However, we have a couple of NASCAR fans on this Blog, and since unlike every other sport, NASCAR essentially begins its season with its signature “Super Bowl” of a race, I thought it might be entertaining to welcome it back with a thread hailing the Great American Race, the Daytona 500.
Except this year, they might as well rename it the “Danica 500.” In case you’ve been sitting on a hillside in the Catskills, you may have heard the big news that relatively new NASCAR driver and Go Daddy Girl Danica Patrick won the pole.
Meanwhile, there are drivers who have switched teams (most notably Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano) and there are distinct improvements to the race cars themselves. Of course, I suppose I’d be delusional to hope that the politically correct France family would dump the ethanol and the hybrid pace cars. Also, I’m not sure but I believe this will be the first year Ryan Newman will no longer have the U.S. Army as the chief sponsor of his 39 car. Because it was really important to cut “advertising” – especially to your target market – that is visible for four hours.
No, instead the race is all about how Danica is on the pole. It’s a major achievement for her. Actually, I’ve followed her career in NASCAR — it’d be a major achievement for her if she could finish a race without wrecking. I think she has one top 20 finish in her Sprint Cup career – because 20 of the cars behind her were wrecked and off the track. There’s nothing stellar about her racing ability, and she brings nothing but pretty to the sport. And yeah, if I had the requisite amount of testosterone, I can understand red-blooded males wanting to look at her rather than Mark Martin. Until you heard the words “Drivers – start your engines!”
Recently Darryl Waltrip, who started out in the “not bad” category when Fox Sports took to the broadcasting of the entire NASCAR season in 2001, has morphed instead into the most cloying, obnoxious and annoying twit in racing color commentary, took his head out of Kyle Busch’s ass long enough to pronounce Danica “the new face of NASCAR.” Ooookay. Danica, by the way, finished 17th in the Budwieser “Duel” on Thursday – which determines the remainder of the field after positions 1 and 2. Of course, the drooling NASCAR writers said her abysmal performance was due to the fact that “she was saving her car.” Of course, how could I have missed it — “She MEANT to finish so poorly!” If it was all about saving her car, why didn’t she just move to the rear where she’d really be safe?
Which is why I won’t be watching any pre-race coverage today, and plan to keep the big screen on mute until I see the green flag drop after a couple pace laps. Because, pre-race coverage will be limited to the following:
1. They will be mentioning every three minutes that Danica has the pole.
2. That they will ask every driver they interview how important is it that Danica has the pole.
3. That they will interview Danica every fifteen minutes about how she has the pole. And they will show at least three times the qualifying run where Danica got the pole.
4. They will start an online poll and Twitter hashtag asking viewers how important is it that Danica has the pole.
5. We will hear every statistic imaginable about how many times the pole sitter has won the Daytona (17% by the way) and why it’s probable that Danica could join that fraternity.
Of course, after the green flag drops and seventeen drivers pass Danica before the end of the first lap, we’ll hear that no one expected her to do that well anyway….
In the meantime, if you watch the race and have no driver in particular to root for, may I put in a pitch for my guy, Tony Stewart, in the No. 14 car. And I apologize in advance for his Office Depot commercials.