Blog Entry

Smashing Debut

Posted on: February 13, 2010 5:01 pm
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - It was bound to get tougher for Danica Patrick and it sure did on Saturday.

After making an impressive stock car debut a week ago in the Daytona ARCA race, Patrick slid behind the wheel of a Nationwide Series car in Saturday's season-opener at Daytona International Speedway.

The final tally will show she only completed 69 laps and wound up exiting the race as part of a massive 12-car pile-up on the frontstretch.

That will be enough for most of her naysayers who will point to the fact that yes she crashed in her first NASCAR race and wasn't anywhere near the front of the field during her time on the track. True statements to be sure.

But that's missing the point.

Patrick's only goal on Saturday was to make laps, learn on the job and get as much experience about driving a NASCAR machine as she possibly could. Patrick called the race her classroom earlier in the week and she went to school when the green flag flew.

Patrick has kept this whole experiment in great perspective this week as she's fought off the incredible media horde that has followed her every week. She does not expect to win any races this season. She only wants to figure out how to pilot one of these heavy beasts which are tanks compared to the Indy Car she drives on a regular basis.

Last week's ARCA race enjoyed record television ratings. Her Nationwide practice sessions this week also generated pretty heft audiences, remarkable for a Wednesday afternoon time slot. No doubt Saturday's race ratings number will be huge.

All of which are good things for the sport, for NASCAR and for Patrick.

There's a vocal group who think there's too much being made of Patrick's move to NASCAR and I can see the point - to a point.

It's a huge story. And it's not the first time attention has been given to a driver coming into the sport who had never turned a lap in NASCAR's top division. Juan Pablo Montoya generated a stir. Dario Franchitti was in the spotlight. And last year at this time the hype machine was in overdrive over a young driver named Joey Logano.

Patrick will have to perform and that's the bottom line. Saturday's final results will indicate to some that she did not at Daytona.

But that's only a small part of the big picture and Patrick should be given the time to make that happen.

Category: Auto Racing

Since: Feb 18, 2009
Posted on: February 14, 2010 1:31 pm

Smashing Debut

What is the attention that she is geting all about??  She wasn't even an average driver on the INDY circuit.  She had 1 win in 81 races.  How is that worthy of her thinking she can run in NASCAR??  If it wasn't for the 2 fun bags hanging off her chest, nobody would even cover her.

Since: Nov 21, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2010 1:02 pm

Smashing Debut

Catch212, your so cool, I mean you even used the inproper spelling of enough.  Can we be friends?  I know you have time to be friends because you obviously have nothing better to do then post completley useless posts on here?  Grow up buddy.

Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: February 13, 2010 10:18 pm

Smashing Debut

I have been a racing fan since the days of Fonty Flock, Fireball Roberts, et al, and have watched the sport evolve into what it is today--a good thing. Innovation is what pumps energy into any organization, even if every new thing is not successful, and NASCAR is to be complimented for keeping its racing energized. Danica Patrick,whether you appreciate her driving skills or not, adds energy to the sport.  Many good points are being made on this blog--e.g., she is not ready to drive successfully at this level and Daytona is not considered a racing venue for trainees.  Even so, I am glad she is there.

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: February 13, 2010 9:37 pm

Smashing Debut

I agree completely. 

Replying to:  ...It's insulting and should insult anyone who takes the sport seriously...

The media is not being responsible.  Making the claim that a 6th place finish in ARCA Daytona event as being "impressive" is really bad journalism.  If Danica were a male driver instead of a pretty female nobody would be writing "impressive".

For example, the following is a list of the last 5 years, 6th place finishers in the Daytona ARCA race.  All are men, NONE were regarded as impressive by the media.

Ed Kennedy    &nbs
p;     2009 6th place finish
Tom Hessert    &nbs
p;    2008 6th place finish
Timothy Peters     2007 6th place finish
Ken Weaver     
;    2006 6th place finish
TJ Bell     &
;  2005 6th place finish   (sponsored by Heathcliff Cat Litter)

The media did not go gaga over any of these drivers.  I would suspect that NONE of them had as good of equipment as Danica had either!

Since: May 14, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2010 9:14 pm

Smashing Debut

Not good enough? Wow, you obviously do not follow the different types of racing very well. At every level she has ever raced she has competed at the highest level. She may not have won alot of races but I am proud of how successful she has been and what she has done for the industry. You do not just jump from the Indy cars to a Nascar and win the first time. These are totally different types of vehicles; but she will learn and will do well. Someone would only invest those millions of dollars to support her if they had confidence in her. I am suprised that if you are from Rockford that you would not support her-everyone here in the stateline area where she grew up should be thrilled about what she has accomplished.

Since: Apr 8, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2010 8:12 pm

Smashing Debut

lol i agree,it makes no sence to me how anyone but the drivers can enjoy it.must be the fumes?lol

Since: Jul 18, 2009
Posted on: February 13, 2010 8:10 pm

Smashing Debut

Think about it.  They wouldn't put her in a world series game unless she played in the minors or majors before that. 
That is what the article is saying.  It's her first time, cut her a little slack and give her time to learn.  Just because she can drive a racecar better than me or you doesen't mean you have to dog her.  People think that all drivers are great, but they aren't.  Kasey Khane and Juan Pablo Montoya have won 2 races total in the last 2 years and everyone think they are great. 

Since: Jan 5, 2010
Posted on: February 13, 2010 7:52 pm

Smashing Debut

If I wanted to encounter some intelligence I most likely wouldn't be doing it at a CBS Sports message board. Go read some of the scholarly papers or books for that. 

Since: Jan 5, 2010
Posted on: February 13, 2010 7:50 pm

Smashing Debut

Is that good enough? To say "She's not the worst driver out there?" At this level shouldn't it be the best of the best? The NFL is the most popular league in the world. Because at ant time you watch any NFL you know for sure you're seeing the best players in the world at every position. The same can most likely be said for the other major sports except there are some foreign players in foreign leagues that may be better. But if I'm watching a NASCAR race and the best you can tell me is these are some of the best drivers out there, why should I be interested?

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: February 13, 2010 7:48 pm

Smashing Debut


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