this idea of Danicas to do nude pics. Still her father has been interviewed and approves of all her sexy stuff before and that kind of creeps me out, too.

But that's my thinking.

cvrt said...

Danica = Kournikova

A brand,not a person.

If you'll consider the first imperative is to produce a profit, a success by any measure.

Richard in N.C. said...

"Tasteful"? In light of the bulk of its so-called reporting, I do wonder if anyone at EESPN knows (or really cares) what "tasteful" is.

It does bring to mind another, recent EESPN story that they have so far been successful in burying.

Anonymous said...

Get it over with, Danica. We've kinda figured you've been wanting to do it since you showed up on the scene.

And after you've let it all hang out, stay in the IRL. We don't want you coming to NASCAR to chase dollar signs & expand Danica "the brand", nor do we want the inevitable ESPN-led media circus that it'll generate.

Dot said...

@ cvrt, you are correct. Danica has even used the word brand herself. How is she expected to become a respected driver? Like dear Sophia, I am also disappointed she has chosen this route.

It could backfire on her though. Just like it has for some actresses posing for Playboy.

peggyann said...

Not a bit surprised. At Chicagoland Speedway last night, her merchandise trailer was chocked full of sexy stuff, from her book to autographed photos for $20. It was so unlike anything I've seen at a NASCAR trailer that I had to laugh, and I got a dirty look from the guy behind the counter.

Anonymous said...

Big shocker, people here are up in arms about something against ESPN......big shocker.....

Vicky D said...

What a story this is. Maybe ESPN is hoping for more male fans to come out to the IRL races after this hits the stands!

Daly Planet Editor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 8:35PM,

The reason this has to do with ESPN is because the Disney owned company has made a decision to publish a magazine edition with nude women in it. How hard is that to understand?

I guess those that are unable to offer an opinion and participate in the discussion just flame and run.

Thanks again for stopping by.

JD

glenc1 said...

hype is a big machine...therefore, I will wait for the actual facts to comment on that. I have no issue with the Go Daddy ads. Someone here said the follow ups are very harmless.

BTW, Tommy was on Test Ride right after the Grand am race. He & Danica did Speed awards together a few years ago...good chemistry, I thought. We missed the beginning, but it's a shame, there was a funny segment with Brian Vickers and another with Adam Carolla driving a Prius 100 miles on 2 gallons.

Jonathon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jmnlman said...

@cvrt, Kournikova did win a grand slam.... Danica has not so far.

Daly Planet Editor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathon said...

OK, here is my opinion. I do not find it offensive in the least bit that ESPN has chosen to do this. I consider it a nice move to sell some mags and promote brand awareness. If you don't like it, don't read it. It is pretty simple. And before you ask, I am a husband and father of a 3 year old daughter with another on the way. This is not the 1940's anymore people, it never will be

PammH said...

Jonathan-yep, the economy is bad, which has NOTHING to do w/the subject at hand. I live in MI-it's pretty bad here. But JD gives us a place to gripe about bad coverage, stupid commls, etc. And I sooooo don't want that kinda talented DP to come to Nascar. She is an AW for sure. But we also give creds when they are do! Check in now & again & you will see that.

Jonathon said...

Pamm,

There are many drivers who have the AW factor as you say, they just happen to be men. If you would like to get rid of all of them then maybe NASCAR should just field 20 cars a week. The point is DP sells, and in this economy that is a big deal, you should know first hand.

Jonathon said...

And why was my first comment deleted? It was not vulgar or demeaning. Guess it didn't conform with the agenda here.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Jonathan,

This could be SI, but there really is no other publication that does this type of annual deal.

ESPN itself is not the issue in this column at all. I just can't grasp how you think it is.

Danica is widely rumored to be leveraging her Go Daddy sponsorship to make a transition to NASCAR.

The recent media coverage about her has focused on her driving and her top ten finishes in the IRL.

She could easily run the 17 IRL races and start a program of entering selected Nationwide races.

The topic we are talking about is the tough choices that have to be made in any career transition.

Is posing in the buff in ESPN the Magazine a smart move for someone who may be looking at a fulltime NASCAR Sprint Cup career in the future?

If you feel that is fine, then that is your opinion. That counts here just as much as anyone else's including mine.

Sorry you seem to be so upset by the topic.

JD

Anonymous said...

Jonathan, I agree you raise a good point about the male appeal in NASCAR...why is the female fanship up to 40 or so percent? Men don't post nude for reasons that are obvious.

But they know appeal is important, look at Kasey Kahne's popularity. Even Greg Biffle said 'you gotta please the ladies', about his braces.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Jonathan,

Calm down man. Drop me an email and I will be happy to sort things out.

Been here for three years, thousands of columns and many thousands of comments.

Not quite sure why the economy and ESPN is your focus here.

All we are talking about is Danica on Wind Tunnel Sunday and what her choices may bring down the road.

JD

bevo said...

I'll wait to see what actually ends up in the magazine before I comment about Danica - my money is on ESPN playing it up for publicity.

As far as sex selling a brand in racing consider the following :

Carl Edwards nude down to there on the cover of Men's Fitness. Kasey Kahne and the Allstate commercials. Jeremy Mayfield picking up his date. Dale Jr and his butt in Wranglers. Smoke and his Russian models. Miss Winston. Sprint girls.

Fast cars and pretty girls have always gone together in racing. The interesting part is what happens when the girls start racing. Look at the changes in the NHRA over the years as women have been more successful.

Jonathon said...

Agreed Bevo, I don't see what the big deal is

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

Jonathan,

You see Rick Hendrick hiring a woman who posed nude in a magazine for his NASCAR team? Joe Gibbs? Jack Roush? RC?

We are all glad you have an opinion on this topic, but there is nothing to win here. It's a discussion and you don't seem to grasp that concept.

JD

halifax said...

I want to be a fan of Danica's. I try. But every time she exploits her gender I take another step back. Either she is a driver or she's a brand. In the latter case, we don't want her in racing, period. She might as well work the Monster Truck circuit, the WWF flavor of motorsport.

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

some people seem to be assuming things that haven't happened yet. I'd like to actuallly *see* what Danica does before I criticize.

I agree with bevo. Big double standard.

Jonathon said...

JD,

Those owners have not hired a driver "like that" because there hasn't been one with the "appeal" that DP brings to the table. The fact that this post is still ongoing adds to the reasons that DP would be great for NASCAR

Sophia said...

JD,

I thought ESPN did have something to do with this article because they are owned by Disney?..who used to be FAMILY friendly before they started making R rated/violent/suggestive movies..thus the connection to ESPN magazine unless I mis read that..Always a possibility. But I did not see the deleted comments either.


Bevo

I have seen clips of the pretty Winston girls and those never offend me at all. There were times in my life I took advantage of a situation with a smile or flirtations...to get a favor. It's part of human nature.

I've not seen most of those male ads mentioned, but the goofy ones with Kahne... those were sexy? ...Oh I remember, the women swooning over KK..I thought those were just lame but only one commercial I found offensive..now that I think about it.

Does NASCAR dictate in specificities what it allows? If so, how did Pamela Anderson get on a stage a few years ago with her unbottoned down -to- there shirt?..was it the All Star race? Shazaam..that was a shirt though about 3 sizes too small. :)

But I have no problem with the Tony S commercials. Don't remember the ones featuring Jr's derriere.
I know what I find offensive, but not sure where NASCAR draws the line for reasons I mentioned earlier and I don't want to stray off this topic.

I grew up in the day when Joe Namath had Farrah Fawcett and other babes telling him to "take it off,take it all off" with shaving cream for his beard. But it was more campy than offensive. Folks also had more of a sense of humor in those days about everything.

If YOU don't see the demarcation line between sultry sex appeal, and the modern trashier types, not sure how I can explain what I am saying without a picture link which isn't allowed here. And I don't have two examples handy anyway.



DP is a fair driver in the IRL, and has shown she can drive in recent years (unlike Milka Duna!) I don't mind her cashing in on her looks but when it reaches a saturation level that overshadows talent, and a more, um...not sure how to word what I mean....

The over all coarsening of society makes what USED to be sleazy, totally acceptable. .. you can't escape it. Billboards are now contreversial!

Sophia said...

p.s. Somebody interviewed Danica with her dad some months back and they had VERY SUGGESTIVE bikini clad photos they showed him. He just smiled and said he thought she looked good! Wow. Those pictures were not in the best taste thus I KNOW what DP is going to do next is going to be worse.

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

Folks, I know we have some new readers here today, so let me review.

TDP is easy to understand. I offer a topic and then give my opinin on that topic. If you would like to suggest a topic, just email me so I can research it.

You then offer your views on that topic and we have a pretty good discussion. I keep the Anon category open so folks in TV and the media can post here with no hassles.

We like opinion, but do not tell others what to think and we are all adults here. No insults or foul language.

This website has been working since 2007. We get updates from all the NASCAR TV partners and good help from many of the other NASCAR websites.

We would like to hear your opinion on the topic today and appreciate everyone who stops by.

JD

Anonymous said...

The first time that I heard a person referred to as a brand, related to Nascar, was Kelly, and Dale Jr., at the news conf. when he went to HMS. I don't care if she drove the car nude, but I don't think she will make it cup. She would get a lot of money, and media attention for a mid pack car at best. Just IMO.

bevo said...

@Sophia- My point was that there are no nude pictures at this time, just hype by ESPN to sell a near-dead magazine. I'll comment on those and the choices she and her management team make IF the hype turns out to be true.

I like Danica and the interest she brings to the IRL from women and especially little girls. When I go to the races I love seeing dads with their daughters wearing Danica shirts and hats. Just like NHRA events and girls showing up with Ashley Force, Hillary Will, Melanie Troxel and other female drivers stuff.

The issue isn't so clear cut for me. Male drivers have always used sex appeal to sell their brand. Big time motorsports is all about selling a brand. If you want pure racing go to a local short track on Saturday night. Cup racing is all about business, if the owner or driver aren't making money they aren't racing.

A woman entering that world as a driver has a lot of land mines in her path. You don't even have to subscribe to a belief in something like third-wave feminism to see that. I love the Tony Stewart ads and Danica's Boost Mobile ones. I don't think a male driver is either a hunk or a "serious" driver and I don't think the same should apply to a female one.

Sophia said...

bevo

ok..I think I understand your point now...I think we are on the same page for the most part. Healthy sex appeal has always sold.

For the record, I am unfamiliar with ESPN the magazine but I can't believe they would hype things.

Say it ain't so! ;-)

p.s. Some of these word veris are cracking me UP these days. I swear these are in another language...hope it isn't cussing. :)

bevo said...

@Sophia- Yeah, look at Helio with Dancing With The Stars. Women love a guy who can dance and we all know it isn't just his moves on a dance floor that does it - there's a subliminal thing implied ;)

Now put Danica in place of Helio, what would the response be? "Can you believe how skimpy her outfit was?" "Did you see how suggestive that hip thrust was?" and so on and so on.

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

Hard to believe NASCAR still considers itself "Family Entertainment"... if my kids were still young, they would NOT be watching NASCAR on TV between all the "ED" ads... no use getting bent out of shape about Danica posing "Nude"... if it's in SI it won't be showing much anyway... not like a Playboy "Spread" now is it??
Just my opinion of course.... Count_Culo

Damon said...

To Daly Planet Editor,

I understand your concern about Danica and what kind of unwanted attention that posing in ESPN's "Bodies" issue would cause, but if any of these owners are shying away from her because of this, that's dumb.

If you're going to shy away from her for your team, then do it because of the struggles that other formula car-trained drivers with better resumes than hers like Hornish, Franchitti, Allmendinger and Carpentier have had trying to make the transition from OW cars to stock cars and not because she likes to play up her sexiness in photo shoots/magazines/etc.

Todd said...

Danica is HOT, HOT, Hot...come to NA$CAR...and she did win an IRL race in Japan last year!

Troy said...

People should stop getting worked up about Danica. She is using her looks and body for sponsorship dollars. Is it any different than driver drinking a Coke after driving for 500 miles and then immediately passing the bottle to their PR person after the interview is done??? Is it any different than Carl Edwards doing a commercial with duck??? Racing has always been about moving product, always has, always will, as long as TV is involved. You said no way "insert male driver" would pose for magazines like Danica has??? Well, sorry folks, Carl Edwards has his shirt off more than Danica does. Drivers dye their hair and Bobby Labonte got his "hind end" squeezed for a commercial... Don't even get me going about Kasey Kahne and the insurance commercials... Stop getting worked up about it, because for Danica it is all about the green...

As far as Danica coming to NASCAR, how come it was perfectly acceptible for Dale Jr. to appear in Playboy with three ladies and a yellow Corvette, but it is not okay for Danica to race because she appeared nude in ESPN the magazine??? We can be hypocrtical like that, if she has talent, can pass the drug screens and has a ride, she should race, as should anyone...

Besides, mission accomplished, she has us talking about her, ESPN the magazine has us talking about it...

Anonymous said...

Don't the fans of Nascar realize that this woman is just playing us for fools as she tries to cut the best deal she can in IRL? I'm serious when I say this. Let's put her in a new Hendrick team car where she has to qualify and let her run the full 2010 season. It shouldn't take long to see what she's really made of. Nascar has some really serious problems that need to be addressed. Lets not turn Nascar into the WWE!

Anonymous said...

i dont really care how you argue it, i dont like her commercials, theyre juvenile, I dont like kasey kahne dancing backstreet style. I dont like male enhancement commercials on nascar on sirius, but that's the commercialism we all have to live with so ill mute go daddy commercials and go get a beer.

DL said...

At this point I'm thinking DeLana Harvick- who has her own firesuit too- would be better behind a NASCAR steering wheel than Danica, as far as female driving presence goes.
Since it seems to be the direction her "promoters" are pushing, maybe Danica should just audition to be a Sprint girl next year.

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

Sex appeal in NASCAR was used back in the day with the girls kissing the guy in the winners' circle and those women weren't one dimensional like they are in a magazine. Men are visual and I wonder if those kissers ever replayed over and over in the winners' head, especially when they were with their wives! Of course not. They were focused on the trophy!lol

Anonymous said...

First an aside to the poster than said Kournakova won a grand slam. The only thing she won was at the pay window.

Enough of the kick the girl Danica absurdity. She a coquettish cute woman who lives in a man's world. She moving toward the dreaded 30 mark and her economic clock is ticking. It is time to make 'em pay.

Give me a choice between Billy Jean King and Danica Patrick, I'm for the boyish girl every time. So who amongst the nay sayers including Mr. Daly would turn down a million bucks to wrap yourself in a sheet and get your picture taken? Me, I'm in for that once a week till they quit offering the deal.

I think it is great she is using her allure to make a dollar. She is a mid pack commodity not a superstar. My guess everyone here who is on the pious train will be at the ESPN website drooling and complaining when the photos come out. Me too save no complaining.

Daly Planet Editor said...

The picture above is from SI and has the logo on the photo.

Just a reminder, all we ask is your opinion on the topic.

JD

Anonymous said...

Speaking from the male perspective, it seems like once you've seen a picture of someone nude, their mystique wears off and they fall by the wayside. It's simply a matter of time before you're looking for the next sexy athlete, trying to imagine what they look like in the buff. It's Danica's right to cash in on thiy, after all, it's her body. But it'll probably cost her in the long run.

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

Being 5th in points in Indycar in a year where two teams (Penske/Ganassi) have won 14 of the 15 races and hold down the top 4 spots is nothing to sneeze at.

For people who think that these things could cost her?

* She appeared in FHM back in 2003, yet there is she is 2005 winning IRL rookie of the year honors, 2005 Indy 500 rookie of the year honors and leading the famed 500 with less than 10 laps to go.

* She posed in the SI Swimsuit issue for 2008, then won her first race.

* She posed again in the SI swimsuit issue, plus ended up on the cover of Shape Magazine in a bikini and here she is having her best year yet in the IRL with a career best in top 5's, including a career best run of 3rd at Indy and is sitting 5th in points.

People who like to throw this stuff in her face are doing so for no other reason than they don't like her and just look for an excuse to express that dislike because NONE of this stuff she does has ever affected her ability to perform in the car and it never will.

West Coast Diane said...

I don't consider Danica a mid pack driver. She is 5th in points, only 30 behind Helio.

I am disappointed in the path she has taken because of the message for the little girls that want to "be like Danica". I hope it is the racing part. Because odds are most won't have the other part...the looks, body.

IMHO it takes away from her ability as a driver. A friend, who doesn't watch any racing but knows of her, was surprised when we mentioned how well she is doing. His comment..."oh, she isn't just for publicity, she really races". There you go.

We were at Sears Point last week. I have a 17 month granddaughter and always try to pick something up for her. Went to her trailer (the 3 other AGR drivers share...she has 3/4 to their 1/4!). There were a couple "infant" outfits and maybe a tee for young girls (although in this day and age could have been an "adult" size). Actually I was glad and not sure I would have bought anything anyway. I really don't want her to know the "outside the track" Danica. I want her to grow up thinking she can be whatever she wants because of who she is, not what she looks like.

Whatever happened to subtle sexiness, which is far more sexy than in your face stuff.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 11:57AM,

Perhaps I am missing your point. Our topic is whether crossing the line into nudity will affect her potential cross-over into NASCAR?

We are talking about exactly your point. Is there a double standard for women or is someone who is going to drive revenue to themselves by taking off their clothes deserving of whatever happens to them?

Patrick has the right to do whatever she pleases. In her IRL interview on Versus prior to the Saturday night race, she said she wants fans to see both sides of her personality.

Rather than try to suggest that we don't like her, understand that this topic is not going to go away as long as someone who is driving a professional race car in the IRL and possibly moving to NASCAR continues to use her body as a marketing tool.

As other posters have said, NASCAR is no stranger to sex selling products from TV commercials to several drivers who are married to professional models.

This is a forum for discussion and your views are welcome. Just understand that others may not share them. It's a big world out there.

JD

Nan S said...

@JD said "The reason there is an invocation, a National Anthem and a fly-over at NASCAR events is because this All-American sport is aimed directly at the family."

Many of the drivers have children out of wedlock and others have cases of infidelity (with or without resulting divorces) and that hasn't stopped the fans. I don't think Danica nude will cause anyone in Nascar nation to collapse with the "vapors".

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up for comments on the Montreal N'wide Series race on ESPN2 at 2PM.

Thanks,

JD

Anonymous said...

Im not opposed to this at all..

Anonymous said...

Annon 10:33
For the Record, If you are going to be the Anna Kournikova expert, you should at least spell her name correctly. She won two Grand Slam doubles titles at the 1999 and 2002 Australian Open.

All accounts I have seen or heard, say she worked extreamly hard to improve her game. I respect that effort.

Danica doing sexy pictures or commercials does't diminish her on track accomplishments in my mind. I believe they (the accomplishments) speak for themselves.

Having said that, I will have to see with my own eyes that she can be succesful driving Stock Cars, in a contact sport that NASCAR is.

Anonymous said...

You go for it Danica! :) Always been a fan in IndyCar - will follow you to NASCAR.

GinaV24 said...

Danica is a grown woman and will make her own choices on this. I'd love to see a successful female driver in NASCAR, I just don't buy into all the Danica hype. With sponsorship dollars being tight, no matter what she does, if she can bring the cash, someone in NASCAR will put her in a ride.

I thought the stalker spots they did for kasey kahne were very creepy and I couldn't understand why allstate thought they were good advertising. ESPN is just in it for the money and so is Disney. I wonder what Walt would think of how far from "family" his company has gone?

I won't be buying the magazine. Hey I'm human, I like an appealing physical look as much as the next woman, but until the guys are willing to use "beefcake" to sell themselves in public, I still think its a double standard.

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

So, in the end it turned out that Tommy Kendall never asked about the ESPN magazine issue, was turned down flat on any news about next season and basically got nothing from this entire interview.

What a way to end a topic!

Thanks for all the comments,

JD