The topsy-turvy world that is stock car racing is seemingly never without some form of excitement during the offseason. From teams getting dropped by sponsors to teams dropping drivers, to new crew chiefs, security and car limitations that are put in place by the powers that be, and the offseason squabbling that’s tantamount to this intense professional sport. Every once in a while, however, stock car racing gets a nifty, gourmet dish of newsier eats. This time around, it’s centered upon the most recent announcement by one of stock car racing’s only female drivers, Danica Patrick, and her announcement during the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour that she will be leaving IndyCar in 2012 in favor of a fulltime grind in stock car racing.
The Reasons Behind it All?
If you are fishing for lengthy diatribes that explain some sort of heartfelt sentiment of NASCAR this and IndyCar that, you won’t get it from the hard-headed but soft-spoken Patrick. In fact, during her short announcement, her only reason being was that she was just conducting business as per usual.
Dig deeper into the well, however, and you may find a few other reasons. For example, Andretti Autosport, who has provided Danica with her car the past five IndyCar seasons, is not her car sponsor anymore. Next, you have team owner on her NASCAR side, Tony Stewart, who blatantly said he would not take care of her ride or finance her IndyCar aspirations, stating that it would be nearly “impossible” for her to tackle the gruesome double-headers that he used to in this season’s schedule. Lastly, she still has something to prove to the NASCAR world, and that is the primary reason.
Sure, Danica is an awesome IndyCar driver. She holds records aplenty, and is easily someone that other drivers know has what it takes on the IndyCar Speedway race tracks. That early success has seemed rather stagnant for her lately, with regards to NASCAR. Aside from her impressive finish in Las Vegas last year, where she pinned 4th, she has not done all that much in NASCAR. For a race car driver that is all about winning, the most seneschal evaluation is that Patrick is out to prove to the world that she can and will contend.
She’s got the car. She’s got the sponsors. She’s got the team. She’s got the driving skills and sultry good looks. Now she has ten appearances in the Premiere series in combination with a full time nationwide schedule in 2012 to put her money where her mouth is.