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DATE News (chronologically)
07/19/12
irl
IndyCar not missing Danica one iota
Danica Patrick is gone. And she’s not being missed.

“She was good for the series and the series was good for her, but I don’t know if anybody is missing her at all,” said Bobby Rahal.

It was Rahal who gave Danica her start in the Formula Atlantic Series for two years and then gave her a ride with Rahal-Letterman Racing in 2005, when she was both Indy 500 and IndyCar Series rookie of the year. After a second season with Rahal-Letterman, Patrick moved on to Andretti Autosport from 2007 to 2011.

“The Indianapolis 500 this year was one of the best ever and she wasn’t even there,” said Rahal.

“The focus is back where it should be, on the race itself — on the race and the quality of competition.

“She was a media darling but the story got old,” he added.

“Danica got a lot of publicity,” said Will Power.

“But not for winning.

“She got publicity for being a solid driver, a driver who drove within her limits and mostly mistake-free,” he said of Patrick, who left having made it to the finish of her final 50 IndyCar races.

“It’s good to be back where the focus is actually on the people who are winning and that’s how it should be,” said the defending Edmonton Indy champion.

“But she deserved the publicity from the point of view that she’s been the best female driver to come around. And that part sure didn’t bother me. I’d love it if I never had to do any media.”

Sebastian Bourdais, who watched the Danica phenomenon from a distance, first in the ChampCar Series and then from around the world on the Formula 1 circuit before joining IndyCar for a scattering of races last year, says you’d think there would be some sort of effect with the departure of Danica but he can’t see it.

“Despite her going away to race somewhere else, it hasn’t taken anything away and now the attention is definitely on the density and quality of the field that the series is enjoying this year.”
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