It’s time for another edition of NASCAR random thoughts, and I’m really worked up over Danica Patrick.
Danica Patrick wants in 2 races next year, but that’s looking slim
Somebody help me. I don’t get it. Danica Patrick wants to go out in style and race in two races next year — the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500. No one has (yet) stepped forward to offer her a car for Daytona; and Chip Ganassi Racing says talks for her to race at Indianapolis have stalled. I can’t believe someone isn’t stepping forward. I’m not going to rehash the “she’s not performed on the track” argument because that’s not what this is about (and she did have success in IndyCar, mind you). She elevated the profile of these two racing series and she deserves one last shot on the track. Both NASCAR and IndyCar should use the force of their marketing staffs to find single-race sponsors for her, and then find solid teams willing to give her a ride. Both sports are missing the marketing opportunity of the year by not doing so — and more importantly, they’re not treating her right.
Pippa Mann is seriously peeved
Mann oh Mann (sorry, couldn’t resist). Pippa Mann, the Indy 500 driver, is seriously peeved that FIA has selected Carmen Jorda to serve on an important committee that represents women in motor sports. Why? Because Jorda wants separate races for men and women because she believes a woman can’t compete with a man and doesn’t have a realistic shot at winning championships. She notes that several sports leagues — tennis, golf, basketball, soccer — all have separate leagues for women. Mann isn’t the only one angry; Jorda’s selection has resulted in wide-spread condemnation from people who see her stance as weakening equality for women. It’s a question that’s going to be hotly debated, and one that could bleed its way over into NASCAR. There are certainly good arguments on both sides of this issue, but economics always wins out. If any of the racing series thinks they can expand audience and make money with a female-only circuit (and I don’t think they can), bet that it’ll happen.
Kes is not all that optimistic about 2018, and for good reason
It’s easy to make fun of Brad Keselowski and his constant harping on Toyota’s dominance. But at some point, people need to focus on his larger point — that Ford seems like it’s falling further behind. The new Chevrolet that’s hitting the NASCAR track this season looks like a threat to Toyota, and combined both of those manufacturers could place more distance between them and Ford. What Ford doesn’t want is for teams to pull a Richard Petty and switch en masse.
- NASCAR on-track attendance expected to be down for 10th-straight year while F1’s is +8% this year. NASCAR needs to pay attention.
- Brian France’s ring ceremony snafu was as embarrassing as they come.
- Ford is moving electric SUV production to Mexico, taking jobs at of Michigan. This isn’t the last of this kind of bad news.
- Richard Petty moves to Chevy. How will Bubba Wallace adjust?
- The Richards — Petty and Childress — enter into partnership agreement. With money tight, this is a great move.
- You never want to get stuck in Atlanta in a snow or ice storm. Cars go nowhere.
- Dale Jr. having a tough time adjusting to retirement. Might we see him in a car next year? I’m saying 50/50.
- The 2018 paint schemes are killer, and Trevor Bayne’s kick ass, black No. 6 is the best so far.
- Kevin Harvick says Danica Patrick leaving NASCAR creates a huge hole. He’s right.
- Lots of people talking about the Young Guns coming into NASCAR, but as they adjust to Cup driving, the gray beards will dominate.