Could "Danica-Mania" Be Dying a Slow Death?
NASCAR was hanging it's hat on the GoDaddy.com girl, Danica Patrick, in hopes of bringing more attention and fans to the sport. Perhaps, that was the case for a while, but the hype is diminishing.
Patrick has now put in the equivalent of one full NASCAR Nationwide Series with 38 points' races since her debut in 2010.
Though her performance has improved, she is still consistently running out of the top 10. She has been a victim of accidents that have caused some poor finishes.
For the most part, Patrick did not cause the incidents.
Her record over the three seasons so far, reflects one top-five and four top-10 finishes. Granted, the one finish at Las Vegas of fourth was the highest finish for a female in any NASCAR National Series.
Now, her boss at JR Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Jr., is the new hot topic in NASCAR after breaking his 143-race winless streak at Michigan.
Patrick tends to run the safe line whether it be high or low on any given track. If her car is loose, she just wants it fixed and doesn't try to mix it up with contenders. But sometimes you just have to race what you have. It is still the job of a driver to take a car to the edge of what it is capable of, and Patrick often backs away from doing that.
As a female, I would like nothing better than to see Patrick mix it up with her male competitors, go for the win and get top-10 finishes. That is what NASCAR needs. Her crew chief added her femininity to the equation when he took issue with the way Austin Dillon caused her to get loose at Michigan causing her to spin.
David Newton with ESPN.go.com reported his comments about the male drivers not liking being beaten by a girl.
Patrick's Nationwide crew chief simply fueled a fire that she is female, therefore, the respect level is less and she will have to race harder to be considered a serious competitor. Patrick just wants to be known as a driver, not a female driver. When she puts on her driver's suit and straps on the helmet, she is just one more race-car pilot in the field. More at Bleacher Report