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So, is this the last NASCAR-Danica story...... | NASCAR Racing Breaking News: Trackside Live, Every Week, Every Sprint Cup Race - MikeMulhern.net

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So, is this the last NASCAR-Danica story......


  Danica Patrick (here with Indy team owner Michael Andretti): Goodbye and good luck? (Photo: Indy Racing League)
  

   By Mike Mulhern
   mikemulhern.net

    It looks like it's time to scratch any Danica-to-NASCAR deal...just like team owner Rick Hendrick suggested a couple weeks ago.
    Danica Patrick is finally opening up a little about her NASCAR options in 2010, but there doesn't appear to be much fire in the belly about it all.
   At a press conference Tuesday the Indy-car star talked about her new two-year Indy Racing League contract with Michael Andretti, and a little about NASCAR.  
   Monday in New York City, on ABC's Good Morning America, she pretty much blew off questions about NASCAR.
    "I understand the level of curiosity on the NASCAR side of things," Patrick said Tuesday.
    "But the primary focus Monday was to announce our Indy-car program and our new sponsorship with Go Daddy. It's important that everyone was focusing on that and not things that aren't true.
     "I've made no mystery that I'm curious about NASCAR and I would like to do it.
      "If I had the chance to run in both series, and try it and challenge myself, I would like to do that."
    However in Tuesday's talks the 27-year-old Patrick showed little enthusiasm for a NASCAR venture: "I'm curious about NASCAR. But curious doesn't mean I wanted to jump in with both feet. I still love Indy-car racing and where I'm at and the team that I'm with."
    If a NASCAR deal comes about, Patrick indicated, she'd play with it. But she is certainly showing little driving enthusiasm about it.
   "We've been working on this, and talking to people since the summer," she said about a NASCAR venture.
     "We are serious about this. Whether or not things come together or not, we won't know.
     "But there's no contract and no deal right now.
     "But if I could do both, I'd like to do that."
    Isn't time getting tight? Daytona's ARCA testing is coming up in three weeks, if she wants to run in the ARCA 200.
    "I think we still have time," Patrick insists. "February is when they start. There's still time.
     "Even if things go until the last minute, there's still a little bit of time left."
   That would seem to be a bit naive, however.
     Two weeks ago NASCAR team owner Hendrick seemed to be downplaying the possibility of a Patrick move to NASCAR, questioning whether any deal could be done for 2010. And Monday Patrick herself seemed to back that up.
     If NASCAR, what steps would she like to take? ARCA, Nationwide, Cup?
    "In all of the talks over the summer, in meeting with people (like NASCAR team owners), there was a lot of emphasis on learning," she said. "So I'd be very prepared to start small and grow and really learn the cars."
    However there is the sense that Patrick's heart really isn't in this NASCAR thing.
    "It's come up in the past -- to run NASCAR," she says. "And my heart wasn't there. I didn't want to at all. I wasn't really curious.
   "And, trust me, there were financial reasons why it would have been a much better idea (to go NASCAR).
    "I've always thought that the most important thing for me in my career is that I go with my gut, go with what I want, and not worry about the rest.
    "Now my curiosity is there...and I'd like to just try it. I'd like to see how I get on with the cars. I just think the racing looks fun.
    "I enjoy Indy-car racing...but I mostly enjoy the oval racing. When you have wheel to wheel racing all day, it's challenging.
    "Don't get me wrong -- it's very stressful. But it's a lot of fun at the same time.
    "And they (NASCAR) have a lot of that. I think the racing looks fun."
    Nevertheless throughout the press conference Patrick emphasized her Indy-car program as more important.
    Andretti, her team owner, with a new two-year contract (plus an optional third year, apparently a joint option), says he wants to make sure Patrick is focused on the Indy-car stuff:
    "If she wants to try it (NASCAR).... I don't want to get in her way if she really wants to do that," Andretti says.
    "You always want to challenge yourself.
    "But the goal will be to make sure the Indy-car is still her main focus. Because still the main goal is to win Indianapolis and the championship.
    "And I think we have a good shot at it. We want to make sure that it still is going to be the main focus."
   So where does NASCAR fit in, if at all?
   And how many NASCAR/ARCA races might she be willing/able to run?
   "It's not necessarily an event amount that I'm limited to," she says. "But the focus would be to run before and after the Indy-car season. That's the best opportunity."
   The 2010 Indy Racing League tour opens March 14th and ends October 2nd.

The Danifraud rumors were

The Danifraud rumors were nothing - just the media hyping a talentless marketing star. She needs to go away - she doesn't belong in a racecar; she's proven that by doing less with more throughout her IRL career.

i'm starting to think your

i'm starting to think your way.

Mike, Honda shot Danica's

Mike,

Honda shot Danica's NASCAR plans down. They wanted no part of having one of their drivers, with a PS contract, pushing GM in NASCAR.

More importantly, the Honda engine leasing deals in Indy Car are separated into the "haves" - Penske, Andretti, Ganassi - and the "have nots" - pretty much the rest of the Indy Car grid. The "haves" get unlimited testing, engineering help and PS contracts for their drivers and great $ deals on the leasing side. The "have nots" are at top leasing dollars, with no testing, no engineering and no PS contracts.

Plus, the rumors that she wanted north of $100K per race in base salary (Chase driver's money) pretty much killed the NASCAR deal.

I have a lot of questions

I have a lot of questions about this whole 'danica deal.' I'm thinking GM execs wanted to get her signed to something before the next axing up in detroit. there are too many questions here....and the honda question is a big one, i agree. firestone-goodyear too.....

A Danica story? Again?

A Danica story? Again? Awww...

I promised myself I wouldn't comment, but a thought occurs to me on how how to drive up interest in not only The Chase, but Nascar racing in general. So, here it is:

Gambling.

It's obvious Nascar has embraced gambling with its alignment to Las Vegas, the gambling mecca in the United States. And now with a casino getting the go ahead in Kansas, and Indian casinos just about everywhere, and add to that state lotteries everywhere, maybe Nascar should go the full route and allow gambling sites (think of the internet possibilities and ESPN already has its hooks in with the World Series of poker, etc) to make odds on who will win races, who will be the Chase champ, what driver will lead the most laps, on qualifying position, etc. etc. etc. People could bet on when will JR win his next race, if Jimmy Johnson will repeat as Champ, on how many times Ryan Newman will flip at Talledega, when Kyle Busch will through a temper tantrum, how many times Keselowski and Hamlin will bash into one another. Heck, they could bet on when the yellow flag comes out, there could be trifectas with car number combinations, etc. etc. etc. The possibilities are endless.

And each state could issue lotto tickets that people could buy with the picture of the favorite car/driver on it...

But then--and this the best of all--they could bet on when or if Danica drives a stock car.


I bet fan interest would skyrocket.

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