Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Be still, my beating heart...

It's finally gonna happen. Danica Patrick is going to sign with JR Motorsports, and run a select number of Nationwide Series races over the next 2 years (at least).

Which ones are not know, but she'll take part in an ARCA series test in Daytona a few days before Christmas this year.

You can feel the excitement in the air.

OK, if you don't think I am PILING ON the sarcasm, I should warn you I am.

This "I'm coming to NASCAR but, nothing is set yet," dance Patrick has had the motorsports world on is tiresome, and annoying. It's the gnat at the picnic that seems to buzz in your eyes right when you get ready to take a bite of your sandwich.

What is the NASCAR world waiting for, anyway? Patrick's IRL numbers, according to one NASCAR team member: 82 starts, 1 win (in Japan), 16 top-5's, 42 top-10's. 110 laps led.

110 laps led in 82 starts? Kyle Busch leads that many in 1 start. And Kyle hasn't won a championship yet (but his day will come).

Not knowing HOW this deal came together, it's hard to pick at JR Motorsports, and I'm truly not picking at them. They feel this is the best decision for their company, and I'm cool with that. It's the hyped nature of this thing. Danica is a woman. She's attractive. She can line up sponsors for miles.

Can she win?

If she can't win, she's the Anna Kournikova of racing. Period.

Tuesday's press conference is in Phoenix, just 3 days after NASCAR celebrated it's 2009 season with the end-of-year banquet. In Las Vegas. All the media that was out there (and there were plenty of the series garage-heads out there), went back home either Saturday or Sunday. Wouldn't you want the folks that cover NASCAR to be there when it is made official that the Great Danica is planning on beginning her stock car career?

Personally, I'm not rooting against her, I would just prefer she back up all the hype with some success on the track. Jacques Villeneuve couldn't do it. Sam Hornish, Jr. has struggled, but has improved. Patrick Carpentier couldn't do it. The only open-wheel racers to be successful in NASCAR (recently) are Tony Stewart (who can drive anything, and I mean ANYTHING), and Robby Gordon, although Stewart has done far more than Robby.

In this case of style v. substance, style laps the field. When the smoke clears, substance will speak the loudest.

Mike Solarte


Ed said...

Juan Pablo Montoya?

Voice of Reason said...

JPM hasn't come as far as Tony Stewart, but he is more exception than rule. Dario Franchitti was an IRL champ (as in season champ), and couldn't cut it in stock cars. Thing is, there was very little fanfare over his crossover, and he had actually proven something. Montoya has a couple wins in Cup, which is way more than I think Patrick will ever accomplish in stock cars. She has 1 win lifetime. More sizzle than steak. Problem for her is people will expect results, while she has said she is "giving it a try." Perfect out for her, if she stinks the joint out early.