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October 25, 2012


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Jim Will Key

Its not that Danica isn't winning. She's never been a winning driver anywhere, so that's no surprise.

Its that she isn't even that competitive most weeks in NASCAR's AAA series, despite having a Cup team and Cup level money behind her effort. In a time, when Nationwide is only featuring about 15-20 full-time teams who are any good and actually capable of competing. The rest of the field is pure crap.

As Kyle Petty said last week on WT, he hasn't seen her actually "RACE" in a stock car. And he wouldn't hire her to drive for him. That's how most folks down there feel too. The few that don't, are either on her team's payroll or part of the NASCAR media gravytrain (cough...ESPN...cough) and know they need to pump her up as much as possible to keep her story flickering.

She is now in a series, that quite frankly, is too tough for her and her racing talents. And that's even before she wades into the Cup pool full-time. Talk about being out-of-her-depths. Not really her fault. I am sure she is trying. She's just not good enough.


I think you're putting up a straw man here. For starters - most of the controversy seems to revolve around the fact that DP receives favored treatment from the media, and the teams employing her, which is not congruent with her current level of performance. Sure, no one expects a rookie to win in their first 10 races (though you certainly might expect better results after around *FIFTY* races in one of the best funded teams in a junior series)- but they also don't expect a rookie, with a rookie level of performance, to be given a drive in a top-level Cup team; or to be fawned over by the media as though they were the second coming of Aayrton Senna.

Especially when other drivers who have shown more potential are denied such opportunities (~cough~ Johanna Long ~cough~). Granted, none of this is DP's fault (well, the media attention is partly due to her well-oiled, very aggressive PR machine) - but you can't expect to present yourself as deserving of a Cup seat yet simultaneously claim an exemption from being judged by Cup standards.

It's very simple - if, as you claim, she's a rookie, and should be judged as a rookie, then she should be staying in Nationwide in 2013, because she isn't qualified for the big leagues. Many of those you label as "haters" might wholeheartedly agree with this assessment.

None of this makes her a bad person - but it does make her a ride buyer (ie someone who owes their seat more to money than performance).


On the consultant comments: seems like a good idea - and the people they hired sound like a step up from the genius who brought us "I am Mindy".

But I fear that any plan is going to come up against the fundamental problem which sunk CCWS: Indycar's brand is badly damaged, and there is little popular interest in (or even awareness of) the series. A lavish marketing campaign, over a period of years, might eventually rectify this, but Indycar can't pay what that would cost. So without a benefactor willing to spend many millions for several years, I don't see a way out ... but then, I'm not a professional business consultant.


"shes never been a winning driver"

Really--she IS the most successfull female driver in open wheel history, the first female to WIN and many other results/achivements which give her this title and the facts & stats prove that.

" She's just not good enough."

First off apparently another uneducated about nascar couch potatoe saying this, as most in Nascar know this isnt true, as she is still learning these cars as other open wheelers have struggled as well?

It took Hornish, (a good example) 4 1/2 yrs or 145+ races to finally win a NNs race. Danica has ran right now around 60 total races in a stock car as those first 2 PT yrs was only 25 PT races. For those 2 PT yrs, she was running a couple races then not racing again for a couple months which most say did little good to help her. However, count the 60 races if you want and it still isnt close to how long its taken other open wheelers to win in Nascar, and others didnt even make it one yr as they lost their rides--period? How many Nascar races has Montoya won or Ambrose, as neither has won many and never on ovals, and other past open wheelers have struggled as well, with few exceptions of course, but its simply not easy for those without the basic stock car background--think about that?

Most all Nascar Drivers grew up in stock cars with the dirt track, short track background since they were old enough to sit behind a wheel. All these young nascar guys & gals even like Johanna Long who has that same stock car background, will always have the advantage over an open wheel driver trying to learn these much different handling cars? However--with enough seat time behind the wheel they start to get it as Hornish is doing OK NOW in his 5th yr, but point IS--look how long it took HIM--face facts. Danica is getting better despite some dumb mistakes but thats also part of the learning curve. Find a driver who hasnt made major mistakes while learning or even now as a veteran if you can--there isnt one.
Also another point is a driver like Michael Annett who is in his 5th yr as well and has never won--think about that and hes not alone.

Because its Danica everything she does or doesnt do is news and there are those who love to chime in and be critical even when they know nothing about what ive just commented about--give it a rest--she is in Nascar for as long as she wants or untill she decides shes had enough? She has always had the desire to be competitive and will fight hard as she can whether the results show it or not--end of story.

Now for Indycar--its simple really as they've tried most everything, to promote and market this old series. Facts are you can put a new cover on a book, but its till the same ole book. Bottom line for the most part Danica gave this series a FACE to attract fans whether Indycar wants to admit it or not? The point is now--they have NO-ONE that can be a face for the series much as they tried, even Hinchcliff who took over the popular Godaddy ride didnt move the needle for them or Godaddy much as they tried. This Indycar series is without anyone or anything to draw attention to it and without that--it simply is an old series that not many care about anymore and doubt anything will change that although being on a major network might help but with those low low ratings--forget that.

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