All things Tony
Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:04 am
Danica Patrick says she’d like to make her Sprint Cup debut in the 2012 Daytona 500. Tony Stewart, the car owner who will support an abbreviated Cup schedule for Patrick next season, says no decision has been made. Nevertheless, this one you can take to the bank: Danica Patrick will race in the Daytona 500 next year. Why? Because competing in the Great American Race is a marketing opportunity too big for Patrick and sponsor GoDaddy.com to pass up. Marketing is a vital part of Patrick’s thought process, whether it’s in deciding to come to NASCAR racing full time or in choosing the races she’ll run. If that weren’t the case, she wouldn’t have chosen a baseball field to announce her original NASCAR plans in 2009—instead of a more logical place like, say, a racetrack.
And she might have appeared somewhere other than at her sponsor’s headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz.—far from the inquiring minds of those who cover NASCAR racing on a weekly basis -- to announce last month that she would run a full Nationwide Series and partial Cup schedule next year. “GoDaddy’s input is important -- yes,” Patrick said Friday at Richmond International Raceway, when asked about her Cup plans for 2012. “It is, and they’ll play a part. But they’re also very respectful enough to understand that I’m the driver and that the team owners (Dale Earnhardt Jr. in Nationwide and Stewart in Cup) are drivers, too.”
Stewart and Patrick have discussed the Cup schedule in broad strokes, but they’re waiting for the entire NASCAR schedule to be released before they solidify plans for next year. “When I first talked to Tony about it, he thought that maybe going to some of the tougher tracks and getting a head start on learning them would be the best, which means I’m really going to look like crap out there,” Patrick said. “I don’t know where they’ll be, but I only imagine it will be challenging tracks like Darlington or Dover or Bristol.” Wherever else Patrick races in the Cup series, if you bet that her Cup debut will be somewhere other than Daytona, you might as well hand over the money right now.
Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:26 pm
let her run the Daytona 500 in Nationwide, not Cup. not yet. Yes she did well in the July N'wide race (for one reason and one reason only, Tony), and maybe by next July she'll be ready for Daytona at the Cup level, but i don't think there'd be any way she'd be ready to COMPETE WITH (not wreck) the big boys at the beginning of the season.
Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:11 pm
I didnt think she did well at all on the plate track. Sure Tony pushed her up through there, but she was clueless on changing positions with her partner & was horrible at being the back car.
With all that said I am sure she will be attempting the Daytona 500. I am sure her sponsor will kinda demand that race to be on the car. I see her turning someone kinda like Brad K was doing earlier this year in the 500.
Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:18 pm
the only reason tony wins at plate trace is because someone is pushing him, end of story....... off the wall statement huh? well so is the whole tony/danica statement, it still takes some form of talent to get around the track, she has the right to try for the 500, if she makes it great!! if not she will get plenty of track time that week to help her improve her plate racing.
Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:29 pm
michaeljohn wrote:the only reason tony wins at plate trace is because someone is pushing him, end of story....... off the wall statement huh? well so is the whole tony/danica statement, it still takes some form of talent to get around the track, she has the right to try for the 500, if she makes it great!! if not she will get plenty of track time that week to help her improve her plate racing.
not sure what your point is. Tony can do the pushing as well as being pushed. He also makes the transition smoothly. Danica from what I have seen so far, can only be pushed. The comparison doesnt make sense to me.
Although I am sure they will attempt the 500, & I am fairly certain She will get in the 500. Even if Tony has to handcuff himself to her car in the twins. He will make sure the 3rd SHR car gets in.
I just hope Ryan & Denny stay as partners at the plate tracks. Until the Schmoopy Curse wrecks them. They are a very dominate combo together! Let Tony ditch Gilliland to work with Danica, I say.
Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:50 pm
my point bein, i went through this back in july, people discredit danica's run at daytona because tony "pushed her", so my point is EVERYONE gets pushed at daytona, no one does it on their own, but that doesnt diminish that drivers finish...