Will Danica be the dagger to the heart of IndyCar Racing?

Danica Patrick All indications are now that Danica Patrick will start her move to Nascar this year.  She’ll run selected Nascar Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series races along with possibly a couple of ARCA races before year’s end.  She’ll then definitely be in the ARCA race at Daytona come February..setting her up to be cleared to run with the big boys at Daytona.

Even though the word is Danica will continue to also race full time in the IndyCar series at least for 2010, it means that all eyes will be on what she does in the tin tops, not open wheel.

As I’ve stated before, like it or not, Danica Patrick is the face of the IndyCar series.  She’s the star, the big commodity, the one that brings in tons of those all important sponsorship dollars.  Without her, the death spiral I already believe IndyCar to be in will accelerate.

No one except possibly Helio Castroneves and mostly because of the fame he got with winning Dancing with the Stars comes close to Danica Patrick’s media exposure.

If she is in Nascar, everyone will watch to see how she does.  Who is going to watch an IndyCar race that would go up against it?  NO ONE!

I think it’s very telling that everyone is now pushing for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to move the start of the Indianapolis 500 back to it’s traditional local time of 11AM.  The reason, Nascar drivers could then attempt doing the double..racing both in Indianapolis then in the Coke 600 that night in Charlotte. I find that amazing. 

The Indianapolis 500 is in so much trouble they need Nascar drivers racing at Indy to save what arguably once was the biggest racing event in the world!

Of course if Danica is one of those that would do the double, why that would help attendance and the dwindling television numbers.  (Oh, the reason the start time of the 500 was moved to later in the day was to increase television audience which has consistently gone down!)

I can see it now…it would be Danica all the time from the start of the race day in Indianapolis until the end of the day in Charlotte.  I bet there would even be live updates from the plane taking her to Charlotte. She would become the event and not either race.

This sadly is where we are and there will be two big winners in this scenario.  Danica Patrick who can get a gazillion more endorsement deals and buy her own country from all the money she’ll make and Nascar.  The losers, the IndyCar series and quite likely the Indianapolis 500.

Hopefully, I’m completely wrong but my biggest fear is that I am not.

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2 Comments

  1. In the immortal words of Roy Orbison: “it’s over, it’s over, It’s OOOOOVERRR!”

  2. While it’s true that Danica is seemingly the face of IndyCar, it’s a sad state of affairs that the sport has come to only have the 1 face.

    I think it’s great that Danica is doing well and that it raises the visibility of the sport in general. It’s more a shame that there aren’t more pulls to watch IndyCar.

    The racing has become boring, much like super speedway racing in Nascar.

    Until they can come up with a formula that allows for good racing, and passing on track, folks will focus on the off track antics of Danica.

    My 2c.
    Shane


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