Tag:Danica Patrick
Posted on: December 1, 2009 11:18 am

Image shows Danica in Nationwide uniform

While Danica Patrick made no mention of her NASCAR plans during her announcement of a three-year extension with Andretti Autosport, it sure "looks" like a part-time Nationwide deal with JR Motorsports is forthcoming.

Sure we've heard Patrick to NASCAR reports for months and months, but as her website updated with images of Patrick and her new IndyCar ride, eagle-eyed fan also spotted a small image of Patrick in a GoDaddy uniform bearing a Chevy logo, a Nationwide Series logo and the JR Motorsports logo.

It only appeared briefly before it was pulled from the site, but it's a good bet it will be back up when an official announcement is made in the coming days regarding her future in NASCAR.

I did not see the image on her site myself, but Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Site has a screen cap of the image:

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: June 30, 2009 12:47 pm

Some recent NASCAR rumors are off the wall

I thought I'd address some of the interesting rumors that have made their way across the NASCAR wires in recent weeks.

The biggest name in the NASCAR rumor mill has been ... Danica Patrick?

That's right. Patrick is in the final year of her contract with Andretti-Green Racing in the IndyCar Series, so of course stories pop up that she's interested in making the jump to NASCAR.

That part of the rumor you can believe. Even with the toll the economy has taken on NASCAR in recent seasons, it's still the top racing circuit in America. It would be a mistake for her not to test the waters.

Even if she stinks, the curiosity factor would be a boon to NASCAR. So I do think it's a legit consideration for her from a money making standpoint (for one season at least).

Now for the second half of the most recent rumor about Patrick -- that Hendrick Motorsports would replace Dale Earnhardt Jr. with Patrick in its driver lineup. Earnhardt Jr. would move over to his JR Motorsports operation, which would move up from the Nationwide Series to Cup and, like Stewart Haas, receives engines and technical support from Hendrick.

Don't buy it for a second. It just doesn't make a lick of sense to drop the series' most popular driver, who does have the ability to succeed despite the growing cries of his critics, for an untested stock-car driver. Hendrick may not lose much on the popularity/souvenier sales scale with that switch, but to think she'd have more success behind the wheel than Earnhardt is ridiculous.

The rumor that makes the most sense with Patrick is Ganassi ... in the IRL. That also gives her an in into NASCAR if she's truly interested in trying it out. All in all, I'd be stunned if she's driving a Sprint Cup car next season.

The other big rumor making the rounds involves Michael Waltrip Racing. A MWR press conference has been scheduled for July 7 as which time Waltrip is expected to announce that Martin Truex Jr. will drive the NAPA car.

That's not so surprising because that rumor has been going around for months. The twist in this rumor is that Truex would come aboard immediately.

While I won't argue that Truex won't be joining MWR, I just don't see it happening this year. Maybe for the last few races of the season if Earnhardt-Ganassi, Truex's current employer, is feeling generous.

I'm not saying it's not possible that Truex makes the switch now, but based on the history of how these things happen, I have my doubts.

Keep up with the latest Silly Season rumblings on CBSSports.com:

Posted on: May 4, 2009 1:07 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2009 1:08 pm

Could color change boost Danica to more success?

Fans who have become accustomed to seeking out Danica Patrick's blue No. 7 car when watching a race will need to change their habits.

Starting this month at Indianapolis a new sponsor joins the mix and with it comes a newer and brighter, orange paint scheme.

Here's the new look:

Danica Patrick new car

Here's the old look:

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: April 22, 2008 12:15 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2008 12:22 pm

A belated congrats to Danica Patrick

Go figure.

I go away on vacation -- and today is actually my last day of that vacation -- and auto racing history is made.

I specfically picked this period since it was a Cup off weekend. Nothing major is going to happen, right?

And then Danica Patrick decides this is the weekend to win a race. And I missed it. I miss out on history. But what's a guy supposed to do? Auto racing is pretty much a year round sport with December and January the only months without an event. I've got to find a moment to spend time with the family some time in the calendar year. So while Danica Patrick was winning in Japan, I was at Disney World.

I've figured Patrick was going to win sooner or later and had been looking forward to witnessing it live.

Of course not everybody is so ecstatic about Patrick's victory. Some scoff because the victory came through fuel strategy, noting she led just two laps. Others (read: Gregg Doyel) deride the IRL as being an inferior racing series. And still others attack auto racing in general, saying how can it be a "real" sport when a woman can beat all the men.

It's all hogwash.

1. Fuel strategy is part of the sport. Auto racing doesn't get enough credit as being a "team" sport. Winning takes a combination of so many factors, from driver to crew chief to pit crew to the set up of the car. When a driver gets on a roll like Jimmie Johnson did in the Cup series last year, it looks easy, but it's not. The 48 "team" was on the top of its game. For Patrick to finally win, all the factors came together from having a strong car to making the right pit calls.

2. As for the IRL being an inferior series, you can't compare with F1. In F1, it's nearly all about the car the technology. You can put almost any driver into a Ferrari and there's a good chance they're going to be competing for wins. I feel the driver is more of a factor in IndyCar. The one caveat I can say about this particular weekend is that it came with half the series in Japan and half in Long Beach for the Champ Car grand finale.

Now I'm not saying it wouldn't be a bigger deal if a woman were to win in NASCAR, but Patrick wasn't trained for that. She was trained for open-wheel racing and she won in the top open-wheel racing in America. How can that be shamed? I think we're many years away from a woman winning in NASCAR's top series.

3. And finally the "real" sport factor. Those who attack auto racing are simply uniformed and, quite frankly, don't wish to become informed. As stated before, it's not all about the driver. The driver is the face of the "team", but, again, there's the crew and the pit crew, not to mention all the people who work on the car and engine back at the shop. It's about more than one person, but the driver is the star.

I think the biggest factor in keeping women away from the big-time stick-and-ball sports is that they require indvidual speed and strength, which is a distinct advantage for the men. Racing is about endurance, hand-eye coordination and the ability to make split-second decisions at 200 mph. Men don't necessarily have a huge advantage in this department. Now if Patrick had an all-female pit crew, she be at a disadvantage because that's where personal speed, strength and agility come into play.

In any case, I'm glad Patrick finally prevailed and I'm hopeful I won't miss out on her next win.

Now back to my regularly scheduled last day of vacation.

Posted on: February 22, 2008 6:45 pm

A great day for open-wheel racing ...

... maybe not so great for Danica Patrick.

At long last, the IRL and Champ Car have ended one of the most ridiculous feuds in history.

It's about time. The divide lasted much too long. NASCAR has assumed the throne in America, while the former king has become nothing more than an afterthough aside from when Indianapolis rolls around.

It made absolutely no sense to have two series providing basically the same product. I just never understood why it took so long for CART/Champ Car to come to its senses. Twelve years this has gone on. Why? Too many egos it seems.

With the Indy 500 in its back pocket, the IRL always had the upper hand. I've always felt the IRL product was better as well. The oval concept with which it was born under worked well and led to some compelling racing, even if not a whole lot of people noticed.

Meanwhile, CART/Champ Car stuck with the street and road courses, which has much less appeal except to hardcore fans. 

According to reports, the IRL will gobble up three races from the Champ Car schedule, but it will remain heavy on the ovals. Hopefully it stays that way as well.

According to reports, Champ Car teams expected to move to the IRL include Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, which won the past four Champ Car championships; PKV Racing; Forsythe Championship Racing; Conquest Racing; Derrick Walker Racing and Dale Coyne Racing.

It's for this reason I say it's not such a great day for Patrick. With a stronger and deeper field -- in addition to more road courses which aren't exactly her specialty -- winning just got a whole lot harder. However, if she does manage to win now, it will be a much great accomplishment, but I'm not so high on that feat happening like I once was. 

Finally, though, there's hope for open-wheel racing in America again.

If the axiom that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, then open-wheel racing will be Paul Bunyan in no time.


Category: Auto Racing
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com