Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sigh, It Never Stops

A Danica Patrick apologist, pretending to be a sportswriter, has a piece in USA Today yesterday saying claiming that Princess Sparkle Pony is actually much better than critics are giving her credit for. He compares Danica to “three IndyCar drivers [who] have tried to make the transition to the big taxicabs” recently:

“Sam Hornish was 33rd in the Cup standings after 19 races.”

Indeed. Sam won the IRL championship, three times no less, and the Indy 500 once, and let’s see where he is in the Sprint Cup standings today. Oh, he’s not. He’s currently running in the Nationwide series.

“Dario Franchitti was 37th after six races, at which point he was injured and ultimately returned to IndyCar.”

I don’t think that even requires any comment.

“Juan Pablo Montoya was 20th after 19 races.”

Indeed he was, after winning the Indy 500 and 7 Formula races, and his current standing, after seven full years in Sprint Cup, is 23rd. He’s also known as “Mister Hit Everything On The Track,” including the jet dryer during a caution.

“Patrick, heading into Sunday's Brickyard, is 27th in the points standings.”

Danica is also known as Miss Lapped 30 Times, is 0-91 in NASCAR, is 1-252 for her career and 0-21 for 2013, is ahead of exactly four drivers who've also done all 19 Cup races this year (and trailing 26 drivers), has never won a pro auto race in which none of her competitors ran out of gas, has never won a stock car race, has never won a street race and has never won a race over 300 miles, In her single Nationwide season she finished ahead of exactly one driver who ran all of the races.

Of the three drivers that Kravitz is comparing Princess Sparkle Pony to, all three had vastly better records than her in open wheel, only one is even remaining in Sprint Cup series, and he is doing more poorly now than he did as a rookie seven years ago. Do you see anything there that suggests that Danica is going to show much in the way of improvement in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series?

Further, NASCAR was not raving about how Sam, Dino and Juan Pablo were the greatest things ever to happen to NASCAR, spending half the race showing their cars in 37th place and raving about how well they were doing, and skipping seven top ten finishers after the race to go interview them after they finished 29th.

I am not opposed to women in stock car racing. On the contrary. There is a driver in the Nationwide series named Johanna Long, whose team is so poorly funded that she can only run in about eight races per year. If she were in the car that Danica is driving she would consistently be finishing in the top ten and would be showing us some really good racing.

If NASCAR was about racing instead of about “the show” she would be in the car that Danica is driving.

1 comment:

The Mad Man said...

"If NASCAR was about racing" LMAO Love it.

NASCAR started the season telling us there would be only 3 stories this season. Junior, the new car, and Danica. We keep hearing how great the new car is but outside of increased speed at several tracks, we're still seeing the same problems of aero dependence, which were supposed to have been eliminated with the COT but weren't. The steering and handling problems still exist despite testing of bigger tires several years ago to improve the performance. Junior has been a non-story this season when you look at the big picture of things. Which leaves us with Princess Sparkle Pony, who is underperforming to the nth degree. Or I guess a more mathematical way of saying it is she's performing in inverse proportion to the hype she gets.

The only cars she finishes ahead of on a consistent basis is start & parks, wrecks, and underfunded teams. That's not saying much for her "driving ability". I've heard the much ballyhooed line of "she's just a rookie". Let's see. Johanna Long shows up and runs in the Truck Series to gain experience and runs with an underfunded team. Sparkle Pony didn't bother with the Truck Series to gain experience. Instead, Sparkle Pony goes to the Nationwide Series driving a Hendrick car. Results? Horrible. If not for Josh Wise she'd have finished well behind a lot of underfunded and start & parks. Performance didn't match the hype. The year she ran Nationwide the full season, the rules for the series had been changed. Cup drivers weren't allowed to get points. If not for that rule, she'd have finished somewhere between 25th & 30th. Not to mention a couple of forays into the Cup Series. And yet she was hyped as the greatest thing to happen to racing since the invention of the horseless carriage. Johanna Long ran a partial schedule with an underfunded, second rate team gaining experience. This year, Johanna continues on in Nationwide with the same team and a partial schedule still gaining the needed experience to move up.

Sparkle Pony has managed to be placed in top equipment in Cup solely because of her having a sponsor. At Daytona, she gave away 2 clues about her pole position. One was, "I thought SHR was supposed to qualify 1-2-3". And the other was, "I want to thank my boss Rick Hendrick for giving me a great car and motor". It was no fluke she got the pole. NASCAR is desperate for media attention and what better way to generate it than by having the only female currently in Cup who has been hyped to the hilt by NASCAR get the pole. Did we see the same hype for Dario, Sam, or Jacques Villeneuve? Nope. Villeneuve ran second rate equipment that he rented out of his own pocket from Bill Davis in his partial Cup schedule. Running a partial schedule in Nationwide, of the 9 races he ran over 5 years, he got 4 Top 5's, 6 Top 10's, and 1 Pole. Sparkle Pony, who ran 2 partial seasons in Nationwide before running a full season got 1 Top 5 & 3 Top 10's. During her one full season, Sparkle Pony got 1 Pole and 4 Top 10's. And that's in top notch equipment.

If you look at her overall winning percentage throughout her career, it comes to .3%.

If media coverage was based on performance, we'd hardly ever see or hear of Sparkle Pony. But as NASCAR controls the media coverage and they've bet the farm on her to be their latest gimmick, we'll have media coverage about her oozing out of every orifice in our bodies.

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