Danica Mania in NASCAR...why not in IndyCar? The Indianapolis Business Journal published an editorial piece today. Take a look at it here. It asks why there is such a huge media wave in the stock car world around the Danica Patrick presence, and why the same thing did not really happen for IndyCar.
Well, there was a Danica wave in IndyCar that was scaled to their size of media exposure, and it faded over time. She has been there several years now, with only 1 win that came from some lucky fuel strategy.
But beyond this, I think there are a couple of reasons for the huge difference in Danica Mania, and they are fairly simple.
First of all, the NASCAR media base is much larger than IndyCar. They not only have exclusive network coverage, but they have media volume and versatility that IndyCar does not (and may never have) So when something happens, it gets spread around very quickly and easily. Even people who don’t really follow racing that much, will know about it.
IndyCar just doesn't have that.
Plus, Danica is something new, and she is a hot little firecracker. That appeals to that kind of audience that NASCAR has. Dale Jr is their most popular driver, and can't seem to win in the very best equipment in the field. So obviously, the NASCAR fan base is watching for reasons other than a display of driving skill and prowess.
We all watched and took notice of Danica. Her winless rise up the ranks just didn't impress as many people as it might in the NASCAR world, where you can make a living shooting for the top 20 every week. In IndyCars (and other forms of racing) you have to win to impress us.
I think the IndyCar fan is much more informed and much more sophisticated than the NASCAR fan, and the hype only goes so far. Personally, when I saw Danica finish 6th in the ARCA race, I said to myself "Yeah, she arguably had the very best equipment in the field, and the equivalent of a major league baseball team that dropped down to Babe Ruth. So 6th really is not all that impressive. She should have dominated and won. 6th place is a little bit better than her average 10th place finish in IndyCar in fact. Big whoop."
Yes, that is what I said to myself. So, I am not about to marvel at the Emperor's new clothes.
NASCAR fans however, seem to eat this up. Then again, these are fans who paint their houses to match their favorite teams car...sponsor logos, numbers and all...
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