Saturday, June 29, 2013

This Will Be Interesting

Kyle Petty, son of Richard “The King” Petty said the other day that, while Danica Patrick “can drive fast, she is not a racer.” Kyle drove for close to twenty years and won eight races in the major circuit, then known as Winston Cup. In his statement he added that he himself was never “a racer” and that if he knew what it took to be one he would have been one. I would not actually disagree with any part of his statement.

That has raised an absolute tempest between the Danica haters and her loyalists, and what makes it potentially interesting is that Kyle is one of the commentators for the Sprint Cup race that will be on TNT later this evening. I cannot wait to see how the television crew handles this little drama, given that NASCAR has been promoting Danica as being the best thing that has happened to the sport in decades, notwithstanding her average finishing position of 26th and her standing of 27th in the championship race.

I may actually watch the pre-race blather, which I do not usually do.

Her fellow Rookie-of-the-Year contender, and boyfriend who is six years younger than she is, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., has an average finish of 18.5 and stands 19th in the championship race. He finished ahead of her 14 out of 17 races, and in 10 of those races he was at least 10 positions ahead of her. That has to have led to some rather interesting pillow talk.

Danica has finished 25th or worse in 14 of the 17 races this year, which would tend to give some credibility to Kyle Petty's assertion.

Update, Sunday morning: During the rain delay they interviewed about thirty drivers. Danica Patrick was not among them, and neither was Ricky Stenhouse or Danica's team owner, Tony Stewart.

3 comments:

bruce said...

He drove for 20 years, won 8 times, and "he's not a racer?"
What is his definiition?
What is Jayhawk's, if he agrees with Kyle Petty?

The Mad Man. said...

Kyle won his first race in a major series the first time he raced in ARCA. The same can't be said for Danica when she drove Formula Fords. She didn't get a win her first time out in ARCA. During Kyle's Cup career, he wasn't exactly driving top notch gear. Petty Enterprises was on the downhill slide during that time. Danica came in to top tier equipment from the get go. Kyle won 8 races during his Cup career. So far Danica hasn't won a single race in neither NNS nor Cup. If you look at Danica's career in IRL/IndyCar, she faired OK before the CHAMPCAR-IRL merger. Once the merger was settled, she struggled against the new talent. The solitary win she got in IndyCar was a fuel mileage race and the best drivers didn't necessarily make the trip so that helped her normally mediocre performance.Then there was some questionable readouts on the team computers which showed her as a lap down and when the other drivers pitted, she was suddenly on the lead lap.

Let's look at something relatively simple to a racer. Setting up a car. During her entire IRL/IndyCar career, she had to have a teammate, like Tony Kanaan at Andretti Green, set up her car. Kyle never had anyone set up his cars in the Busch or Cup series.

If you look at the era Kyle drove in, there were a lot of racers on the track and not corporate shills. Danica is competing against very few racers and can barely finish ahead of the Start & Parks and wrecked cars. If you look at Danica's loop data from Sonoma, she only passed 2 cars during the entire race, one of whom was Montoya but only AFTER he ran out of gas. If you check out her career stats and compare them against her contemporaries, they're still mediocre. Kyle's, by his own admission are mediocre. If you look at the teams Danica has driven for during her career, they performed great before she drove forcthen and after she left except for Rahal who had to close his doors. Andretti was a championship team before she showed up. They were mediocre the entire time she was there. James Hinchcliffe took over her car this season and has won 3 times in 10 races. JR Motorsports was a championship caliber team before she showed up. If it wasn't for Josh Wise, she'd have been trying to qualify on time every week because of her wrecking. During her one full season in NNS and the rule changes out in place, she finished in the Top 10. Had the old rules been left in place where she'd have to compete against Cup drivers for points, she'd have finished in the mid-20's. After she left JR Motorsports, the team is once again competing for a championship.

After running a part-time schedule in Cup last season, this season she's showing her learning curve isn't that sharp. She still can't give her crew chief the needed feedback to improve the car despite her time Iin both NNS & Cup cars. The same thing happened in IndyCar/IRL.

Some folks say Petty got his ride because of his name and he admits it. If it wasn't for Danica's dad buying her rides when she first started out, she'd never have made it into Formula Ford.

Last night, Kyle challenged her to a race on a dirt track.So far there's been no reply.

Kyle is right. She is a marketing gimmick. Does anyone honestly think that if she was Daniel instead of Danica and posed for magazines showing off his junk and doing soft core porn ads for a website that NA$CAR would let them in the front door much less drive a race car?

Jayhawk said...

It should also be pointed out that her 10th place finish in Nationwide sounds good until it is pointed out that there were only eleven full time drivers. Tenth out of eleven is not exactly awesome.

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