Patrick's attempt at NASCAR panned by drivers
Kyle Petty, who is now retired, had this to say about Danica Patrick.
"She's not Dario Franchitti and she's not Tony Stewart. She's not really shown over there [in the Indy Racing League] and won races and done stuff over there numbers-wise,” said Petty during the Sight and Sound which marked the unofficial start of the 2010 NASCAR racing season.
Petty also added, “She's just a marketing machine. Let's look at the facts and be blunt about it. If she gets in that car and doesn't win races, it's not the car, it's not the engines and it’s not the team.”
Petty finished with, “The only impact she'll have on the sport is she wasted two or three years on a car that a good driver could have been in and could have been developing.”
Janet Guthrie, who was the first woman to reach the top level of open wheel racing and NASCAR in the 1970s, along with being a member of NASCAR’s appeal panel said, "She should stay where she is in the IndyCar Series.”
Guthrie also added, "She is in the best possible situation, and in the catbird seat with one of the few teams [Andretti Autosport] that is capable of winning."
Earnhardt Ganassi driver Juan Montoya, who made his first start in 2006 coming from the open wheel ranks said, "Danica, I think she's got the talent and everything but I don't think she knows what she's getting into."
Montoya finished with, "They're so different to drive, and it's not the same feeling. I wouldn't be doing both cars, to be honest with you, that's my advice."
The fact of the matter is, the only reason she has gotten this much publicity is because she is a high profile female trying to make it in one of the most popular motorsports today.
Not only is she a female, but because in the sex-sells society that we live in, her success that she has had in the IRL falls more on the heels of selling herself as a sex symbol than a race car driver.
You can’t blame her sponsor GoDaddy.com for coupling their marketing skills with the racy commercials to sell not only their product, but Patrick as well.
"We're thrilled to expand our long-standing relationship with Danica into NASCAR,” said GoDaddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons.