Let The Polarization Begin!

geothumbnail
By now, I’m sure most of you have heard about Friday’s big news – that Danica Patrick will close out her racing career at the 2018 Indianapolis 500. This will be the second of two farewell races for Danica – the other being the 2018 Daytona 500 in February. Both of these races represent the finest moments for Patrick in each series. In NASCAR, she won the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500 and finished eighth. Her career in the Indianapolis 500 is much more impressive. In seven starts between 2005 and 2011, she had six Top-Ten finishes – which included a fourth-place finish as a rookie in 2005 and a third place finish in 2009.

Not only did Danica Patrick finish fourth as a rookie in 2005, she also led nineteen laps late in the race before being passed by eventual winner Dan Wheldon on Lap 194, as she was forced to slow down in order to conserve fuel. Still, it was a very impressive feat for a rookie.

Before going any further, let me get a few things out of the way. I am not opposed to women in racing. In fact, I strongly support women in racing and wish there were more. I think my constant support and ringing endorsements for Sarah Fisher, Pippa Mann and Simona de Silvestro on this site over the years should be evidence to that. I cheered loudly at the 1992 Indianapolis 500, when Lyn St. James hung in there on a crash-filled day and appeared to finish in the Top-Ten, only to have the results changed after the race to reflect her in eleventh. I also publicly supported Katherine Legge on this site when she got the shaft from Jay Penske at Dragon Racing.

I would also like to make it clear that I am not a Danica-hater. I don’t think there is much denying that Danica Patrick is a very polarizing figure. This weekend has already proven that. Most fans either love her or love to hate her. There is very little in-between when it comes to Danica-mania. Unlike most, I’ve been mostly ambivalent towards Danica Patrick. I never got all caught up with her being a somewhat successful IndyCar driver; nor did I begrudge her because she got more attention than almost any other driver in the paddock when she was here. She didn’t seek it out. The attention came to her.

I’ve maintained this site for almost nine years. In that time I’ve written over 1,600 posts. I’ll bet I’ve made less than a handful of disparaging comments about Danica Patrick in that time, but I’ve also praised her several times. So for anyone to infer that I am anti-Danica or a caveman that is opposed to any women in racing; that is about as far from the truth as you could get.

That is why I was so surprised at the reaction I got on Friday, when I made a seemingly benign comment on social media. As you can imagine, Facebook and Twitter exploded with the announcement that Danica Patrick would end her racing career by attempting to qualify for next year’s Indianapolis 500.

Late Friday afternoon, there was a comment on Twitter that Jim Ayello of The Indianapolis Star responded to. The comment said “She will struggle with the new car. She’s proved [sic] she can do very little with A LOT in her career”.

Ayello responded to this by defending Patrick saying “I don’t think that’s fair to say since we haven’t seen anyone drive in a competitive situation in the new car. And again, she has been excellent at Indy, so I very much disagree with you [sic] second statement”.

I responded to Ayello with a simple fact that implied no opinion – it was just a fact. I said “But she has never driven the DW12 in ANY configuration.” Cue the opening of the flood gates.

Through Friday might and into Saturday afternoon, I was bombarded with tweets from friends and strangers alike, that put words in my mouth and cast me in a very, um…unfavorable light. Based on the response, I even went back and looked at my original comment to see if I had said something I didn’t realize. No, it was just the cold fact that, unlike most drivers that will be in next year’s Indianapolis 500 – Danica Patrick has never turned a lap in the DW12. How dare I be as mean and insensitive, as to bring up an actual fact?

Our friend Pressdog (who is an admitted Danica lover) always says to never engage the crazies. This time, I didn’t think I was. I actually thought I was helping out.

I realized that Jim Ayello is young and is an admitted newbie when it comes to motor sports. He was in the early years as a Journalism major at the University of Missouri (Class of 2013), when Danica Patrick last drove in IndyCar, on that ill-fated day at Las Vegas in 2011. I wasn’t sure if he even knew that Danica had never driven the DW12, so I felt like that would be good information for him to know before taking such a defiant stance. Many drivers, including Dario Franchitti, had trouble adjusting to the DW12. I didn’t think it would be out of the realm of possibility that Danica might have trouble, since her last time in an IndyCar was in the Dallara IR-03 more than six years ago.

You would’ve thought I had said something similar to Bernie Ecclestone’s comment, when he compared women drivers to appliances.

When did it become an outrage to state a fact? Is this because Danica is a female driver? I certainly hope not. I thought we had evolved from the days of treating female drivers differently. If you’ll go back and check anything I’ve written about a female driver, I’ve always tried to shy away from comparisons to other female drivers. I consider female drivers to be drivers – nothing more, nothing less. If I were a female driver, that’s the only way I would want to be treated – not as a subset.

I will note that every single negative response I got was from men, and not women. But I got the idea from the men that I was being a bully for saying something negative about a female driver – regardless that it was a fact and not an opinion.

Are female drivers immune from criticism? If so, then we haven’t come as far as I thought we had.

To be honest, I do think that Danica will have some trouble adjusting to the new car – at least, at first. Why wouldn’t she? By the time she prepares for the Indianapolis 500, it will have been six and a half years since the last time she drove an open-wheel car – which from what I understand, is a completely different beast than the IR-03.

Someone suggested to me that Kurt Busch and Fernando Alonso had no trouble figuring the car out, so Danica shouldn’t either. Seriously? That’s your rationale? Busch and Alonso were former champions in their respective racing disciplines. Plus, I’ve heard that it may be easier for a driver to jump into the DW12 with no other IndyCar experience, than it is to unlearn everything you knew about the IR-03.

Personally, I hope that Danica gets a ride with Chip Ganassi at both of her farewell races, as has been rumored; and I hope that she performs well in both of them. I would also like to see her qualify well at Indianapolis. It would be a great storyline leading up to the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500. If she wins, which is quite possible – good for her! I’ll be very happy for her, and it would be historic. But if Josef Newgarden passes her on Lap 199 and wins the race, I hope that he will not be forever demonized, because he took the win away from her.

But along with a good storyline will come polarization. This won’t be like a good-natured college football rivalry over bragging rights. No, it will become bitter, divisive and personal – much like last year’s Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year selection.

My wife Susan has suggested that maybe I’m imagining things and no one was really that upset over the weekend. That could be true, but I don’t think so. It’s rare that something I say on Twitter gets that much play – especially when it’s just a fact and not an opinion.

Many will agree with what I’ve written today, while some will probably be outraged. That is not my intent. 99% of the comments on this site are rational and well thought-out arguments, even if they are on varying viewpoints. We have very civil disagreements on here, without the outrage. I just wish that we could get back to examining another viewpoint, instead of being offended by everything written that doesn’t quite coincide with our way of thinking. We probably won’t evolve that far by next May, so for now – let the polarization begin!

George Phillips

34 Responses to “Let The Polarization Begin!”

  1. Jack in Virginia Says:

    Just remember, George, that in this age of Social Media, many people are actively seeking something to become offended about. Then they can launch their (unwanted) opinions in outraged outcry. Perhaps we should build a statue to the male race driver so we can then tear it down in outrage.

  2. It’s always fun to speculate as to what the outcome may be. Look at all the fun people had wondering how Alonso would do. Same as Kurt Busch. Opinions were all over the map.

    As the first commenter pointed out, many are actively seeking something to be offended about. They don’t count and never should. Just keep on the path of reasonable discourse and ignore the histrionics.

  3. Well said, George. Let’s see how it plays out.

  4. I don’t think there needs to be any polarization about Danica finishing her racing career at the IMS. Since I could not care less about twitter and such, I was not aware of any polarization until I saw your blog here with 22 paragraphs devoted to that. I was hoping for a more positive post from you today. The racing fans in my family and circle of friends are excited about Danica finishing her career at IMS. If the Chipster arranges enough practice time for her, she will put her car in the race. You can take that to the bank.

    If folks disagree about the degree of difficulty for Danica to adjuct to a new chassis, that can be a simple disagreement. It does not have to be portrayed as POLARIZATION does it?

    The promotional opportunities for the IMS are huuuuuuge. Personally I’d like to see a towel fight rematch between her and Milka Duno. Seeing a female driver back at the speedway-and one with a proven record-will mean a lot to aspiring female race car drivers.

    Every experience I had with Danica Patrick at the Milwaukee Mile and every observation of her interactions with fans there was positive. Young girl racing fans in their Danica outfits would flock to her.

    It is not revisionist history to say that Danica was very popular with fans at the Speedway. On YouTube there is a 15 second video of her taking the lead as a rookie. The video was taken from within the turn one stands. The moment that the crowd saw that she was in the lead, they erupted in a cheer louder than any cheer I have heard at any sporting event ever, even IMS. Check it out.

  5. You forget the time in which we live, where anything said relating to race, sex, national origin, or sexual “preference” will get you in trouble if you do not tow the culturally left wing viewpoint. To even dare criticize her makes you a racist, sexist, homophobe……. You have just run into the buzz saw.

    I have never been a fan of Danica for a lot of reasons. She was overrated. The go-daddy commercials were tasteless at best. And a lot of people supported her only because she was female.

    I think her plan to run the Daytona and Indy 500’s next year is a great idea. I hope Matt Kenseth is able to pull off something similar next year as well.

  6. I didn’t have time to respond to your comment on Friday, so I’ll do it now: while a valid observation that Danica hasn’t driven any IndyCar in the post-IR03 era, and the DW12 and whatever-the-2018-car-is-called are different from the IR03, I don’t think the total downforce level or overall balance of the whatever-the-2018-car-is-called is all that different to what she was used to from 2005-2011 in the speedway package (this would be a totally different story on a road or street track, of course). My guess is that within a couple days of practice, she’ll have it fairly well figured out, and from there, her speed will be dependent on whatever setup she and her engineers are able to work out. She’s had 6 top-10s at Indy, and so while I do think the fields are stronger than they were 6-7 years ago, I think she’ll be far from a tail ender, and with a little luck and patience, could well be in the frame for yet another top-10 on Race Day. A win? That’s probably a bridge (or three) too far, given who all she’s up against, but she’ll be far from an embarrassment (not saying her that you were calling her that, but I’ve seen plenty of people heave words to that end at her in the last three days…the people going after you are mistakenly thinking you said something similar, which you didn’t).

    Danica is…polarizing, sure, but it’s the folks (again, not saying this was you, George, since you know full well what her record was, and can probably recite it as well or better than I can) who say she was awful in IndyCar are ignoring her actual record. Six straight years of finishing no lower than 12th in points, and as high as 5th in points, that’s at least a solid “slightly above average” driver, even when taking the relative strength of her equipment into account (although I am completely ignoring her NASCAR record here, which is a totally different question). She’ll be fine, and I think IndyCar will enjoy the increased attention she brings in a little under 6 months.

  7. Danica probably will be okay though; I mean Kurt Busch did well and a number of the older guard IRL guys always seem to be decent at Indy. The fact it’s a new car setup for everyone, and the first superspeedway oval race of the year will both help her.

    I’m disappointing this is how Danica’s career is ending. I can’t believe NASCAR is in such bad shape that she and Kenseth can’t get rides, and Kahne can’t get a good one. I dislike Kenseth immensely, but this is still not a good sign. Danica’s performance has been poor, but I really feel like had she raced a larger # of xfinity/truck races she could have been competitive. Personally, wish she’d of stayed in Indycar, and I’ve said that for a long time. Nothing about NASCAR played to her strengths, and while the increased road course focus might have been bad, I know there were people who felt that the DW-12 might actually have played into her strengths there, partly because it handles a little more smoothly than the old car.

    • I do not wish to begin a back and forth with you. I am just curious about one thing you wrote. You wrote that you dislike Matt Kenseth “immensely”. Immensely is a very high degree of dislike. Did he kick your dog, stomp on your hat, insult your wife or girlfriend, or what? Here in Wisconsin Matt is highly regarded both as a race driver and as a husband and father. Again, just curious.

      • Kenseth is the definitional boring modern race car driver. Plus he’s responsible for NASCAR instituting the Chase. Despite these two things, going out like this is not a good thing

        • Saying that Matt Kenseth is “responsible for NASCAR instituting the Chase” feels an awful lot like shooting the messenger, though, doesn’t it? 2003 wasn’t the only championship in the 1995-2005 era that was essentially (or officially) decided before the checkered flew at the final race. Sure, it wasn’t a great look to have the champion wrap it up relatively easy on the back of only one win, but he also scored 25 top-10s (just one less than Martin Truex, Jr. had this year) and only scored 5 finishes lower than 15th all season long (31 top-15s is probably about the most consistent season in NASCAR history, or certainly among the top handful). Even after crunching through the numbers of how the championship would have sorted out with an IndyCar 50-40-35-32-30 style points system, the championship would have come down to Kenseth and Newman at the last race (the late season runs by Jimmie and Gordon would have come up short, due to their inconsistency earlier in the season), and Kenseth might still have pulled it out (I imagine he would have raced harder than he actually did, which led him to wrap the season with one of those five non-top-15 finishes).

          Whatever the case, a more rational reaction would have been for NASCAR to simply revamp their points system so that wins rewarded winners by more than 2.8% of points over a 2nd place, but instead we got the Chase. Don’t put that on Matt Kenseth. Put that crap on NASCAR.

          • IMO, the Latford points system worked fine. Brian France isn’t really a race fan and so doesn’t see things through that perspective. Plenty of seasons had the Champion decided before the last race. Matt just happened to be the guy that won his last Cup before Brian had his brainstorm.

  8. I really felt like Danica was on the verge of a breakout in 2008/2009 as an Indycar driver. She was consistent and looked like a quality driver. The current field is very deep, but 08/09/10 had some pretty strong fields too; especially at Indy. Then she started doing the dual NASCAR/Indycar and it went downhill. Her initial Xfiinity/Nationwide results actually were good. Something changed around 2011/2012 and she’s not preformed well since. It’s really unfortunate for everyone that it’s worked out this way.

    But I maintain, and have maintained from the start NASCAR was a mistake. The reality is Danica prefers cars which are tight/understeer, and that’s more Indycar than NASCAR. She would have been better off doing IMSA/ALMS/GrandAm to improve her road racing and stayiing in Indycar at a decent team.

  9. The Dallara IR12 which IndyCar racers will drive next year has been raced since 2012. Everyone can refrain from referring to it as a new car or new chassis.

  10. Well, let me weigh in on Danica. First off, I don’t care if she gets a ride or not in the 2018 Indianapolis 500. More power to her if she does. However, she completely turned me off of her with what I saw her do one time on practice day in Birmingham. There were a small group of “special needs” children who came out for the day with their teacher. Before I go any further I want to say that there is not a more awesome teacher than one who will take their kids (special needs or not) to the track, get them garage passes as well as a lunch. Well, these kids saw Danica and went nuts. Of course they would because they knew who she was while not knowing about the other drivers. Danica was the deal. Well, when they ran up to her she rudely told them that she wasn’t signing until they got a pen. They ran back to their teacher who was able to get them one and then ran after Danica who had walked away. They caught her and then she signed their pictures and programs. Not for a second did she say anything to these kids. She even bitched about it to a couple of drivers on her way to practice.

    Now let me say, this happened within 10 feet of me and my good friend. I whispered to him, “did you see that?!” He said he did and we were both taken back by her callousness.

    I get that she gets hit on by a bunch of folks asking for an autograph and there is no doubt that there are a bunch who turn around and sell the signed photos and other memorabilia on Ebay. However, these kids deserved to be welcomed and thanked. Frankly even a smile would have been nice.

    • By the way, I have never seen Rick Mears turn down an autograph and when he signs he always includes “Thanks” after his signature. Of course, Rick Mears is a very special man. Frankly, just seeing him around the track, for me, is always a treat.

  11. billytheskink Says:

    I would like to see more part-time drivers attempt the 500-500 double. AJ Foyt used to do it regularly, of course.

    There is a bit of a lack of space for part-timers on the stock car side (with charters, 36 of 40 cars will be most likely be full-timers), but NASCAR could remedy that by going back to 43 starting spots at Daytona.

    • Well, Billy, NASCAR would appear to have some problems in that arena… They only had 42 show up for Daytona this year, though they still sent two cars home, due to the reduction in starting fields from 43 to 40 for 2016. Given the fact that even just like 5 years ago, they’d have almost 50 cars show up to qualify at Daytona (2012 had 49 cars roll out, and going back 10 years to 2007 and we see that freaking 61 cars showed up, meaning that there’s been a 32% reduction in car count for potential Daytona qualifiers in just a decade), and toss in the fact that it looks like the 38-40 car fields that they attracted for most events this year could even go down a further 2-3 cars for next year (several teams have said they’re downsizing, but I’m not aware of any other than Penske that have said they’re adding a car), and the grid could be pretty thin outside of the JGR/Hendrick/Penske/SHR teams. I hope their standards for eliminating “start and parks” that they supposedly instituted a few years ago are still in place.

      • billytheskink Says:

        A big part of that reduction in entries (for the Daytona 500, specifically), though, is due to the charter system and the reduction in grid size to 40. Qualifying as a one-off at Daytona became much more difficult once those two things occurred. It used to be that finishing in the top 15 in a Duel race guaranteed a starting spot, not so now.

        My point was that if they wished to encourage participation from drivers outside the series at Daytona (which it does not appear that they do, but if they did) then they would need to make it easier for a non-series driver to qualify for the race. Increasing the grid size to the one-time traditional number is a good way to do that, as only 4 spots are available for non-chartered cars now where there were once 7+. Not locking 36 chartered cars into a race is another way. Lifting the limit on the number of cars a team can have is another step. Interested outside drivers will be looking for a competitive car and several of the competitive teams are capped out at 4 cars. Prior to the charters, 4 car teams could add a 5th car for a rookie at a limited number of rounds, reinstituting this rule would also help attract one offs.

        For what it’s worth, start and parks are pretty much non-existent now in Cup, thanks to what appears to be vigorous policing by NASCAR; ultimate field-filler Derrike Cope, for example, completed 100+ laps in 14 of his 15 starts this year. They remain rampant in Xfinity and Trucks, though, which is why those two series now frequently draw full fields more often than Cup (Cup was below full field at half of their races, Trucks just under 1/3 of races, and Xfinity drew full fields at every single race in 2017).

        • All totally correct points, Billy. I just find it weird that for as much as IndyCar is pilloried for only 33 cars usually showing up for Indy, I’ve seen maybe 5% as much attention turned to the much, much more abrupt decrease in car counts in NASCAR. The sub-40 car grids seen at a bunch of races this year is something that hasn’t been seen since the days when Dale Earnhardt, Sr. was still around and contending for championships on a yearly basis. Yeah, the charter system has had a huge effect on that, and hopefully that system stabilizes their top-36 cars, but they’ve also got some ROI value issues to deal with (for instance, I think 30 or more of their races this year have seen a year over year decrease in ratings, and most of them saw decreases last year over 2015, and the season finale saw nearly a 20% dip from last year…even when factoring in that it was Junior’s last race…) that leads me to wonder if they might have problems stabilizing even those top-36 in the next year or two.

          As for start and parks, yeah, you’re totally correct also that there hasn’t been a true S&P “effort” in Cup in probably 5 years, while they are still rampant in Trucks and Nationbuschfinity (a couple of the race stats I checked out showed that like 4-5 cars dropped out before 40 laps at a lot of those races, for some…pretty vague reasons; this represents some 15% of their grids). Cup looks to be better policed, at least.

          • billytheskink Says:

            NASCAR’s TV ratings issues and ever-changing championship rules have been the focus of most of the criticism of the series and seem to have taken most of the attention away from the dwindling fields. A 40 car Daytona 500 entry list (which we will probably see in the next few years) may spark some, though.

            On start and parks, I have long felt bad for Jeff Green, a decently-talented driver who typically drags his miserable Xfinity car into the low 30s or high 20s in qualifying only to be told to park it 6 laps into the race, just before he laps Morgan Shepherd and one of the zombie Dodges… Of course, Green has done this for 4-5 years now and seems comfortable with it, so I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad for him. It’s a living, as they say.

          • If it makes you feel better I have been pretty critical of the drop in NASCAR teams and the entire charter/small field thing. The PR machine, official and unofficial, was effective here however. A certain cone in particular led the charge to say 36 is just as good as 43

  12. Danica had become a really good IndyCar driver when she left for NASCAR. Her legacy is groundbreaking, but had she stayed in open wheel, she would have won multiple times.

  13. A problem I’ve always had with the “Danimaniacs” is they could never understand that being an influential, impactful driver for the sport doesn’t also equal “great driver”.

    I’m grateful for the impact Danica had on Indycar. I thought the exposure she got was a positive for the sport. As Robin Miller pointed out, she’s the last Indycar driver on the cover of SI. I’m thrilled she’s running the 500 this coming season. She’ll bring more attention and exposure to the event. That’s a win for Indycar.

    I also never thought she was anything more than a decent Indycar driver at best. That’s where the trouble starts. That’s where they come out of the woodwork to brand you a sexiest or some dummy who doesn’t appreciate the impact she had on the sport.

    I do appreciate her impact. I also see her Indycar results as basically mirroring those of say, Charlie Kimball. Both had 1 win. Both had a couple top tens at the 500. Both drove for top teams. I don’t hear anyone banging the drum for Charlie Kimball, “the great Indycar driver”…….so who’s actually treating her different for being a female driver? Folks like George and myself? Or the Danimaniacs?

    • I have a daughter, three granddaughters, and three great-granddaughters. I want to see Danica do well again at IMS and I think she will. Considering all the Indy500 drivers who have come and gone, to say that she was a “decent Indycar driiver” is high praise. I have watched her race since she was racing go-karts here in southern Wisconsin. An objective person would have to say she was a flop in Nascar and better than average at the IMS.

    • This is the thing, though: in that argument you just made, you’re underselling (either intentionally or unintentionally, I don’t know) how good Danica actually has been at Indy. She hasn’t had “a couple top 10s” at Indy, in seven starts, she has six top-10s. That’s no mean feat. Top-10s at Indy are not just something you show up and they give to you. Here are some contemporary drivers who have less career top-10s at Indy:

      Josef Newgarden – 2 in 6 starts
      Sebastien Bourdias – 2 in 6 starts
      Simon Pagenaud – 2 in 6 starts
      Will Power – 5 in 10 starts
      Ryan Hunter-Reay – 3 in 10 starts
      Graham Rahal – 2 in 10 starts
      James Hinchcliffe – 2 in 6 starts

      Nobody’s questioning any of those guys’ credentials. All are multiple race winners, and five of those seven are series champions. Yet, for whatever reason, at this one track, Danica has racked up stats (minus the stats that appear in the “wins” column) that rival just about anybody that’s raced there in the last 10 years. She’s thoroughly average at most IndyCar venues (though slightly above at others), and nearly hopeless in a stock car (not even trying a heavy, front engined, low downforce car until you’re almost 30 while the rest of the NASCAR community has been doing it since before they needed to shave will leave you miles behind in experience), but she’s actually really, really good at Indy in an open wheel car.

      Is she gonna drink the milk on Race Day this year? Unless she has some with her homemade fig bars and egg white omelette for breakfast, probably not. But she’s also not gonna be a moving chicane (an argument I’ve seen a dozen people make other places in the last five days, which completely ignores her entire open wheel career). She’ll easily be in the top-20, given even a halfway decent car, and she could also easily be in the hunt for a top-10, even with today’s totally stacked 500 grid. She’s a racer. She belongs.

    • Bruce Waine Says:

      Your use of the word “exposure” caught my attention.

      While one cannot disagree that Danica, the race driver, has the talent to win, one wonders where Danica, the model with her modeling “exposure” fits into racing.

      Perhaps a topic for another time ? ?

      For one, her modeling “exposure” might bring about questions about her priority. Was her priority to be a model or a race driver?

      When her “exposure” first appeared and continued to appear in the press, it’s appropriateness appeared to diminish the professional image of Indy drivers.

      Prior female Indy Car drivers based their popularity solely on their driving expertise.

      Should all female drivers aspiring to be like Danica, also be popular models?

      Were male drivers ( Andretti, Foyt, Mears, Castroneves, Hinch, etc….) to duplicate her modeling poses, I often wondered if said proposed male driver modeling would be acceptable by their racing team owner and team sponsors.

      Or how long would they be permitted to drive before being released by the team due to their modeling poses?

      Danica’s top driving ability did not need to be supported by her modeling “exposure”.”

  14. I will grant that Danica was a good driver in INDYCAR. She set some records and generally brought home her car in one piece while finishing well. My biggest objection to her being in the race is that we will once again be treated to Always Bad Coverage’s “Danica 500” and, oh yeah, there’s some other drivers here too…

    As in, “ok, Simon and Will Power are separated by less than 0.025 seconds as they take the White Flag, but let’s check Out Danica, who is struggling to stay in14th place as she fights off Charlie Kimble…”

    You know the whole race will be like that. Every race ABC covered was DaniCar, not INDYCAR. Same thing happened when she first NASCAR. I don’t mind that they will be doing big feature on her final race during the prerace, she’s earned it! But, no, it’s not the Danica 500.

  15. I’m finally glad this ‘Danica Hater’ thing is going to end. Apparently sports writers and bloggers and twits (tweets?) agree that if you’re not a foaming in the mouth Danica fan you MUST, absolutely MUST be a HATER!.

    U kidding me?? I’m not a hater …. just ambivalent.

    As I grew up watching the Indy on TV it was always AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, ad infiniteum until his car broke down ….then, and only then, did good old ABC actually revert to covering the race. Same with the Mario, Mario, Mario, Mario years when the race was a distant second thought to where Mario was…… I had no problem whatsoever with AJ, Mario or anyone else it was just the MEDIA that threw the whole thing into the hero worshiping crapcan and made the race largely unenjoyable.

    And then came Danica.

    Danica was a young lady who drove a racecar. She’d come out and drive the thing, then go home like everyone else. It was the MEDIA that made everyone crazy. The never ending Danica, Danica, Danica, Danica stuff culminating in the ‘Danica 500’ made everyone nauseous enough to start wishing that she’d wall the car just to shut up the announcers.

    I hope Danica does well. I really do. But that neither makes me a lover nor a hater. Just a race fan. Here’s hoping that ABC doesn’t insult my intelligence yet again. I am NOT polarized……just tired of it all.

    BTW, Kat Teasdale taught me my racecraft and attitude…and almost got us booted out of a racetrack permanently. God love ya Kat

    https://www.thestar.com/autos/2016/06/09/kathryn-kat-teasdale-the-most-determined-person-i-ever-met.html

    http:​//www.​thedrive.​com/accelerator/4259/the-sad-l​ife-and-sadder-death-of-kat-te​asdale

    Lady racers rock!

  16. I admit chortling at this: “Through Friday night and into Saturday afternoon, I was bombarded with tweets from friends and strangers alike, that put words in my mouth and cast me in a very, um…unfavorable light.” Welcome to Danica’s world, George, where people put words in her mouth and cast her in every unfavorable light EVERY DAY. Fun, huh? Do NOT read the comments under any story about Danica (this one excluded). I’ve learned not to join most discussions due to my engage the crazies rule.

  17. Personally I am looking forward to Danica racing at Indy. I hope she does very well. I appreciate the sharing of her Indy 500 stats, of which I was not fully aware. I am sorry, George, that you were pilloried on Twitter. Just consider the source and move on. Your blog here is one of the most substantial sources for intelligent interchange of views and ideas.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: