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Old 02-28-2014, 01:00 PM
Location: NY
9,071 posts, read 15,056,192 times
Reputation: 11515


If Danica is great at selling a product, and the money gets her a ride in Nascar... that is what it is. It wouldn't be the first time. There have been plenty of drivers who have long careers without being a consistent championship contender due to other reasons (Kyle Petty anyone?)

However, I am not going to mince too many words in evaluating her on track achievements. Saying she was an OK Indycar driver probably is as good as I will get. IndyCar itself is an OK race series as far as talent level goes. Being mid pack, in a mid pack series is no glowing review.

In Nationwide, she was an OK stock car driver. Maybe this is because Nationwide is second tier in stock car, and the talent level race to race is more akin to Indycar's talent level (with some highly talented folks, but a lot more average).

In Sprint Cup, however, top to bottom it is far more talent rich, with far less of a difference in talent level between the very top, and mid pack drivers. I think this is why Danica doesn't look so hot anymore at the spring cup level. Her talent level is below that of the top drivers (always has been) and in Sprint Cup the talent level goes far deeper into the pack. So she struggles.

To me, this isn't an issue of being a driver vs racer, or not being able to "adjust" to Cup cars (FYI, she now has more laps turned in NASCAR stock cars career than Indycars). She just does not show she has the overall talent level to be a consistent top 5 or 10 driver, and compete for wins or high placing in championship points. I am sure she would if she could... and it isn't happening nor is it close to happening at this stage.

Which is fine. If she has sponsor backing and is not a detriment to the sport or driver's around here, she could have a long career in Cup. However, she shouldn't be overly surprised if someone calls her out on her record on it's merits either. If she wants to be perceived as equal in the sport (maybe she doesn't since her sponsor dollors are in part based on her gender), she looks like an also-ran.
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:07 PM
48,516 posts, read 83,999,418 times
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No matter what I don't think on record or skill level alone she would have got that ride in sprint cup with that team. Certainly not that soon; after not showing much in nationwide. But hey; racing full of drivers who didn't get their seat by skills or record. Life isn't fair as they say. But I have to say I was surprised he said that. Pure smack talk; not normal for him. Bad day perhaps.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:01 AM
1,624 posts, read 4,337,697 times
Reputation: 1292
Originally Posted by bluescreen73 View Post
There is a grain of truth to what Richard Petty said. If you strip the gender from Danica's stats, she would've been out of racing years ago because her performances have been average at best. The same kind of bias applies to Marco Andretti & Michael Waltrip. If you take away their famous last names and go solely on their stats they should've been kicked to the curb by now, too.

Danica "haters" and fans have to realize that unless she establishes herself as a winner she is nothing more than a marketing machine. She brings money, sponsorship, and attention to NASCAR, and right now all that is enough to overcome her lackluster performances on the track. She's simply filling a need until the day when a winning, championship-caliber female comes along and makes us forget about her.
I'd say to Richard Petty, yes to Indycar, as there are former Indy 500 and series champs that don't have a ride.

For NASCAR? Come on, this is a series that had David Marcus, Richard Petty, and Darrell Waltrip finish in 40th place for a nearly decade, had John Menard, Rick Hendrick, Dale Earnhardt (for Kerry) and Joe Gibbs try to buy their untalented sons careers as drivers, and for some reason a driver like Jimmy Spencer had a 17 year career finishing in the mid-20's.

People forget that Danica was a very promising open wheel racer and that she actually had to go to England to get a fair shot. If she was a man, she'd never go that route and would have opportunities to get in the lower rungs of open wheel or NASCAR.

She's struggling in NASCAR because she basically has no background in it and had to do a crash course, vs. spending years at the lower rungs building up her skills. Just like Dario Franchitti, Jacque Villenueve, and Juan Montoya. None of those champs were deserving of their NASCAR rides either, but I have a hard time that if any of them started in the US in midgets, silver crown, or on dirt, that they wouldn't develop into quality NASCAR drivers.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:25 AM
Location: Island of Misfit Toys
5,066 posts, read 2,187,860 times
Reputation: 4514
I don't think Danica has ever been 'very promising' as a driver. Certainly an okay driver that happen to be a girl/woman which helped push her along at points in her career. She has(d) enough talent and sponsors to move up but no way was she a prodigy driver. That keeps being proven over and over again. She's a back marker. No disgrace in that when that's your talent level. Like the ones you mention above. Someone has to fill the paddock.

Dario, Villenueve, and JMP most certainly deserved their rides in NASCAR. Each was a championship level driver. They deserve a ride at any level. They are proved as drivers. That's apples and oranges.
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