It is quite possibly the biggest non-story of the year. And we’re all over it. Danica Patrick said she will consider a NASCAR ride when her contract ends this season. Until she re-signs with the IRL, or defies the experts and makes the jump to NASCAR, we will check in every Tuesday with…
On the track, Patrick finished fifth out of 22 drivers at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, giving her a second straight top-five finish. The next IRL race is the Indianapolis 500 on May 24.
Off the track, the two-time Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model lit up the blogosphere when it was announced that she will appear on the June cover of Shape magazine. (To put this story in perspective, Danica Patrick could light up the blogosphere by announcing that she owns a magazine.)
In the world of NASCAR, FOX commentators Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond had some harsh on-air words for Patrick, who recently told The New York Times she would consider a NASCAR ride when her contract ends this season.
Said Waltrip, “These race cars go 500 miles, 600 miles in a couple of weeks. These cars weigh 3,450 pounds. These cars are heavy. You’ve got to be in great shape to sit in there and endure this. The races she’s run are pretty short races in the IndyCars. I just don’t see her coming here and being competitive. She can come here, but I don’t think she’ll be competitive.”
Added Hammond, “It’s a ploy to get her a ride next year and some money.”
But what do you guys really think?
Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Martin, who openly doubts that Patrick will sign with a NASCAR team, all but erected a KEEP OUT sign with this piece in which he compared Patrick with Sarah Fisher, who was more qualified than Patrick to run stock cars, but failed in her bid to do so.
Fisher told Martin, “It's a very tough world; it's a 'Good Old Boys' world, a 'Good Old Boys' network. To be in that without any prior experience (in a car) will be extremely tough. Unless you are bringing in a pot load of money, I don't think they are going to (give you a deal) right away."
Martin’s piece makes several good points about Patrick’s lack of experience in front-engine cars.
Finally, this video was released on Monday. It shows Patrick in a bikini. In various positions. Including some 1950s poses with a medicine ball. Enjoy.