How does one describe Danica Patrick’s time in NASCAR without coming across as a complete sexist moron that doesn’t want progress in their racing? While Patrick, who started racing in The Xfinity Series in 2012 did help NASCAR better appeal to more women, she didn’t exactly prove that she could hang with the guys.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean a women cant hang with the guys and won’t go on to tremendous success in NASCAR, but Danica Patrick wasn’t that person. Not only was that evident from her lack of success on the track, which looked embarrassed considering who she raced for, she also had a way of rubbing fans the wrong way.
Stats are stats and Danica Patrick’s stat sheet in NASCAR looks absolutely disastrous and despite a few decent finishes, she was never really the contender that the media thought she would be. Of course that’s probably fans faults for believing all the hope that NASCAR prompted on top of this woman, but these stats are horrendous for anyone and definitely for someone with a top tier team.
Looking at a breakdown of Patrick’s stats over her five years in The Cup Series, she has 191 stars, zero wins, one top-fives, seven top-tens and a pole at Daytona. Those stats get even worse in The Xfinity Series, where Patrick has 61 starts, zero wins, one top-five, seven top-tens and drover for JR Motorsports for most of that period.
The unrelenting hype
Another thing that made Danica Patrick one of the most despised drivers in NASCAR is the fact that the media continued to hype her up despite her shortcomings. Of course this quickly stopped when they finally realized that she wasn’t the competitive threat that they made her out that way and were only kidding themselves by carrying on the charade.
Maybe something like this would have been acceptable if she was actually the threat on the track that she was built up to be, but to waste valuable TV time on someone that barely was able to run in the top-15 is absolutely ridiculous. Not only that, their coverage of her ate up so much time that other drivers often got shafted.
Again, this doesn’t mean that she was bad for the sport or didn’t help it a tremendous amount, but the time they spent on her weekly in the beginning was unjustified and unbearable. I t was also a remember of how desperate NASCAR is to find something popular to latch onto and milk until its dry, which has been evident for years now with various drivers.
Not deserving here ride.
As has already been established by her lackluster stat record, she really wasn’t deserving of the ride at Stewart Haas Racing she got and was arguably there as a large result of her publicity. Of course she served a purpose to sell sponsorship and to help make NASCAR as diverse as possible, she also eventually ran the sponsorship well dry and left NASCAR for good.
With that being said, it probably goes without saying that her ride could have gone to someone more deserving and we are just now seeing the benefit of doing that with how well Aric Almorola is performing in the car right now. In the end, maybe that will change as the season wears on, but right now he is doing more with the ride then she ever did.
Using The Daytona 500 as a publicity stunt.
Believe it or not, everything else on this list that Danica Patrick did was forgivable. With that being said and her announcing that she would run The Daytona 500 without even having a ride yet, it seems very likely that she was simply using The Great American race as a publicity stunt. In fact, she wasn’t even a contender throughout Speedweeks and wrecked out of The 500 pretty early.
Of course a lot of other contenders fell out of the race pretty early as well, but Patrick didn’t seem as ate up about it as some of her other male counterparts were. In the end, she couldn’t even mention her Daytona 500 start during a Superbowl Godaddy commercial, which would have garnered the sport a little extra push heading into the season.
Her attitude problem
Its no secret that Danica Patrick had a bit of an attitude problem in certain situation and while it wasn’t that big of deal early on in her career, it became a huge one when she couldn’t back up her words or actions on the track. In fact, she was often the butt of many jokes for her ridiculous feuds and crashes.
Not only that, she also went off on a fan asking for an autograph at Pocono raceway in 2017, which despite seeming like a small incident, has shrouded the Indianapolis native in infamy for claiming that she wasn’t there to sign autographs. While she was certainly right that she wasn’t there to sign autographs, she certainly didn’t come across very well to die hard NASCAR fans.