Races, tracks, drivers and all the drama that comes along with it
Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:35 am
Women drivers have struggled to reach the top levels of NASCAR. If they had their own series to highlight their skills, would it help their cause?
Mar 14, 2011 - Brett Griffin, a NASCAR spotter who has a penchant for riling his Twitter followers with a distinct lack of political correctness, tweeted an intriguing idea on Sunday night.
The spotter for Jeff Burton in the Sprint Cup Series and Elliott Sadler in the Nationwide Series – and Sadler's longtime business manager – suggested someone "should start a ladies racing league."
Griffin followed his proposal by questioning the ability of female drivers, saying no woman would win in one of NASCAR's three national touring series unless it was a fluke victory (such as fuel mileage).
Naturally, the latter part of Griffin's statement overshadowed his initial suggestion, and he spent the next two hours defending himself against followers who accused him of sexism.
But what if Griffin was onto something with the first portion of his tweet? What if NASCAR – or some other reputable sanctioning body – developed a racing series just for female drivers?
It works in golf. It works in tennis. It works in basketball. Why not racing?
Personally, I disagree with Griffin's assertion that a female driver won't win a NASCAR race in one of the top three divisions. It's entirely possible that a woman could win a NASCAR race – on her own merits – within the next five years.
Take a Johanna Long, for example. If she gets enough experience in the Truck series and finds a good ride, it's not that much of a stretch to think she could win a race three years from now.
The question is, though: Will she ever get to drive great equipment?
Perhaps that's where an all-female racing series could come into play. A series with only women could have the potential to be an amazing showcase for some up-and-coming talent who otherwise aren't getting enough opportunities.
Let's say Long, Alli Owens, Jennifer Jo Cobb and others raced against one another every week. W-NASCAR would highlight their skills, offer a chance to develop fan followings and prove they were worthy of opportunities in excellent equipment and well-funded teams at NASCAR's highest levels.
Given the current economic climate in NASCAR, the only female driver getting sponsor attention is Danica Patrick – and that's largely based on her celebrity and racing racy commercials.
Patrick is learning quickly and making progress, but how are future female drivers supposed to get the same opportunities without posing in Maxim?
Imagine if there was a series where women could grab the eye of sponsors through their performance on the track, rather as a model. At the same time, the drivers would have a chance to display their personalities through interviews and rivalries with other drivers.
Wouldn't "Ladies, have at it" be just as exciting as "Boys, have at it?"
After a year or two, a Nationwide Series team could then partner with a sponsor and say, "Look at this woman – she's consistently winning races against the other top female drivers and she's got a solid following. Let's give her a real chance."
Ultimately, there's no reason to suggest a female driver can't succeed against men based on physical makeup alone. But there is a reason to suggest they can't succeed if every female who comes into the sport struggles to find good cars to drive.
While it would be a monumental task to start a new series, if NASCAR could get the backing of TV partners and sponsors to invest in an all-female racing circuit, the entire sport would benefit.
Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:06 am
Why not? Sounds like a cool idea.
I mean down in Florida they have the LFL (Lingerie Football League), so why not a ladies racing series too?
Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:09 pm
man i was involved in that conversation with brett and everyone is blowing it waaaaaaaaaaaay out of proportion. all he did was make that statement and poof.. now everyone has an opinion of it and him. i think brett is hilarious and when he said that he was being a smart ####.. shows how people like to start rumors about something they know nothing about.
Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:19 pm
Women have always taken up mens' roles, during times of war,.... did them and did them well.
In the 40's, women started a baseball league ("A League of Their Own" is based on reality) and did just as well as men.
There's now females in male high school wrestling (advancing because men won't wrestle with them )
I was made
to play flag football, basketball and baseball with males in high school and no one complained. Why do we, as a culture, force men & women to play together in school.... but once you reach college or above - it turns into "no way, jose." What the flying flap is that all about anyway?
I think it would be dumb to have a series just for women... because before you know it, the women will want to join the men... and some men may NEED to join the ladies ( if you get my drift
)and it will turn into a big mixed up 2 series.... kinda like nationwide and cup series.
Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:38 pm
daniluvs14 wrote:man i was involved in that conversation with brett and everyone is blowing it waaaaaaaaaaaay out of proportion. all he did was make that statement and poof.. now everyone has an opinion of it and him. i think brett is hilarious and when he said that he was being a smart ####.. shows how people like to start rumors about something they know nothing about.
This must have happened somewhere else because I'm lost dani...lol
Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:22 pm
When the outside influences are equal, there should be no need to have a separate entity. Look at horse sports, not racing where the weights can influence things, but show jumping, eventing, driving, etc., the female of the species not only competes on even terms but is very very successful.
Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:05 pm
If women want to race, it only makes sense for there to be a woman's race division & not allow them into the Men's series & the other way around. A woman has not lived as long as the men do in NASCAR, if they want to race, let them have their own women division & race there.
I don't see a woman being successful as the men are in Cup, I don't ever see a woman champion in NASCAR personally. There's just some things that should be meant for men & some thing meant for women, we (women) are not equal & are not made equal to men, that's not how we were made by our creator (whom ever you believe is your creator).
Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:53 pm
No. I would want to compete with the best of the best, man or woman. I would want to be considered to be just a driver when I got into the car.
Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:47 pm
NO!! Women and men can race together. It is not like they share a locker room together! Besides, it would mean less pay for the women and we sure do not want that! It is going to take sometime for the boys to handle girls cometing with them because we always take over!