Why I Love NASCAR: Danica Patrick by Chief 187™

Not only is she a racecar driver, Danica Patrick also is a spokeperson for COPD
awareness. Credit: Biosector 2
Now that the cars are on the track in Daytona, the Christmas decorations are packed away, and the journalists are getting their credentials in order to report, I can honestly state I am getting revved up for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season! It’s not solely Sprint Cup that has my interest at peak, but the Nationwide Series as well. And truly there is one name that is straddling both series that dominates the headlines, Danica Patrick.

There are two camps that align when Danica Patrick’s name is dropped, those for her and those vehemently against. I fall into a third. I like her well enough, and I respect her more. While I am happy she has decided to spend some more time in NASCAR, I won’t be rooting only for her nor will I be rooting against her. Ideally I’d love to see Danica markedly improve. I’m hoping to see her patience, talent, and fortitude win her detractors over, quell the notion that she is only in NASCAR because of her marketability and the fact she is a token woman, and quite frankly, end the senseless chatter that surrounds her.

Danica Patrick is an honest-to-goodness racecar driver. She has proven herself in other series, not least of which is the IndyCar series. Like those who came before her in crossover situations to NASCAR, Danica has struggled to win victories, yet she continues to try. Now, with the commitment of a full Nationwide Series schedule and the inclusion of several races in the Sprint Cup Series, Danica is upping her competition.  It is far too soon to tell what kind of mettle she will have facing a full schedule competing against infantile egomaniacs who are mostly young men, but I’m not concerned for her at all.
Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs

I turn my attention momentarily away from Danica Patrick the racecar driver and zoom in on her impressive and lucrative advertisements. Go Daddy, her major sponsor, is known to produce racy (pun intended) commercials that lure the viewer into thinking something lewd is going on leading he/she to go online to peruse the website for the conclusion. Many critics maintain that the only reason we have heard of Danica Patrick is because of the use of the woman’s sex appeal. Seriously? I counter that everybody uses their sex appeal if they have it, and buy some if they do not! Danica Patrick happens to be blessed with a beautiful face and a lean body. Like Kasey Kahne and Carl Edwards before her, she is simply utilizing her assets to sell her sponsor’s products. Carl Edwards showed off his abs, why can’t Danica Patrick show off her toned body in a bikini? Why can’t we empower women to be both sexually attractive and damn good at their jobs? The argument could then be that “why don’t more NASCAR drivers use sex to sell, because they are men?” and I would staunchly point out that NASCAR does not have enough empirically attractive men (or women) to warrant such advertisements! A lot of the NASCAR spots are comedic because the drivers are simply more gifted racers than they are sexy! That is not true in IndyCar, Formula 1 and even the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. In those series the drivers are not only impressively talented with their racecar strapped on, but many of them are extremely attractive.  If the NASCAR fans would simply accept that racers from others series (Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti, and Sam Hornish Jr. to name a few) are more attractive and need a learning curve to “get up to speed” in their desired NASCAR series, there would be less intolerance. Personally, I want to see Danica Patrick in those humorous and risqué Go Daddy ads. I want to see NASCAR’s numbers double or even triple when she takes the track. I want NASCAR venues sold out, gear flying off the shelves, and people reading articles voraciously. Having Danica Patrick in NASCAR is not only easy on the eyes, but damn good for business. And, yes, she can drive!

It is moot to debate Danica Patrick’s impact going forward as it hasn’t even started. I realize that no matter what I write, there were still be two opposing camps when it comes to Danica. I, for one, am just tickled to have a woman in both Nationwide and Sprint Cup to root for and follow. Until I see bonehead driving, I will continue to support and cheer for Danica Patrick and all of the other drivers on the track. I say good on her for bringing her popularity and buzz to NASCAR full time. Having Danica Patrick for a full season in 2012 is yet another reason I love NASCAR.

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Chief 187 is a writer, columnist, and blogger as well as creator of the widely popular Chief 187 Chatter. Her column “Why I Love NASCAR” and other articles are featured on Skirts and Scuffs. She can be reached via Twitter by following @Chief187s. To find out more please visit http://Chief187.com.

Why I Love NASCAR: Danica Patrick by Chief 187™ Why I Love NASCAR: Danica Patrick by Chief 187™ Reviewed by Chief 187 on Monday, January 16, 2012 Rating: 5