Found February 28, 2013 on
Taking Bad Schotz:
The 55th running of the Daytona 500, NASCAR’s very own Super Bowl, and the first race with a woman starting at the pole. It should have been a week for NASCAR to bask in the glory of its biggest event. It finally had a driver in Danica Patrick who represents a demographic NASCAR so desperately wishes to reach every race day. It seemed like it was going to be the storybook version of the Daytona 500. Patrick had qualified for the pole and was starting the race along side NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon. They were rolling out the Generation 6, which was meant to replace the very unpopular “Car of Tomorrow” or Gen 5. It was building up to be the perfect weekend for auto racing.
However, NASCAR’s dream week would very quickly become a nightmare. The Nationwide race on Saturday was going well, until the final lap. Starting in the final turn, driver Kyle Larson was racing for the finish line. But drivers at the front of the pack started jostling for position and Larson was pushed into two cars. After making contact his car careened into the safety fence right in front of the grandstands. Spectators described how the car seemed to explode when it hit the fence. 33 were injured after debris flew into the stands, and 14 of those 33, with more severe injuries, were taken to a local hospital. NASCAR had a very real disaster on its hands. This was not a simple wreck with drivers shaken but okay, with a rattled driver being interviewed saying the typical, “It was scary, but I’m fine. NASCAR has done a lot to improve safety and I’m glad to be okay.” It was an accident where fans became involved. There were pictures and video of fans screaming and crying as the smoke cleared. ESPN and other networks were carrying stories of fans who protected their children, spouses, or simply each other from the accident’s debris. It was a very public example of the dangers of NASCAR. But this time, the focus was on the fans, and not the drivers.
NASCAR’s upper management went into overdrive to try and reign in speculation on fan safety. Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood said, “We’re in the process of repairing the facility and will be ready to go racing tomorrow.” NASCAR said none of the fans would be moved from regular seating and the facility was being repaired for the race on Sunday. Driver Tony Stewart had won the Nationwide race and suddenly was not a subject of the story. What should have been video of Stewart, who is one of NASCAR’s most recognizable drivers, celebrating in victory lane transformed into fans screaming for help and being loaded into ambulances. NASCAR’s only hope at salvation was a good race on Sunday.
Sunday’s Sprint Cup race did not deliver. The Generation 6 car was built up as a huge deal with FOX airing special after special. According to the drivers and NASCAR, the cars they drove on Sunday could be found in the showroom on Monday. Ford, Toyota, and Chevy had created a new generation of cars based on their more popular models. What did they do on Sunday? They created a racing situation in which passing was almost impossible, and a driver without a draft partner was suddenly left at the back. Patrick got off to a good start and stayed in the top 3 for most of the race but soon found herself finishing 8th. A top 10 finish yes, but not what NASCAR wanted. Jimmie Johnson went to the victory circle on Sunday in what can only be described as a less than exciting finish. His win even came with some controversy of its own. According to an article posted on AOL’s Sportingnews.com fans are accusing the driver of cheating. After his win on Sunday, Johnson strangely wrecked the front of his car when he drove into the infield grass. Fans claimed that he did this so NASCAR would be unable to fail the car during post-race inspection. He claims, “I just wanted to get a cool picture down on the Daytona emblem (in the grass).” Obviously, these claims cannot be proven and they probably will not turn into anything more serious right now. But it does lead to some speculation on Johnson’s credibility as a competitor.
It was the last thing NASCAR needed. A dangerous wreck, innocent fans injured, a somewhat boring race, and a driver’s integrity called into question, together they created a weekend NASCAR probably soon hopes to forget. Could NASCAR become the next sport to suffer a major controversy? Its 5-time champion in Jimmie Johnson has a crew chief that has been suspended by NASCAR three times (including a 2012 suspension which was repealed successfully) since 2006. All these suspensions of crew chief Chad Knaus came while Johnson was making his 5-time championship run except for the 2012 investigation. Baseball has fallen to controversy in the last decade; the NCAA is in the process of destroying itself, and maybe NASCAR will be the next sport with a tainted champion. We’ll have to wait till the checkered flag waves on the Jimmy Johnson era.
BEST OF MAXIM
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – “We have a lot more history to make.”
Those were the words of Danica Patrick just two Sundays ago following her history-making pole run for the 55th Daytona 500 as she became the first woman to ever earn a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole position.
But those were more than just words for Patrick, the driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart...
If a driver is only as good as his or her last race, then Danica Patrick deserves to be ranked among the top 10 in the Sprint Cup Series -- for now.
Patrick's 2013 coming-out party at Daytona International Speedway was impressive. She started from the pole, led five laps and ran more circuits (113) among the top-three positions than any other driver before finishing eighth....
Danica Patrick had a difficult finish to the Daytona 500, falling from third to eighth on the final lap.
Some kind words from her owner and the race winner made her feel a little better.
Patrick became the first woman to sit on the pole at the Daytona 500 and raced near the front all day, leading five laps. She only had Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in front of her on the...
Danica Patrick racing along to history has given NASCAR a big publicity bump. The driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) gave us the highest finish ever by a woman at the Daytona 500 and the highest finish ever by a woman at Daytona 500. Danica Patrick racing is revving up for her first season of Sprint Cup.
The 30-year-old Sprint Cup Rookie of...
Last week’s Daytona 500 marked the start of the thirty-six race season that makes up the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season, and now NASCAR’s most talented drivers leave the Sunshine state and head west for Arizona, where the drivers will battle on the 1.5 track that is Phoenix International Raceway. Before we break down the race itself, let’s take a look at some of the stories...
Danica Patrick as she gets ready to race
Well if you haven’t heard enough of it already here it comes again so brace your self. Yes you guessed it another article about Danica Patrick is going to be in the media. Well hold on this is going to be different because instead of telling you how great of a job she did or ramming the fact that she is a woman down your throat we are going...
Regardless of the fact that she is a female and that she is a rookie, when it comes to analyzing Danica Patrick's Daytona 500 performance, you grade her by the same criteria you would Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards and the other Sprint Cup drivers.
Let's be clear, Danica did a good job.
She came to Daytona and took advantage of a very fast race car that...
Danica Patrick boosted the Daytona 500 to a five-year high, but the numbers fell well short of the all-time record. The 2013 Daytona 500, won by Jimmie Johnson, earned a 9.9 rating and 16.7 million [...]
Danica Patrick is a different race car driver from past years...
~ 1st woman to win the Pole position for a Sprint Cup Series Race
~ 1st woman to lead laps in the Daytona 500
~ 2nd woman to lead laps in a Sprint Cup Series Race
~ Highest finish for a woman in a Sprint Cup Series Race at Daytona
~ 13th driver to lead laps in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500
Those are all of the records that Danica Patrick either broke or bettered this...
Lauren Silberman has a scant chance at making the NFL.
Silberman never kicked anything more than a soccer ball in an organized game and she just started practicing long-range field goals.
Even so, the first female kicker scheduled to try out at an NFL regional scouting combine would like to see where her new hobby will take her. In an era where Danica Patrick can contend against...
Mark Martin will be on the pole at Phoenix International Raceway for the second straight year after becoming the second-oldest pole-sitter in NASCAR history.
Martin went around PIR's mile oval at a speed of 138.075 mph on Friday to earn his 56th career pole a week after finishing third in the Daytona 500.
Martin turned 54 in January, leaving him a few months short beating Harry...
By Jeff Hammond
Regardless of the fact that she is a female and that she is a rookie, when it comes to analyzing Danica Patricks Daytona 500 performance, you grade her by the same criteria you would Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards and the other Sprint Cup drivers.
Lets be clear, Danica did a good job.
She came to Daytona and took advantage of a very...