Danica’s NASCAR adventure a mistake, Franchitti says
Dario Franchitti thinks Danica Patrick is making a mistake by trying to drive in IndyCar and NASCAR at the same time.
In a telephone interview from Scotland on Friday, the defending Honda Indy Toronto champion – who will be racing through the streets of the CNE and along Lake Shore Blvd. West next weekend in the 24th almost-annual event – said the differences between the cars are just too great to overcome without a total commitment.
The cars are “night and day,” he said. “Trust me. Going in either direction, there’s a lot of adjustment. It’s her decision, but I wouldn’t do it.”
Patrick is driving full-time in the Izod IndyCar Series for Andretti Autosport (she’ll be racing here next weekend, too) as well as a partial schedule in the second-tier NASCAR Nationwide Series for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team.
By trying to manhandle a 3,100-lb. enclosed stock car around a superspeedway one weekend and then finesse a 1,600-lb. open-cockpit Indy car through a road course the next, she’s not enjoying having a banner year in either series.
Franchitti, who won the IndyCar title in 2007 and again last year, knows of what he speaks. He spent a less-than successful season himself in NASCAR in 2008.
Said Franchitti, who really had a rough time of it, “I think the expectations (in NASCAR) were so high because of the successes I’d enjoyed in Indy car,” which included his first Indianapolis 500 victory in 2007.
“I think, given time, that an Indy car driver can learn to drive a NASCAR car and vice-versa but I think you’d need a certain amount of time to do that. It doesn’t happen overnight. Ultimately, for me, everything worked out for the best. I’m definitely doing what I should be doing.” Toronto Star