Reporting Chris “Mac” McClain
I will admit it. Danica-Mania is already driving me insane. We are still 3 days away from the Danica 500 and I can’t take it anymore. Yes, the fact that she won the pole is great for NASCAR. The added interest in the 500 around the country from the media is through the roof. But, the downside is that alot of these media folks don’t know racing. So, for example, Tony Kornheiser asks on PTI, “Is Danica the favorite in the 500?” Maybe if 35 other drivers quit racing before Sunday.
The unrealistic expectations for her drive me insane. People find her story so exciting that they are trying to will her into Victory Lane. Last year in the lower level Nationwide Series, Danica failed to finish in the top 5 once in 33 races. She had just 4 top tens for a race team that Martin Truex once won 2 Nationwide Titles. She is very far from a finished product when it comes to driving stock cars.
Then there is the open wheel driver factor. Much more talented open wheel turned stock car drivers have had trouble keeping up in the Cup ranks. Sam Hornish and Dario Franchitti have combined to win 7 Indy Racing League Titles and 4 Indy 500s. Danica Patrick won one Indy race and it was in Japan and it was a fuel mileage victory. Hornish and Franchitti both failed in the Cup Series. There are others to list too, but the point is, that is far from easy to jump in a stock car and excel at it.
But, since Danica is an attractive female driver, folks want to will her into Victory lane. But, Danica and those folks will find out, it isn’t that easy.