If Danica Patrick doesn’t sign a deal with a team for the 2018 season, there’s a good chance her full-time NASCAR career will come to an end.
Stewart-Haas Racing announced they won’t renew Patrick’s contract, and Orlando Sentinel columnist David Whitley decided to write a column regarding whether Patrick would be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Sounds like a harmless premise for column, right? Wrong. The column was so condescending in a number of ways.
Whitley said Patrick will and should get into the Hall of Fame based on the impact she’s had on female drivers throughout the country, and her popularity has been transcendent.
But that’s about the only nice thing Whitley had to say about Patrick. He criticized her driving skills, and he said her looks are the only reason why she’s still racing at this point.
“Now that it appears her career has finally been black-flagged, let the record show that Patrick was a mediocre-at-best driver who never would have gotten past the guard gate at Daytona International Speedway if she hadn’t looked hot doing yoga,” Whitley said.
“No sober person could say that Patrick deserves to be in the Hall of Fame based on her driving. The argument is based on her impact.”
The entire column swayed back and forth between being complimentary of her impact and critical of her driving skills. The commentary on her looks was unnecessary, and the idea that the way she looks has anything to do with her being in NASCAR over the last few years is absurd.
Whitley said Patrick should have her own wing at the Hall of Fame so she wouldn’t be associated with other Hall of Fame members who made it based on driving skills.