TOP STORY NO. 15: AS THE DANICA TURNS

 
(Editor’s note: This is the first in a 15-part look back at the 2009 Sprint Cup season.)
 
What better way to moisten your pallet for the 2010 season than by looking back at 2009? (Yes, we’re already looking forward to the 2010 season. We have been since July.) Let’s begin with the 15th-biggest story of the 2009 racing season, which happened to have nothing to do with actual racing.


WHAT HAPPENED?

Danica Patrick flirted. A lot. With men. About racing. What were you thinking, horndog?
 

How amazing that as Patrick’s contract with the Indy Racing League was expiring, Patrick explored moving her skills to NASCAR. She met with Tony Stewart, ticked off Jack Roush (although my kitten Noah could tick off Jack Roush), heard a pitch from Michael Waltrip and had lengthy discussions with Dale Earnhardt Jr. All of those talks revolved around racing in the Nationwide Series and maybe some ARCA events, all the while continuing her career in the IRL.

WHERE ARE WE NOW?
Great flipping question that no one can answer. Patrick hasn’t signed a deal to race in NASCAR. She has signed a deal to race the IRL schedule, which gives me an excuse to show you a cheesy logo.


WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

Patrick equals buzz, which the sport needs. She also would be the first woman to run on the Nationwide circuit in a long while, which would equal ratings and interest that circuit hasn’t seen in, well, forever. From a racing perspective, you know at least one of the good old boys will try and make her life miserable. Not to mention, Patrick is an open-wheel driver. For every Juan Pablo Montoya, there’s a Patrick Carpentier.

 
Plus, the more Patrick stories we do, the more photos we show. In related news, I’m thankful for the Internet.


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