Monday, February 8, 2010

Every Day Is A Danica Day (Updated Mon. AM)


Update: JR Motorsports made it official at 8AM Monday. Danica Patrick will drive in the Nationwide Series race at Daytona. Waiting for confirmation that Kelly Bires is out for this event. Danica will be locked-in through points from 2009. She will have the points from the #11 car, not the #88 as previously reported in media sources.

Here are some quotes and information from the JR Motorsports press release:

“To be the one driving that Go Daddy car at Daytona means a lot to me,” Patrick said. “Racing in the Nationwide Series race was my goal during this entire two-month preparation process, but we wanted to make sure it was the right thing to do. The ARCA race was a blast, and I’m not ready for my first Daytona Speedweeks to end just yet. I want more racing.”

Patrick’s entry in the Drive4COPD 300 puts her in a JR Motorsports tandem with Dale Earnhardt Jr., who will drive the No. 88 Hellmann’s Chevrolet. Patrick will continue her Nationwide Series schedule on Feb. 20 at Auto Club Speedway (Fontana, Calif.) and Feb. 27 at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway.

Patrick is guaranteed starting positions in all three races based off JRM’s acquisition of points from CJM Racing’s No. 11 team, which finished 15th in the 2009 Nationwide Series owners point standings.

“I think Danica proved to everyone that she can compete in stock cars at a high level, and right now seat time is extremely important,” Kelley Earnhardt said. “She has worked extremely hard during the past two months for this opportunity. Her dedication and work ethic is infectious.”


This is the TDP original column from Sunday, Feb 7th:

NASCAR is getting a lesson in media manipulation and it's from a young woman who has never run a lap in any NASCAR racing series. Her single claim to fame on the track is one ARCA race at Daytona and a mediocre IRL career.

Danica Patrick is about to take advantage of a slow Monday and announce her decision about racing in the Nationwide Series race at Daytona sometime during the day.

Shortly after that information was released on Sunday afternoon, David Newton of ESPN got back into the familiar groove of using anonymous sources to offer this story. Click here to read it. Newton says the deal is done.

A couple of hours later it was Jim Utter from thatsracin.com who offered the same information. Utter said Danica would make it official early on Monday morning. Click here to read his entire story.

Over the weekend Kevin Harvick won the Bud Shoot Out, Bobby Gerhart the ARCA race and Mark Martin the Daytona 500 pole. Not a lot of that will matter once Patrick makes it official that she will be on the track Saturday with some of the top drivers in the sport at very high speeds.

If the announcement is made at 8AM, it will not take long for the aftershocks to be felt coming from the Bristol, CT area. Over the last three years, ESPN has been faced with an opening Nationwide Series event that often resembled Sprint Cup Series practice.

If Patrick joins the fray, it will give ESPN an opportunity for the kind of focused sports news coverage the network has become famous for doing. ESPN has a lot of media outlets and when they are all focused on promoting one thing, it's powerful.

ESPN2 will also be carrying the Nationwide Series practice on Thursday and qualifying on Friday. Two good opportunities to build up the excitement for the Saturday afternoon race. You can bet that will be the case if Patrick is in the event.

Since the new TV contract began in 2007, ESPN has been struggling to define exactly what the Nationwide Series really has become. Top Sprint Cup drivers use unlimited resources to mount campaigns for the series championship. The only personality blip on the radar was Brad Keselowski who subsequently moved on to the big leagues.

Having Patrick for Daytona and Fontana will certainly be a boost for Marty Reid, ESPN's new play-by-play announcer. This will also give Dr. Jerry Punch an opportunity to refresh his pit reporter skills while dealing with a very high profile driver.

We will use this post to get your opinion on this topic and then update it on Monday morning if and when the announcement is made. Patrick and her handlers have proven to be masterful at media management and Monday should prove to be no different.

To add your opinion on this post, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

81 comments:

Damon said...

I wouldn't exactly call somebody who has won series rookie of the year honors, Indy 500 rookie of the year honors, finished top 5 in points in 2009, won a race, won 3 poles and has 4 top 10's/2 top 5's in her first 5 Indy 500 starts as having a mediocre Indycar career.


Believe me, all the people who post on this site, including yourself JD wish they could do what she's doing in racing. Get rid of the snobbery towards Danica, it's annoying and comes off as elitest.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Damon,

Won 1 race in how many years? Less than 20 cars in each field and how many of them competitive?

The simple reason Danica Patrick is working hard on moving to NASCAR is because the IRL is falling apart at the seams.

That IRL stuff is not going to translate on this side until she gets it done in more than ARCA.

The trail of open-wheel drivers coming to NASCAR is littered with those who are long gone.

I stick by the term mediocre. You are welcome to your opinion.

JD

Anonymous said...

have to agree with Damon---it's not 'mediocre' to do what she has done. I'd call her upper middle class.

And I don't believe she required anyone to focus on her. Not saying she didn't play a hype game, but it's not her choice if they choose to follow. She ran an ARCA race, had fun, and finished pretty darn well. It's a story.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Dictionary.com - Mediocre: of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad.

Don't put words in my mouth.

anon 10:58 said...

don't believe I or Damon did put any words in your mouth. Personally I was talking about the media in general. If the definition of mediocre is neither good nor bad, I think it's better than that. She finished behind some very high quality people on good teams in IRL. If the IRL is in that much trouble, that would say perhaps she hasn't had all the backing to prove whether she's good or bad. Just saying.

Damon said...

JD,


You've gotta do your homework on the IRL.

She has 1 win, yes, but of the 81 races she's competed in, 71 of them have been won by 7 guys (Franchitti, Dixon, Wheldon, Kanaan, Hornish, Castroneves and Briscoe) and of the 10 races won by other drivers, only one has more than 1 win and that's Justin Wilson with 2.


Basically, the IRL is no different than Nascar with the dominant team or teams/drivers winning all the time. Even in the CART years from 1985-1992, you had seven drivers (Mears, Rahal, Sullivan, Al Unser Jr, Michael/Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi) stand out from everybody else, winning a staggering 112 of 126 races.

Just ask a guy like Roberto Guerrero, who only won twice in 143Indycar starts (6 poles), but was good at Indy from 1984-1987 with four straight top 4 finishes and was rookie of the year in CART back in 1984. He had a nice long career, but didn't win as much as his talent would suggest he should've, would you consider him mediocre too?


Is Danica the best IRL driver currently? No, but she's a good driver, like Roberto was and I would think she showed a little bit of that on Saturday and will it carry on, who knows, but I think she deserves the opportunity to try without know-it-alls running her down for giving it a shot.

hotaru-raganbaby_6 said...

And just when I thought the hype machine had lost power...

...it just got a second pair of batteries.

As if this weekend wasn't bad enough, here comes ESPN with their coverage. It'll be worse.

Bobby said...

Now what is true is Danica's win at Motegi was in a half-field race caused by a compromise left as a result of Reunification. The former CCWS teams were in Long Beach while the "current" IRL teams were at the egg-shaped Motegi track that Honda admits to being inspired by a certain Florentine oval -- and that market is the home of a Honda ATV/Personal Watercraft plant.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Damon,

Nice try at twisting that reality. The reason those guys won is because they are good and have good equipment.

No one is running anyone down, just saying her IRL career is mediocre. You are suggesting I am talking about her skills as a driver. You are incorrect.

This year with Michael Andretti should be an opportunity to break out and win or compete for the win on a regular basis.

Just between us girls, my email continues to be filled with "insiders" who say the IRL is done, despite the title sponsor deal, after this season.

As a person who worked the CART circuit for years, I hope the open-wheel guys find a way to reorganize before it's too late.

JD

Mike H in Dallas said...

I am hoping she skips Daytona simply cause I'd like to watch the race. ESPN will take qual cam (the art of directing a race using every camera zoomed in to the max on a single car) to a new level. I'd really like to see Tony's car cross the line when he wins SAT. Remember garage cam with Jimmie at Texas last year; we'll get airport cam (in the big box when not fullscreen) if she ends up in a big one halfway through.
Hope I'm wrong but I predict espn coverage will make race darn near painful to watch.

Anonymous said...

Wow, someone isn't impressed by Danica.

I think placing sixth in the ARCA race is a major accomplishment for her. She has never raced a stock car as you point out, but she beat 3/4 of the field of guys many of whom have been racing their whole lives. But I suppose you'll just say it was the equipment and not give her any props.

Tell you what, Danica will probably win a Nationwide race before your buddy Michael Waltrip does... and MW is running more races this year.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Great, let's get all viral on me because I treat her like any other driver. Come on.

She had a rocket ship from JRM and Hendrick Motorsports with Tony Eury Jr. as her crew chief and a pro pit crew...in an ARCA race.

I watch the IRL races and rarely see her in the front pack at the finish for a wide variety of reasons.

As was said earlier, you can only drive what you are given. Andretti said this was a good piece for her this season on the IRL side, so maybe she can be there at the finish battling for the lead.

I hope for NASCAR's sake she winds-up doing well, but don't forget she is unseating Kelly Bires at Daytona who is running for the championship for JR Motorsports.

She is taking his car, crew and Jr. already said they cannot afford to enter another car for Kelly.

NASCAR is a rocky road. It should be an interesting week for this driver.

JD

Damon said...

@ Anon 11:50

She has never raced a stock car

-------------

This point can't be brought up enough.


Talk about the Hendrick power/equipment all you want, but inexperience is inexperience and you can't expect her to be Dale Jr. and race the way he would late in a plate race when she's never raced on one before.

MikeC said...

We might as well face it....they've probably known all along she's going to run the Nationwide race...but as has been pointed out, this gets everyone around Daytona talking about her this week. She'll become the story of Speedweeks '10. However, the proof of the pudding will be her performance. This is a case of the media making her the story for their own interests.

I seem to liken this to when Juan Pablo came to NASCAR. The media spotlight was on him. But now, when you get right down to it, the media treats Montoya like he's just another driver in the Cup series.

Anonymous said...

Dale Jr already proved that Hendrick motors, Hendrick chassis, and a Eury on the pitbox can't alone get you to victory lane.

Too bad for the guy who lost his seat, but Danica is a superstar in the making, and not just because of her gender.

Anonymous said...

Someone should tell NASCAR that instead of another Danica story, how about updating the drivers page. Martin Truex doesn't drive the 1 car anymore, folks. It's 2010!

Bentbriar said...

I've been following Danica since she was racing in Formula Atlantics. I won't get into the mediocre/okay kerfuffle but here's my take: she's a smart, conservative racer. I don't think she has the killer instinct to pull off high-risk/high-gain manuevers. Because of this she usually ran mid/high pack in IRL/Atlantics but rarely lead. Her performance isn't stellar, but it's consistent and she rarely makes mistakes on the track.

Because of this I think she has the potential to do well in stock cars. I think the finesse driving stock cars require will suit her better than "twitch" driving open wheel tends to demand. She probably won't be fighting for the lead a lot but I think she could be an excellent points racer.

The bad thing about Danica's Arca race: how many times was Alli Owen mentioned? You know, the woman who actually ran ahead of Danica for most of the race...

Bobby said...

Damon,

You also forgot Guerrero was on his way to a promising career in 1987 when he was seriously injured in a testing crash at Indianapolis. After winning two PPG Cup races (Phoenix, Mid-Ohio), he was badly injured in a testing crash and sat out the rest of 1987, and was never the same driver with Vince Granitelli, and bounced frequently with different rides such as the Alfa Romeo project, Kenny Bernstein, and the Pagan Brothers Infiniti (which was never competitive in the 4-litre production class era; in those days, the Aurora was undefeaten, untied, unscored upon it seemed).

I hope one of the smaller teams gives Bires a Daytona ride and Hendrick might provide engines and a spare crew for him.

JoeS said...

You really think it is her taking Bires seat!!??? I'm sure it is all JR and Go Daddy making the call on who drives in that race. Why no outrage at JR,Sis and PR for the media hype...do you also think she sets up all the media spots??? She is doing what she is told and bringing great added exposure to ARCA and NASCAR.

trophyguy said...

If she does race in the Nationwide race, wonder how long it will take '
'Old DW to wish FOX was doing the race so he could analyze her every move.

PLEASE ESPN guys, dont have a Danicagasm like Speed did for the ARCA race.

TG

Vicky D said...

I think this will be good for the NW race, but unfortunately for Daytona, I believe half the field will be filled with cup guys so it might be more difficult for her to show off her driving skills in this race because of that. Hope she doesn't wreck either she'll be the media darling that's for sure and if she's out of the race who will they show? Fox better show the other drivers in the race, otherwise there will be a lot of unhappy fans watching the race. I'm sure she'll bring much needed publicity for the NW series so that's a good thing. Can't wait for Saturday and what's going to happen to Kelly Bires.

Damon said...

That too, Bobby

But with that said, Roberto was a heck of a driver, even with only 2 career wins.

People tend to focus in on the wins rather than the performance as a whole, because as I said, not everybody is going to win and more often than not, the competition at the top dominates that category and drivers get labeled unfairly as being losers.

MRM4 said...

Danica won her one race when everyone had to stop for fuel at the end of the race except her. While that is a win, she didn't outrun the field, just out fuel-mileaged them.

The ARCA coverage was sad. Everything focused around Danica and you rarely heard anything about any of the other drivers, especially the other female drivers. I have a feeling Saturday and next Saturday will be more of the same with ESPN.

Damon said...

MRM,


Last I checked, one of Roger Penske's cars (Helio Castroneves) took the same chance Danica did by topping off the fuel under the final yellow and gambled that there would be no yellows in the final 51 laps, they're weren't, those two moved to the front and Danica, who did a better job of saving fuel early in her run had more than enough to pass Castroneves, who was struggling at the end of the race barely cracking 180 mph while Danica was running in the 190-192 mph that whole final stint.

MzVikkee said...

As I've said before, if this was a male competitor, we would not even be having the discussion. Whether she's won 1 races or 20 races, it shouldn't matter. If she brings the dollars & attention to the sport, it can only be good for the other competitors to get the sponsorship they need.

GinaV24 said...

Well, that means I'm not tuning in for the Nationwide race this weekend. Sorry, DanicaMania doesn't interest me, I want to WATCH racing, not hype.

She did OK in the ARCA race, but that great save that everyone was talking about -- watch the in-car, she let go of the wheel, so I'm calling that luck, not skill.

Everyone's entitled to their opinion on this -- if you like her and want to cheer for her, that's great. I just want to be able to watch and hear about the race that is being broadcast, NOT any one particular driver, whether they be the Sprint cup regulars who are moonlighting over in Nationwide or this one female driver who is coming over from Indycar. As JD said, a lot of people from open wheel have tried it, some have been successful, but more, with a lot more credentials than Danica has, have washed out.

If they would just let her driving tell the story, I might be able to get behind it, but the hype on this, just like with Montoya and Scott Speed, turns me off.

Donna in FL said...

Danica ran just like I thought she would. Not great, not bad, just ok average. IMO she’s an average IRL driver and I don’t expect any different from her stock car driving. If in the long run she’s better at NASCAR then great. If she mostly sucks, well at least she tried. Either way brings a bunch of attention with her.
I continue to be annoyed with the DP hype. In the ARCA race, my driver Alli Owens did good all day, but got into something and ended up bad. My other driver Ricky Carmichael also did ok/avg.

I think any rookie driver in this Daytona NNS race is going to have a tough time. As for Kelly Bires, I understand about the sponsor and business thing and how much attn Danica will bring, but from a pure racer standpoint, dumping him out for the part timer and all but ending his season & championship chances before it could even begin is a terribly raw deal. Hope to see some kind of last min deal to put him in the #5 or another car for Daytona.

Anonymous said...

I think that it is a shame that JRM is putting Kelly Bires on the sidelines for a part time driver. I don't see why JRM can't find another car, crew chief and pit crew to field a car for Kelly Bires. He is, after all, going to be running for a championship. This is definitely going to put him behind the eight ball.
Thanks

Marilyn

GinaV24 said...

MzVikkee - I disagree -- the NASCAR hype machine has done this with a lot of new drivers in the series - Montoya, Logano for example. I just prefer to decide if I like a driver or not on MY own, NOT because the sanctioning body or media say I should think they are wonderful.

And in my mind, that goes to prove that the fans prefer to think for themselves, they don't just believe what the media tells them.

I do feel sorry for Bires - I hope that he gets a chance to race in this race - if he's supposed to be running for a championship, he should be running all the races. Shows what a farce all this is with JRM.

West Coast Diane said...

Whew! Am I glad I am in Daytona and get to watch live. Emotions running high.

Too many thoughts rumbling through my cowwebbed mind (up at 4am, second day in a row to watch Shuttle launch from Turn 1 MH lot...cool).

Haven't seen it mentioned that the race Sat is the RACE4COPD. Danica and 4 other sports names are promoting awareness in COPD. Just did a major media tour. Her grandmother died of it. So race sponsor plus Go Daddy.

I do feel bad for Kelly, but like it or not, this is the game. Sponsorship. I am sure Kelly has known this from the beginning. He has shown a lot of class. Shaking down the test car and then on the spotter stand Saturday. And spending a lot of time with her.

Should be a lot of eyes on ESPN this week. Hopefully potential new fans that might bring sponsorship back. A good thing.

Also...hope ESPN doesn't blow it or that may send the fans away in droves.

Definitely this race will be orders of magnitude more difficult. She won't get away with some of the moves she made Saturday. But it will be exciting.

Hope she doesn't take out her boss and my fav :-)

Damon said...

LOL @ Rusty on Sportscenter about Danica 10 minutes ago, "She surprised me, I thought she'd just hang back, log laps and get some seat time, but she got her butt right up in there"

Card Game Nut said...

You know, in all the "Danica's taking a ride from Bires" rumbling, no one's talking about the other part-time driver taking a ride from him: Dale Earnhardt Jr. If Dale REALLY wanted Bires to run for the championship AND have Danica in the field, Earnhardt would step aside and run the car with Bires driving sponsorless. When you're not taking a ride from someone I can see getting in a car and racing for the heck of it; when it costs a driver a job, the part-timers need to step away.

I'd LOVE to see what she can do in Nationwide considering more teams there than in ARCA have competitive cars, drivers, and crews. I hope she does well OR falls flat on her face just so there's no room for interpretation. (Not that I want her to fail; I just want the result to be extremely good or extremely bad [wreck/mechanical issues notwithstanding] so we can make a conclusion).

I just hope ESPN doesn't go "Danica Danica Danica" and ignore the other 42 like SPEED seemed to do most of the ARCA race.

I don't mind having Danica around. I truly hope she does well. Then the storylines can legitimately be about if Danica could win a certain race/championship or her chances to get a pole or similar that could be talked about of ANY driver. But the hype around her needs to stop. She's a rookie stock car racer and should not be treated more favorably than any other driver out there JUST BECAUSE she's a decent female driver. I get it's a special thing to have a decent female driver coming into the sport, but that's where the story needs to stop and the focus get back to the field in general, back to your regulars, with a few Danica check-ups in between your normal drivers and coverage.

As best as I recall, Bill Lester didn't get this level of attention for being the first black man since Willy T. Ribbs to make a Cup race. Why should Danica for being a decent female driver coming to NASCAR?

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Danica fan but I'm more then willing to give her a chance. She had a solid effort in the ARCA race and demonstrated some good car control.

Maybe NASCAR has been her calling all a long, who knows. Her attitude and demeanor seem to be drastically different compared to most of her IRL career. I've seen a lot more happiness and excitement from her throughout this stock car process.

It is a bummer that Kelly Bires won't be racing. Quite frankly, I think Jr. needs to stick up for his driver and step out of the 88. I know that probably won't happen though.

glenc1 said...

I do feel bad for Bires, and I do think the ARCA coverage was way over the top. However, I did hear them mention Alli Owens a bunch of times (though they weren't listening to every word on her radio, etc.) I was disappointed SPEED spent so much time dwelling on Danica. But just as a reminder--they're only reporting what they *think* viewers want to hear. As you saw from the fans and from the media, most everyone is interested. For a sport struggling to get sponsors and viewers...well, I can't see how this is bad (and yes, I get sick of it too even though I like her.) But it's not unlike the Jeff Gordon hype back in 97, 98, and everyone complaining about all that; I remember it well. As for Danica, I think she did pretty well for the situation. And it's not her doing that they choose to give her this much press. Not saying she doesn't enjoy it, but...it also helps get/keep your sponsorship. Any driver, if he/she had the opportunity to garner this much PR would do it in a heartbeat for that reason.

Sad to hear the IRL is in such dire straits as well. And you certainly can't blame open wheelers (including Piquet) for trying to widen their horizons.

GinaV24 said...

@cardgamenut -- well said.

Ken said...

One ARCA race and I'm already sick of hearing her name. I watch the Super Bowl and she keeps popping up pushing the sex angle. Her PR machine is going to take up the time she needs to prepare for racing. I'm to old for poster girls and I just want to see good racing.

I hope she does well but all Danica all the time is more than I want to endure. It's far more fun to see an unknown underdog do well than it is to see a celebrity with the best equipment money can buy win.

Damon said...

Junior isn't going to step out of the 88 because of the sponsor obligation he has with Hellman's to run the Daytona Nationwide race.

Be mad at Hellman's, be mad at Junior, Kelley, Danica, whatever...she isn't going anywhere, so deal with it or watch something else.

West Coast Diane said...

Regarding JR giving up his ride. He can't. Sponsors want him in the car. Believe he has a commitment to them for about 5 races.

Again...this is the business, like it or not. Doesn't make it right, fair or otherwise.

I want to see Kelly in a car. However, if you were the sponsor, who would you want driving your car at Daytona?

West Coast Diane said...

Oops. Thanks Damon...much more succinct...LOL! Oh and thanks for first post, too :-)

Daly Planet Editor said...

Kelly Bires on Twitter: As everyone can see I will not be running Daytona. Very bummed out about it! I will be ready to make a statement in Fontana.

Haus14 said...

MzVikkee said...
As I've said before, if this was a male competitor, we would not even be having the discussion. Whether she's won 1 races or 20 races, it shouldn't matter. If she brings the dollars & attention to the sport, it can only be good for the other competitors to get the sponsorship they need.

If this was guy coming into the sport with the same credentials, we wouldn't even be talking about him. The difference between Danica and JPM and Logano is that JPM is a 500 champion and a F1 champion and Logano won in everything that he had run in. In other words, they had done something before coming into NASCAR.

Jack from PA said...

On the TV side of things, expect the Nationwide race to be much like JJ's Texas race last fall--they'll make SPEED's coverage of Danica look like anyone's of Dave Blaney. Not sure if it's the right thing for Danica or not, but if she's doing this for the right reasons (media NOT being one of them) you've got to admire her.

Marti said...

My two cents...It appears Danica has the shoulders to take the heat on behalf of the team (Tony Jr., Jr., Kelly) should Danica fall flat on her face at Daytona. But then her guardian will be along driving to perhaps protect her. Ironic if he ends up taking her out. In other words...what's the deal? She is doing the same thing other high profile racers and/or teams have done.I would imagine Kelly B knew of these issues when he signed up with JRM...if not, well it will be another one of life's lessons he has learned and hopefully will make him stronger and wiser in the years ahead.

trophyguy said...

Hey, I'm glad she's racing the Nationwide race now. That series needs a boost and she's gonna give it to the series.

GinaV24 said...

@Damon -- "deal with it or watch something else". Good advice, I will and I plan to watch something else. I haven't been a big fan of ESPN's coverage of this series anyway. I was bored watching the N'Wide series because there were too many Sprint cup drivers that ESPN could focus on instead of the up and comers that I wanted to watch.

I didn't watch the superbowl yesterday either -- one, because neither team held any interest for me and two, because I knew that GoDaddy was going to do a ton of commercials. I decided to skip it altogether.

There has to be a line here somewhere between hype and covering the action on the track and I know for me, that all the Danica stuff has crossed it and this is only the beginning. I get that it is a great tie-in for ESPN.

I'm a female and I am all for having a female succeed in NASCAR and there were a lot of them that could have gotten coverage in the ARCA race, but didn't, because it was all about Danica. So please, don't hit me over the head with it constantly -- I don't like it.

Haus14 said...

The worst thing for ESPN will be if Danica is involved in the "Big One" early. Since ESPN lives and dies with storylines, they will be lost.

Anonymous said...

Attention Kelly Bires: If you were that good they wouldn't unseat you.

Damon said...

Stop it with the "we had a lot of females in the ARCA race, but they didn't get the coverage" nonsense.

Two of them were out of the race on lap 7, the chiropractor (Jill George) had a horrifying flip on lap 27, Jennifer Jo Cobb never got into the top 10, so no real reason to mention her.

It basically came down to Danica and Alli Owens and for all the folks complaining about the Danica hype, were you put off by the Alli Owens hype at last year's ARCA race or the Chrissy Wallace hype at Martinsville in her first stock car start? Me thinks this a just a little jealousy thrown DP's way because of how she looks and that she's an outsider.

boyd said...

I am so glad that Danica is racing in the NNS race in Daytona! This is exciting!

Let's see how she compares to half the Cup field, how she likes getting freight trained and left out of things.

Lets see how much she complains when her car isn't perfect for the whole race.

Most of all lets hope that she now knows that 1)Daytona has lights, 2)where her pit box is located, and 3)that she can leave the same way she came in after the Big One.

I'm glad that Marty will be in the PXP position, because he looks at the track a lot and can tell us about the racing that we will not see as we watch a single Go Daddy car going around the track. Remember that is what HD is for, to show the beauty of a single car on the track. (Don't blame me ESPN said so.)

Anonymous said...

Just read Anon 6:29 and carcars comments and they reflect my views. I could not disagree more with this column, Comfort Food?

Newracefan said...

I'm kind of excited to see how Danica handles the big boys. I thought she did well in the Arca race but lets face it there is a big difference in the abilities &/or equipment in that series. I feel bad for Kelly Bires but it is actually JR that is pushing him out of his ride not Danica. Maybe they have enough cars that Kelly can race too but then there is that pesky sponsorship issue. My biggest fear is that we will be even more overloaded with Danica coverage than we were in the Arca race. I still haven't gotten over my disappointment in Speed for that hot mess. Who knows maybe ESPN has finally figured it out and we can all be surprised together.

Lunch is over back to work I go

Anonymous said...

If she gets the coverage, she gets the coverage. All I hope is the TV guys are willing to criticize like they would any other driver, if she makes a mistake. For instance, if she causes an accident, I don't want to hear the TV people saying, "I can't really tell what happened there" (even though they do) or "there was nothing she could do", or try to place the blame on another driver.....when if it was any other driver they'd be quick to point out, "he made a big mistake by trying to make that move....he shouldn't have done that."

JohnP said...

Due to the blizzard in the Mid-Atlantic area my cable & internet was out for the ARCA race and the Shootout so I could not see Danika in the ARCA race. But had planned to along with the wife. Sounds like she did good to me. She will boost their ratings and should boost the ratings in Nationwide as well. That can only be a good thing for Nascar. And sure she is a mediocre IRL driver. Average, whatever. But I would not dismiss her "just" because she comes from IRL. My driver also came from the IRL. Most have forgotten that fact. It's Tony Stewart. Won the 1996 IRL Rookie of the Year. Won the 1997 IRL Championship. Cup Rookie of the Year, and two Cup Championships. Now, that is what qualifies as good, or above mediocre/average. Coming from the IRL does not automatically mean failure. Danika on the other hand has never finished higher then 5th in the points. Over the last five seasons her average points finish is 8th place. With no more drivers then they race, thats mediocre/average.

Tracy said...

While I was cheering Alli Owens until hoarse, I couldn't help but be pleased to see Arca getting more attention because of Danica. If she's the shot in the arm the NW series needs, have at it, girl.

Still wish she'd driven the trucks (against some old dogs with great tricks up their sleeves and good stuff), but she's here, she's driving, and she seems serious about the deal. I'm happy to see any woman succeed in any measure, small or big, in motorsports.

GinaV24 said...

Damon, so from your perspective anyone who doesn't like Danica and is female is "just jealous"?

Wow, maybe I just want a little more action and a lot less talk.

MI Mike said...

Would someone please tell me why all the hate for Danica? If its overexposure maybe its the media. Maybe the same media that for years would only talk about Dale Jr. whos driving skills are still in question.
Non the less because Patrick shows up to race seems all hands on deck to beat up on her.
Say what you may this woman will do nothing but help NASCAR regardless of her sucess or failure.

Folks call her what you want hate her for whatever personal reason that floats your boat. Maybe this has something to do with oversized male egos out there. Fact is she doesnt control the media and there obession with people like Dale JR. or Danica Patrick.

Personlly I hope she takes off like a rocket, and if not I still admire her for leaving her comfort zone. Something few people do.

Anonymous said...

Danicas' IRL career is mediocre ? As you well know , her career is much more than 1 IRL win . By the way , how many Indy car drivers over the years have won even once . Or for that matter how many NASCAR drivers have won an IRL race since you apparently think its easy . No , her stats include open wheel racing in Europe , and very credible points finishes in the IRL . But even if she had no resume at all , her performance on Saturday night proved she can drive a stock car .

Garry said...

Daytona is what it is. But put her in the confines of a dirt track in ARCA, or let her test her "skills" at Darlington, Bristol, or Martinsville. She will be crying all the way home. Does anyone remember her melt-down in the IRL, stomping down pit lane like a little girl who couldn't have a cookie? Go.Daddy is the one pulling the purse-strings to race Saturday, not Junior. As far as the ARCA race, I really didn't know there were 5 other women racing. And the one that got upside down? No one even interviewed her after that. I wish she never raced in NASCAR. Now, we'll never know there are 43 other drivers on the track.Sheesh, you'd think she found the cure for cancer. In closing, I have two words for Danica: Louise Smith.

matriarch said...

JD, don't talk about media manipulation as long as you're a part of it. Just don't speak out, and you won't have to worry about it.

Damon said...

Wow, maybe I just want a little more action and a lot less talk.

-------------------


Well, if you watched the race on Saturday night for action, Danica gave you plenty of that.

Damon said...

Check out the #1 trending topic on Yahoo on today......Danica Patrick, hehe.

Anonymous said...

Gee, maybe this means that someone may actually SHOW Wednesday's opening Nationwide practice, maybe? Because according to my programming guide there is no one showing the 2 hour practice session (I guess Speed can't show it because BSPN owns the Nationwide rights, and all of the BSPN networks are showing their normal "canned" shows in that time slot [maybe the topic of another article, JD?])

Thanx for what you do JD, I don't always agree with you, but you are good at what you do. Dn't let some around here get under your skin.

Slorydn1

Chris from NY said...

Garry, can't agree more.

If it was up to Danica herself, you think she would have thought of moving to NASCAR? If HMS/JRM did not have GoDaddy as a sponsor, would this have happened? If GoDaddy had kept a low profile and never ran their "GoDaddy Girls" ad campaign, and had never sucked up to FOX/SPEED, would the cameras still have turned to her when nothing happened?

It's true. Danica [Mary] Sue Patrick is a corporate puppet. I think we're dealing with the female Kyle Busch here.

Drivers and TV networks should stop sucking up to corporate $$ and get serious. All seriousness and sanity has been lost to commercialism, capitalism, and anything else related to money. That's what's wrong with today's society.

I hate GoDaddy. I will never buy a domain name from them if I ever need to. If I want suggestiveness on TV, that's what paid subscriptions to adult entertainment are for, and that's not interesting me at the moment. GoDaddy ads could be harmful to the little kids watching, as toxic as the look of the fluorescent-green liveries of all the race cars they sponsor. I'll be applauding when Mark Martin drives the CarQuest car. I despise that ominous sponsor color.

If you didn't get my "Mary Sue" reference, look up the term on Wikipedia.

Julia said...

You know why I think some are attacking her for no reason? I think it is because the haters were all saying, she had no chance, she would wreck in the 1st lap and not do a thing, look stupid, YADA YADA YADA! Now that she proved them all 100% wrong and did great, they have to back track, eat their words, and use anything they can think of to attack her. Of course she is FAR from mediocre! That is a FACT! But the haters have to make up something! And that is the best they can do. Do they make any sense? NOPE, of course not, but then again, that has never stopped haters before! Lol!

Anonymous said...

further proof that NASCAR's supposed "gradual approval process" for new drivers and "we don't allow teams to buy points" stance are a total farse

GinaV24 said...

Gack! I swore I would NOT get caught up in the Danicamania and here I am, sucked in like the rest.

"tearing at hair"

The Mad Man said...

The problem as I see it is we've had 2 years of hype, very little substance, and a lot of races where very few drivers get shown. In Cup, it's usually the 13 Chosen Ones who get shown. We're fed up with the cheerleading, the shilling, and all the hype that gets thrown at us from the networks and NASCAR. Give us 43 cars on the track coverage without being told what to think or who to cheer for.

If Danica does good or OK, that's fine. If she hits the pit wall trying to get out to the starting grid, well, fecal matter happens. Just don't turn the broadcast into All Danica All the Time. Every fan has the right to see the driver they root for whether it's somebody from a mega-team or an underdog. If they'd get back to showing all the cars and knock off the hype and limited coverage, more folks might watch. As it is, when you have NASCAR's CEO saying at the Charlotte Media Tour he doesn't expect this year to be much better than last year, that pretty much sets the tone on what we can expect. Don't get your hopes up kiddies or get your knickers in a twist.

Ziggy said...

3 reasons why Ms Patrick will not fail.

1. She's got the 500 lb gorilla backing her.(Hendrick M.S.)
2. A 1000 lb gorilla in NASCAR looking out for her best interests.
3. The media frenzy that creates moocho dinero for that 1000 lb gorilla.

Ziggy

Vince said...

Add me to the group that doesn't understand all the DP hate on here either. Hey she is bringing excitement to a series that badly needs it. I personally am getting sick of the Carl Edwards/Kyle Busch love fest that has been going on the last two years in the Nationwide Series.

As far as Danica taking Kelly's ride. I feel bad for him, but it's all about $$$ and what the sponsors want. They just can't put Kelly in another car. They don't have the resources for that, ie extra crew members and equipment.

I'm NOT a DP fan, but she is a breath of fresh air for a series that desperately needs it. I kinda expect that the Cup guys will blow her doors off on Saturday, but if she doesn't wreck she'll learn more about racing with the big boys.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Marty Smith has a Danica interview on NASCAR Now in the 5-6PM hour ET on ESPN2.

Damon said...

Marty said he had two seperate convos with Danica- one on Nascar Now, then other will be shown on Sportscenter.

David said...

Okay I'll chime in on Danica after seeing her run a race. In my opinion her ARCA debut was stellar! She amazed me, she drove her butt off, and she said the right things. We can sit here and argue until the cows come home how she has been marketed, pushed and hyped but take all that and put it aside. She got into a very good ARCA car, with no race experience at Daytona, and drove with the big names in ARCA. Its a beginner series, lets not say her NW debut will be as successful but she got a car completely out of shape and brought it back! Maybe luck was a huge factor but you cannot deny her intensity behind the wheel and the desire she really seems to have come to the table with.

This girl IS a racer. She has the attitude and desire. Talent? Time will tell. In Indycar she was with a 2nd tier Letterman-Rahal team, then went to AGR when they got dethroned by Ganassi and Penske. She's been solid over there though and found her groove, this year could be her best Indycar season yet.

She is making the right call running the NW race. I don't hold a fixed goal of saying she needs to finish in X position to justify the call. She just needs laps like every driver does. Remember, JPM's ARCA debut was pretty similar in nature and I think he has panned out quite nicely....

Richard in N.C. said...

Yes, there is more Danica hype than needed - but today "hype" seems to be the mother's milk of the media, TV & print.

It seems to me that what DP has is a chance - maybe a gold-plated chance - at succeeding in NASCAR. Who knows, maybe if she is successful, she just might open the door for other talented female drivers.

Darcie said...

Is there a Danica backlash, or just a Go Daddy backlash? Reading the ratings of the Super Bowl commercials published in USA Today, both Go Daddy spots prominantly featuring Danica were at the bottom of a very long list of commercials.

IF she does a good job, so be it. But since when is just running around conservatively driving an IRL car, in a watered-down series that has less than 22 other cars in a series that lasts 15 to 17 races a season, considered a stellar career? Anyone who knows the history of US-based open wheel racing fully realizes that the "talent" in the IRL is hardly stellar, with the exception of maybe three or four drivers---hell, it's not like the days of the Unsers, Andrettis, Mears, Sullivan, Fittapaldi, Foyt, Rutherford, Sneva or even Stewart plus a whole lot of other great open wheel drivers---I daresay that if Ms Patrick had the competition from those years, she'd be nothing but a blip. Now, despite the power of the Hendrick machine, there are at least 20 totally talented drivers in good equipment and at least 15 more who, if they had the $$$$ of Hendrick/JGR/Roush would also be challenging for the wins each week. Can't even come close to saying that in the IRL. In that series you have a lot of wanna-be's with marginal talent in a series that will die in less than two years.

Anonymous said...

I was watching Nascar Now and thinking the whole time... this must be eating JD alive. To see these champions say how great Danica is. I love it. And I love her. Go 7!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Why would it be eating me alive? I have been a supporter of females in NASCAR since we started this blog.

One poster did not like that I used mediocre to describe her IRL career to this point.

The IRL is a whole different animal than NASCAR. See how many of them have come and gone from this sport?

Nothing would help the Nationwide Series with TV ratings and attendance this season than for her to be front and center for her selected races.

Everyone gets treated equally here when it comes to media. Patrick's camp is skilled at manipulation and we are now dancing to her tune.

How long that it stays that way has a lot to do with the next two Saturdays of her life.

JD

Damon said...

People need to wash away what drivers do in other series when they come to Nascar and look at each situation they go into a bit differently.


Montoya left F1, ran a total of 6 races in ARCA/Nationwide before making his first Cup start at Homestead in 2006. Since then he's won Rookie of the Year in Cup, won a race and made the Chase in his first 3 seasons at the Cup level, he was the exception when it comes to lower tier stock inexperience making it to Cup so soon and having success, not the rule.



Franchitti only ran 8 stock car races prior to making his first Daytona 500 start.


And now we've got Hornish, who made 11 stock car starts in ARCA/Nationwide before making his first Cup start at Phoenix in 2007.

========================


The difference between Danica, Dario and Sam is obvious.....she's driving for Jr. Motorsports/Rick Hendrick and the other two aren't and nothing against Penske or Ganassi, but she's in a much better place to succeed in Nascar than Dario and Sam were.


Dale Jr/Kelly/Tony Jr/Rick Hendrick aren't going to allow her to run that few number of stock car races and then push her into Cup like Ganassi did with Dario and Roger Penske with Sam, they're giving her two years in Nationwide to show what she can do, even with a limited schedule.

Alison Dane said...

I don't get the Danica hate here either. I get the feeling that there is a wee dram of misogyny here, or some kind of suppressed envy. I've driven FV, FF, and FA in SCCA and maybe that's the problem with a lot of guys here ... you wonder if you'd have the gravitas to crawl inside such rockets and drive at the edge of grip, and it just makes you feel uncomfortable that she can do it and do it well.

You'd rather have the Kyle Busch show every week, with announcers telling us how he's "changed" because he didn't have a tantrum in the last 7 days?

She's a good driver, she's exciting, she's a strong-willed woman, and she brings sponsors. She's good for NASCAR. Face it. Respectfully submitted.

Damon said...

Just to put a period on Danica's debut, the ratings just came in:

2.3 rating (1.723 million households), up 59% over last year's 1.45 (1.062 million households).



The race got 2.4 million viewers, up 87% over last year's 1.3 million viewers and ranks only behind the All-Star race as the highest rated event on Speed.

JLee said...

Those of us who don't like Danica have the right to express that just as much as those who do. If that's your driver, cool, but she's not mine & I & any1 else have the right to say so. So I'm gonna keep hating! :D It has nothing to do w/jealousy or me not wanting to see female drivers race-I'm female myself & will support other female drivers. I don't understand why some feel the need to defend her so hard-hasn't she shown she can defend herself? Hey, I'll even consider showing up at a race so she can stomp down, throw her tantrums & get up in my face like she's gonna kick my butt or something & tell me she doesn't appreciate what I'm saying. But unlike Dan Wheldon, etc. who was a gentleman when she did that to them, I will not be a lady. Go Milka! But I digress....

This whole DP mania stuff is a fad, & it's silly of Nascar to be doing this. Btw, for those of us who are sick of this & decide not to watch, (like some1 suggested, either deal w/it or don't watch) I think that would defeat the purpose of improving ratings. Good early numbers IMO, isn't really that big a deal(btw,stats can be manipulated) I would hope the objective would be for long term longevity. So to me, all this is just a fad & this too shall pass.

1 thing I do hope DP supporters will do is when, not if, but when she has an on track incident w/the other male drivers, & when they or their crew call her out of her name, call them & Nascar out on that. I hope Rusty has already had the little talk w/his ppl & the other teams have done the same. I hope DP supporters would spend their energies on stuff like this, something that actually matters rather than being mad because some ppl have the nerve not to like Danica.

Good luck to Kelly Bires though-wow. :(

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