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Danica Patrick: Could She Make it in NASCAR?

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ABC Supply/A.J. Foyt 225 Qualifying

Well every year right after the Indy 500, it becomes a big topic to talk about, will Danica Patrick make the leap to NASCAR. There is a part of me that just wants this discussion to go away, but alas, I have no control over that, so let me add to the discussion.

NASCAR’s facebook page has put the question out there, “Do you think Danica Patrick can survive in NASCAR?” Well, here is my opinion in the nutshell….no.

Now that is not to say that Patrick is a bad driver, she’s not. Right now she sits in 4th place in the overall Indy points.

That’s also not to say that she can’t handle the pressure and the limelight. She had  proved that she can by being on the cover of just about every magazine out there and been on the celebrity circuit without even flinching.

And, that’s not to say that her whinning will keep her out. NASCAR has plenty of whiners in the sport already, so that wouldn’t be an issue should she make the move.

No, Danica won’t survive in NASCAR for the same reason that so many other Indy drivers who have tried to make the leap to NASCAR…. They are two different sports with completely different demands and totally different mindsets.

First of all, Indy cars are completely different in the fact that you can do things in an Indy car that you can not even dream about doing in a stock car. Now I don’t need to rehash “Days of Thunder”. If you don’t know the reference, then I am surprised that you are even listening to our show.

Second of all, Indy drivers are only required to race in 17 races each year. NASCAR has a much more grueling schedule with 36 commitments per year, and forget about testing, not only will you have no more testing for three weeks at a track before you actually have to compete, but now you won’t have testing at all.

And finally, you have the fact that qualifying becomes much more important in NASCAR. There are only 35 drivers in the Indy Car series, so if you are a driver, you are guaranteed a spot, where you have up to 60 drivers who at any given time are qualifying for a spot in the crown jewel of NASCAR. Just ask Kenny Wallace how many go or go homers there are each and every week.

No, it’s not that seats wouldn’t be filled if Patrick made the move, but I just don’t think it would be successful. If she had a multitude of years in modified racing, I would say her chances would be improved, but only slightly.

Make sure you check out the latest “Gas and Go” to hear this discussion as well as many others. You can pick that show up right here.

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About Christopher Smith

A long time fan of NASCAR, he attended his first race as a kid in 1979 at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the World 600. Christopher watched Darrell Waltrip drive his way to victory and from that day forward he’s been hooked. As president of RubbingsRacing.com, Christopher launched the site in 2000 and in the past decade, it has grown into a NASCAR-accredited web site hosting multiple podcasts, dedicated writers and race coverage at the majority of NASCAR-sanctioned events. Christopher is an official member of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA).

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