Preparing for Danica Mania at Daytona

patrickdanicamediacenter09 Tomorrow it begins.  “Danica Mania” will be unleashed at Daytona International Speedway as Danica Patrick takes to the 2..5 mile high banks in ARCA practice. 

Normally the Thursday ARCA practice might bring a few journalists out to the track early to watch and do a few interviews.  Not this time.  A media horde is about to be unleashed the likes of which is usually reserved for Rock stars.

I’m torn by all this attention.  On one hand it’s good for ARCA to get the publicity as a series but on the other hand if all the stories are about Danica it doesn’t help the ARCA regulars who scratch for every penny to keep racing to get the pub they need to stay alive and on the track.

I consider ARCA President Ron Drager to be a friend and I know he understands the pluses and minuses of the situation.  Daytona is only one race on the ARCA 2010 schedule. His concern is for the entire season and series.  However, Danica Patrick’s presence means for at least a few days ARCA is front and center in the racing media world and even beyond.

I have no doubt that Saturday’s ARCA race on Speed (4:30PM ET Live) will be the highest rated ever for the series even eclipsing when Juan Pablo Montoya ran some races in it as did Dario Franchitti.  I just hope that the TV guys don’t make it a Danica all the time broadcast.  I’ve seen that in IndyCar broadcasts where there is a Danica update about every two laps.

Let’s all remember when the green flag drops there are 43 drivers on the track, not just one.  They all are taking the same chances and all have the same dream of winning at Daytona.  Danica is a big story but don’t forget to those that are family, friends and supporters of the others in the field their story is just as big and important.  All I ask for on Saturday is some balance.

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