NASCAR Champion’s Week in Las Vegas is meant to honor the playoff drivers and act as a year end celebration culminating in an awards banquet. Knowing that, it might not surprise anyone that Danica Patrick was not featured at any of the events or given an award during the week. She didn’t win any races during the season and was far from even qualifying for the playoffs.
However, another driver that finished without a win had more than his share of attention. There were specific events scheduled to honor Dale Earnhardt Jr. as he heads off into retirement and he even won a lifetime achievement award.
All deserved, no doubt, but Patrick and Matt Kenseth are also retiring. Maybe NASCAR wanted to avoid the possibility of Kenseth returning after an official sendoff since he has not officially stepped away for good, and maybe NASCAR has something planned for Patrick’s final race at Daytona, but it is weird that they didn’t find a way to recognize her impact in the sport during the week.
Some sort of lifetime achievement award or something acknowledging her years as the only woman in NASCAR would have gone a long way towards showing one of the sport’s biggest names that she will be missed.